Bergamo holidays 2019 / 2020
Whether you’re looking for the right destination for a romantic couples’ break or a family summer holiday in Italy, the picturesque city of Bergamo has historic monuments, exciting attractions and breath-taking surroundings that will take your 2019 / 2020 holiday to the next level. Bergamo is famous for its two-level layout, with a modern lower part and a more traditional, walled upper area that sits atop a hill. The top part is known as Bergamo Alta, and the lower part as Bergamo Bassa. The city centre is located in the region of Lombardy and is a UNESCO protected World Heritage Site, as well as one of north Italy’s most captivating cities. With winding medieval alleyways, Venetian fortifications, trendy little cafes and picturesque Gothic churches, the citta alta offers a serene mountain haven that seems to stand still in time. Owing to the city’s main attractions being located in close proximity to each other, a holiday in Bergamo in 2019 / 2020 could be the perfect European city break for you.
The mesmerising Piazza Vecchia is located in the upper part of Bergamo and is a must-visit for any visitor. This historical part of the city acted as a travel hub in Italy and features a variety of scenic little cafes, traditional Italian buildings and a selection of architectural delights. One of these is the grand civic library, while the Palazzo della Ragione is one of the best-loved pieces of Venetian Gothic architecture. Nearby at the Neo-Classical Accademia Carrara, you can enjoy more than 1800 works of art mainly from the Tuscan, Flemish, Venetian and Lombardi schools of art, with the Gallery of Modern Art just a few steps away. Other top attractions in Bergamo include the Santa Maria Maggiore, one of the primary examples of Romanesque architecture with Gothic design elements. Inside, the décor is from the Baroque period and showcases some of the finest marble and stucco decorations in the area, as well as Flemish tapestries from the 16th and 17th centuries. Art history lovers will be dazzled by all that Bergamo has to offer.
Italy is renowned for its excellent food and drink and Bergamo is no exception to the rule. As one of the wealthiest regions in Italy, Lombardy is renowned for its ‘peasant food’, or piatti poveri, which features popular dishes such as rice and polenta, which are more popular than pasta. Bergamo is famed for its exceptional locally produced offerings, particularly artisan beers, wine, cheese, salami, mineral water, rich desserts and olive oil. Thanks to the plentiful nearby pastures, Bergamo has a huge variety of cheeses, all of which have received the PDO (Denomination of Protected Origin) status, a prestigious award that recognises historic origin and high quality production. Lombardy’s most renowned export is, as it always has been, cheese, with the most popular types being Mascarpone, Taleggio, Gorgonzola and Grana Padano. Owing to the numerous lakes in this area, you’ll also want to try the freshwater fish dishes for an authentic dining experience that you’ll never forget.
As a historical city with a rich heritage and sophisticated culture, Bergamo may not immediately come to mind when you think of destinations for a family holiday. However, Bergamo has several attractions that appeal to all the family, and is particularly suited to vacations with older children and teenagers. Everyone will enjoy exploring the walled city with its huge stone walls and majestic fortifications. The citta alta is the part that kids will prefer mainly because of how you reach it. Hop on the funicular from the lower city and you’ll be able to take in the view of the town below. The Giardino Public is the perfect place to take the family on a sunny afternoon. It has a scenic gateway which leads to public gardens which have a secret-garden feel, plenty of shade and places to enjoy a picnic lunch.
Action & Adventure
A holiday in Bergamo has plenty to offer in terms of keeping active during your break. For a moderate-level activity, try taking a stroll along the Venetian walls, which were built in the 16th century by the then-republic of Venice, which owned Bergamo at that time. One of the most popular sports in Bergamo is cycling, owing to the mountainous landscape. Bergamo has a broad variety of cycling trails, from relaxed rides to adventurous, steep descents. The mountains surrounding Bergamo make the perfect location for a taste of winter spots. There are more than 130 slopes to explore on ski or by foot, if a winter break is more your style. If you’re looking for a more relaxed outdoor sport, you can head to one of the hills towering over Bergamo to play golf on one of the picturesque hilltop courses.
While there are no large beaches in Bergamo or the surrounding area, there are several beautiful lakes and rivers with little beaches well worth visiting during your holiday in Bergamo. One of the hidden gems of the Cavallina Valley, Lake Endine, is an ideal place to visit for those who prefer a laid-back and tranquil holiday experience. While Lake Endine is very popular with both tourists and locals during the summer months, its shores are never overly crowded, offering a peaceful atmosphere which is great for unwinding. Nearby you’ll find tiny villages, a handful of beaches lined with trees and nooks of untamed countryside, as well as quaint little bars and restaurants to get a bite to eat. Around half an hour’s drive from Bergamo, you’ll find Lake Iseo, a gem nestled between scenic villages and tree-lined mountains. Lake Iseo can be enjoyed by boat excursion or by taking a long walk around the edge, stopping along the way to sample the delicious local cuisine and sip the best locally-produced wines.
Bergamo may look ancient, but looks can be misleading. A holiday in Bergamo is not as sleepy as you might think, in fact it has a thriving nightlife scene with a wide range of bars and nightclubs. For a great night out in Bergamo itself, try starting on foot at the citta alta to seek out a bar that appeals to you. You can enjoy a night of classical entertainment at the Teatro Doinzetti, while some of the best nightclubs in Bergamo itself include Vox, a popular venue that offers reasonably priced drinks and Happy Hour buffet, which allows you to enjoy all-you-can-eat snacks for a fixed price. A popular Irish bar is The Ritual, which has a great relaxed atmosphere and Guinness on tap. If you’re looking for a trendy bar that attracts a young crowd, try Bar Code 212, which plays loud dance music and has a great selection of cocktails.
Despite its close proximity to the hustle and bustle of Milan, a holiday to Bergamo feels like travelling back in time or stepping into the page of a romantic novel. From the medieval stone walls of the upper city to the traditional architecture, Bergamo is beautiful from top to toe. More than almost any other city in the Lombardy region, Bergamo is an embodiment of its own rich heritage and culture, with a number of captivating historic attractions, resplendent architectural delights and a wide selection of great shops and restaurants to keep you and your loved one entertained during your romantic break. There are a number of romantic experiences to enjoy here, including hiking up the Santa Lucia stairway to take in the gorgeous views from the old city. Another romantic old city attraction is the Colli of Bergamo Park, which showcases nature at its unspoilt best. If neither you or your loved one are scared of heights, take a funicular ride to the Citta Alta to enjoy the breath-taking views from the upper part of Bergamo.
Spending your holiday in Bergamo will undoubtedly be one of the most culturally enriching experiences in all of Italy; it’s a real cultural jewel in the crown of the Lombardy region. Many of the country’s most famous characters have lived in or close to Bergamo, including Gaetono Donizetti, Lorenzo Lotto and Palma il Vecchio. There are so many cultural attractions in Bergamo you’ll need to plan your time carefully if you’re coming for a short break, with some of the examples of cultural attractions being the Suardi Oratory in Trescore Balneario, the Romanesque Church of San Tome, and the Accademia Carrara, which displays some of the finest works by Reaphael, Bellini and Botticelli. The landscape is dotted with beautiful lakes and rivers including Lake Iseo, Endine Lake and the rivers of Brembo and Serio, which are nestled amongst some beautiful mountainous terrain. By opting for a boat tour of Bergamo’s lakes and rivers, you can immerse yourself in the city’s rich culture and heritage from the comfort of the boat. Could a 2018 holiday in Bergamo be the answer?