What to do in Bergamo in one day
Do you have a day at hand and want to take a trip out of town? Do you want some relaxation, get away from work and enjoy a nice place to find good food, history, culture, art? We advise you to think of Bergamo and we recommend you what to do in Bergamo in one day!
A quiet weekend #inLombardia
Friday Night concert by the legendary Lorenzo Jovanotti Cherubini at the Mediolanum Forum in Assago in Milan, gave us the excuse to extend the Weekend. We have time for a trip out of town #inLombardia, but given the time, full of thoughts and activities at stake, we did not want to stay in Milan: we have always seen the city as too chaotic, even though it is certainly in the list of cities we want to visit for well and more calmly.
We opted to move a short distance, to Bergamo! We never got to see her and this occasion was the right excuse to take advantage of it.
Where to sleep?
Things to see in Bergamo city are quite concentrated and you can walk very well. For the choice of the hotel where to stay, therefore, we recommend a fairly central structure so as not to always have to move the car. At this point, are you at the first junction: Upper Bergamo or Lower Bergamo?
If you choose to stay in Upper Bergamoyou will be able to stay directly in the historic part of the city, very charming and charming! But the road system is restricted to residents and beneficiaries, so to get to your hotel you will surely have to walk a little.
- Petronilla Hotel
- Hotel Excelsior San Marco
- Mercure Bergamo Centro Palazzo Dolci
- ARLI Hotel Business & Wellness
- Best Western Hotel Piemontese
If you choose to stay in Lower Bergamo, you will surely be further away from the Upper Town where most of the significant places are concentrated, but the hotels available are cheaper and there are numerous free parking spaces where you can leave your car for your weekend out of town. Bergamo.
Where to park the car?
If you arrive in the city by train it will not be a problem, but if you use the car for your weekend out in Bergamo, the city will put you to the test! In most of the lower city the car parks are paid, both on weekdays and on holidays and some areas are ZTL controlled by cameras. Consider the high city as off-limit! Fortunately, we are able to get around quite well on foot, we who are not among the most sporty have not had any problems.
So where to park the car? In Lower Bergamo there are many free and free parking spaces where you can leave the car for the entire stay
Bergamo in 7 Hours
We arrived in Bergamo very calmly! After the concert it was not feasible to get up early, not that it is usually our habit, plus we stayed at the H2C Hotel Milanofiori which pampered us with a mega breakfast until late. We arrive in the Bergamo area for lunch time and begin to become familiar with the city.
We start from the bottom, we arrive in the city for lunch time, we leave the car at the Malpensata car park (free, except on Monday that there is a market) and we head towards the station. Turning the corner we have Viale Papa Giovanni XXIII (born in Bergamo!) In front of us and Arlecchino welcomes us in the city!
Arlecchino is in art, a bit shrewd and mischievous.
At Bergamo I am born and in the world renowned!
We go up the avenue and Bergamo immediately puts us at ease, it welcomes us in Largo Porta Nuova, which from the mid-1800s was the only access to the city. From here, if you look up, you’ll find the hills of the Upper Town in the background. Don’t be scared: by following the Viale, in a short time, you get to take the funicular that leads up there! Once past the gate, there is most of the interesting things in the Lower Town, all concentrated in a few steps (clockwise):
- Vittorio Emanuele II monument
- the Monument to the Partisan
- Napoleon Bonaparte Obelisk
- the Tower of the Fallen
- the restaurant of the starred Chef Ezio Gritti
- the Donizetti Theater
We are hungry! Perhaps because of the cold, but the breakfast made a few hours ago has disappeared and hunger begins to be felt. We decide to look for a place to have a quick lunch so as not to lose too much time and we find Il Coccio not far from the monument to Giuseppe Garibaldi. Small restaurant, with few seats, but very nice in every detail: from the furnishings to the dishes served that are strictly all done by hand.
Refreshed, we return to Piazza Giacomo Matteotti where we have an appointment with two Bergamo DOC guides!
Bergamo you can run very well on your own with a map and some landmarks, but if you have the chance to see a city with a pair of Locals? Would you not take advantage of it? We do! And we are fortunate to have Silvia and Williams of ItinerarioDiViaggio.com as guides. Together with them we head towards the Funicular to go up to Città Alta.
The Funicolare ticket from Città Bassa to Città Alta costs € 1.30 round-trip without time limits. You can easily go up and enjoy the city calmly without having the anxiety of having to go back. The funicular to us Liguri is a well-known means of transport, but taking it to Bergamo to climb up to Città Alta is another matter! We immediately realize that only we tourists experience it this way and for the locals it is absolutely normal.
In a few minutes you pass the Venetian Walls (Unesco World Heritage) and arrive in Piazza Mercato delle Scarpe, where the Tour of the Upper Town begins! The first thing that struck us is the care with which the city is kept, each building is restored or being restored, the streets are tidy and everything seems in place. We take Via della Rocca and walk towards La Rocca in Città Alta.
The view enjoyed from here is crazy! Even in the hazy day that we found we can see the whole city of Bergamo and the adjacent countries, it seems to go back in time, to the Middle Ages in which the whole territory was controlled from here. In reality our guides tell us that Bergamo has never fought that much, but throughout history, it has gone from one faction to another without making too much resistance. Perhaps for this reason, both the walls and the castle are in excellent condition.
We continue our Tour of the Upper Town towards the Convent of San Francesco, where the section dedicated to the exhibitions of the Historical Museum is located. The convent remains open to the public free of charge and has two splendid courtyards, one of which overlooks the valley with a view of the San Vigilio hill.
We are in the middle of our itinerary to see Bergamo in one day and the time has come to go into the alleys of the Upper Town to reach Piazza Vecchia: the heart of the city. On this square overlook the famous Campanone di Bergamo, the Municipality of Bergamo (although the main part is now located in Lower Bergamo) and the Civic Library. At first glance it seems to be in a small town in Tuscany: Piazza Vecchia and the Campanone are very reminiscent of the Piazza del Duomo in San Gimignano and the Torre Grossa. In addition to some tourists we see once again how “normal” people who live the Città Alta live every day, without perhaps noticing the beauties that surround them.
Passing under the arcades of the Municipality you arrive in front of the Cathedral of Bergamo, the Cathedral of Sant’Alessandro, but do not be fooled as has happened to us! In front of you you will find the Colleoni Chapel, more showy than the Duomo, which instead remains hidden and leaning against the Town Hall, on your left.
We resume the Tour to see Bergamo in one day and we head north, we cross Piazza della Cittadella and we find ourselves in Colle Aperto. Right on the corner of Piazza della Cittadella is the Torre di Adalberto, this tower has been used over the years for different purposes, both as a prison and as a defensive tower. The peculiarity of the Tower is that the only entrance is placed several meters from the ground and the only way to reach it is to use wooden stairs, so it was impossible to enter or exit once the staircase was removed.
From Colle Aperto we take another cable car to get even higher: Colle San Vigilio. From up here you can even see the Upper Town from above! There is not much to see in San Vigilio, but if you manage to arrive at lunch time (or dinner) we suggest you try either the San Vigilio Restaurant for a Stellato meal, or the San Vigilio Pizzeria which offers a breathtaking view over all the valley!
The San Vigilio funicular is part of the regular ATB transport and you can use a standard Zone 1 ticket (duration 75 ‘for € 1.30) or the City tourist ticket (24h for € 3.50).
We return to Colle Aperto with the funicular and finally it’s time to relax and get some heat! What better place than La Marianna Bar Restaurant? Did you know that Stracciatella was invented in this place? Given the time we opt for an aperitif, but, against all expectations, instead of taking the stracciatella we took a polenta. What is polenta or “Polenta and Osei”? It is a typical dessert from Bergamo, whose colors are reminiscent of the typical Venetian dish.
Return to Lower Bergamo, greet Silvia and Williams of ItinerarioDiViaggio.com who return home and begin the search for the restaurant for dinner!
We stay at the Best Western Hotel Piemontese in the Lower City and for dinner we want to stay in the downtown area on foot. In any case, we are looking for a nice and maybe typical restaurant to have a nice Bergamo dinner. In our research we come across the Osteria Di Valenti that won us over with its typical menu and the sympathy of the owner who welcomed us even without a reservation!