Bergamo’s beautiful upper town, the Città Alta (pictured above), is a magical place well worth visiting. Use this website to help you plan your trip to Bergamo in Northern Italy and find your way to some of the other lovely towns and villages in Lombardia that are perhaps less well known to tourists.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Bergamo celebrates Italian unification

Shops celebrated with special window displays
Bergamo is still decked with flags after celebrating the 150th anniversary of Italy’s unification earlier this month.
The city, which is proud to have contributed soldiers to Garibaldi’s army, held a day of celebrations on 16 March culminating in a fireworks display from Porta San Giacomo.
The gateway, which can be seen from the Città Bassa (lower town), has been lit up with the colours of the Italian flag each night since then.
Porta San Giacomo
 has been lit up by night
Shop windows are still displaying posters depicting Garibaldi and there are more events planned throughout the rest of the year to commemorate the anniversary of when Italy became a country and Victor Emanuele was crowned the first King.
For more information about future events planned for Bergamo and the surrounding area to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Italy’s unification visit www.commune.bergamo.it

Monday, March 21, 2011

Risotto alla bergamasca

Classic Bergamo risotto

A tasty and warming risotto with vegetables is a northern Italian classic dish.
Try this delicious version from Bergamo , which is simple and quick to prepare.
For four people you will need:

Arborio rice, 400 gr
Extra virgin olive oil
Peeled carrots, 2
Onion, finely chopped
Peas, 170 gr, fresh or defrosted from frozen
Zucchini, 2
Dry white wine, 125ml
Vegetable or chicken stock, 500 ml
Salt and pepper
Grated parmesan, or a similar type of hard cheese

To make:
Wash and chop the carrots and zucchini. In a saucepan, saute the onion in oil with the carrots, zucchini and peas for a few minutes until soft but not brown. Add the rice and toast it slightly before adding the wine. Let it bubble and then reduce the heat and add the stock, a little at a time, stirring until it is absorbed. This will take about 15 minutes. Season to taste. The risotto is ready when the rice is no longer hard, but be careful not to overcook it, or it will become too soft. When you think it is ready, turn off the heat and add the butter, cheese and parsley. Serve, piping hot, on to previously warmed plates.

Buon Appetito!

Bergamo Main Sights

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

First anniversary for Best of Bergamo

Bergamo highlight -- Biblioteca Civica

Best of Bergamo is one year old today. Since we started to collect statistical information, the site has had more than 5,000 visits from almost 3,500 unique visitors, who have clocked up more than 13,000 page views.
Many visitors have emailed the site to express their appreciation for the tourist and travel advice or to ask for supplementary information about Bergamo .
Colleoni Chapel -- a Bergamo highlight
Extracts from the website have been featured on other travel websites, a wine website and a health website and we have had enquiries from people about to relocate to Bergamo as well as from those planning holidays.
There have been visitors from 91 countries and the site has been viewed in 62 different languages.
During the year, Best of Bergamo’s Flights Guide was launched, showing visitors to the website which airlines operate from which country, with flight times and links to individual airline websites.
There isn’t a more comprehensive guide to flights to Bergamo’s Orio al Serio airport anywhere else on line. For more information visit our Fly to Bergamo page.
Book a hotel through Best of Bergamo

Another exciting development has been our dedicated Hotel Booking pages where we give you the low down on the best hotels in Bergamo and the surrounding area. If we have personal experience of staying in a hotel it is badged *Best of Bergamo recommended*.

You can now book a hotel anywhere in Bergamo , the rest of Italy or elsewhere through our partner organisations Venere.com, Hotels.com or Laterooms.com. You can go straight from our hotel pages to the websites of our partner organisations. Either click on Book a Hotel in Bergamo or click on a hotel booking advert anywhere on Best of Bergamo.
Thank you for all your support and we look forward to another exciting year with Best of Bergamo.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Bergamo Jazz 2011

The elegant Teatro Donizetti
Bergamo hosts its 33rd annual jazz festival later this month with a series of events at the Teatro Donizetti and throughout the city.
Bergamo Jazz 2011, under the artistic direction of Paolo Fresu, will feature a host of internationally acclaimed musicians in concert, as well as films and educational events for jazz enthusiasts.
The former church of Mary Magdalene and the Teatro Sociale will be used as venues and there will be three evenings dedicated to jazz in the elegant setting of Teatro Donizetti in Via Sentierone in the Città Bassa (lower town) between March 18 and 20.
The Teatro Donizetti was built near the end of the 18th century but was remodelled at the end of the 19th century and renamed in honour of composer Gaetano Donizetti, who was born in Bergamo in 1797. After a brilliant career during which he composed some of the greatest lyrical operas of all time, Donizetti returned to spend his last days in his native city. His tomb is in the church of Santa Maria Maggiore in the Città Alta (upper town).
Although Teatro Donizetti is an internationally acclaimed opera house it now also stages symphony concerts, dance, jazz and the annual Brescia and Bergamo piano festival.
For more information or to book tickets online, visit teatro.gaetano-donizetti.com

Monday, March 7, 2011

Linger by the lake in Lecco

The statue of Alessandro
 Manzoni in Lecco
Italy’s most famous novelist, Alessandro Manzoni was born on 7 March 1785 in Milan - 226 years ago today.
His childhood home was in Lecco, a beautiful town on Lake Lecco, a branch of Lake Como.
Manzoni set his great work I Promessi Sposi (The Betrothed) in Lecco, inspired by the dramatic mountain scenery surrounding the lake.
More than two centuries later, fans of Manzoni’s novel continue to visit Lecco to see the settings he described and those buildings featured in the book that remain.
I Promessi Sposi was the first novel to be written in modern Italian, a language that could be understood by everyone. It caused a sensation when it was first published in 1825 as it sparked pro unification feelings in many Italians. It is now considered the most important novel in Italian literature and is still required reading for Italian schoolchildren.
Lecco is an easy trip to make from Bergamo. There are regular direct trains which take 40 minutes and there are good road links.
When you arrive in Lecco it is a short walk from the railway station to the side of the lake. If you visit the Ufficio Informazione Turistiche (Tourist Information Office) in Via Sauro, just before you reach the lake, the staff will give you a free map of Lecco with places mentioned in the novel marked on it, such as the house of Lucia, the main character, the castle of the villainous Don Rodrigo and the famous marriage church.  For more information visit www.turismo.provincia.lecco.it.
You may find there is too much to see in Lecco to fit in one day and consider spending the night there. But it is important to choose a centrally located hotel in order not to waste any time travelling.
The Hotel Giordano is in a good position at the side of the lake in Lungolario Luigi Cadorna. Although it is a quiet location it is just a short walk from the historic centre of Lecco and the shops and restaurants.
Rooms that overlook the lake have terraces so that guests can sit out and enjoy the stunning views. All the rooms have a television, minibar and internet connection. For more information and to book, visit www.venere.com 
A quotation from I Promessi Sposi is still used by Italians today in an ironic manner when they are talking about weddings. “Questo matrimonio mon s’ha da fare…” (This marriage is not to take place…) is probably the most famous and regularly repeated quotation from Italian literature.