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.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

New Year celebrations in Piazza Vecchia

For the first time ever the funicular that links the Città Bassa with the Città Alta will run until two o'clock in the morning on New Year's Day (Capodanno) in Bergamo.
This is to enable revellers to enjoy the celebrations in Piazza Vecchia, which are expected to go on well after the Campanone has rung in the New Year at midnight.
Action in Death in the High City
 takes place in Piazza Vecchia.

Restaurants around the square will be putting on special New Year's menus and there will be live music and entertainment for the crowds in Piazza Vecchia. A fireworks display from Porta San Giacomo will welcome in 2015 with a bang.
ATB (Azienda Trasporti Bergamo) have taken the decision to keep the funicular running after midnight when it would normally stop to enable locals and visitors to get home safely after enjoying the festive atmosphere.
Bergamo's Piazza Vecchia will clearly be the place to see in the New Year.
Buon Anno and a Happy New Year to all visitors to Best of Bergamo.
And a special thank you to everyone who has bought a copy of Death in the High City, published in 2014 and the first crime novel to be set in Bergamo, in which most of the action takes place within the walls of the Città Alta.

Death in the High City by Val Culley is available in paperback and in Kindle from Amazon

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Thursday, December 25, 2014

Celebrating Christmas Bergamo style

With Italian specialities readily available in the shops there is no reason why you can’t recreate a traditional Bergamo Christmas in your own home.
Panettone, Pan d’Oro and Panforte are great alternatives to Christmas pudding and Prosecco is, in my opinion, better than Champagne.
Prosecco, cake and a novel set in Italy
While you may not be able to find authentic Bergamo sausages or meats for your antipasti or not want to go to the trouble of making your own casoncelli alla bergamasca for your primo piatto, you can find good quality prosciutto and salami and stuffed pasta in most shops.
Christmas is very much a family feast in Bergamo, just as in the rest of Italy .
After la Vigilia di Natale (Christmas Eve), when traditionally a fish meal is consumed, Natale (Christmas Day) is a time for feasting.
While the children open their presents, the adults savour a glass of Prosecco as they prepare the festive table.
Friends and relatives who drop in with presents or to exchange good wishes will be offered nuts, biscuits and torrone (nougat from Cremona.)
Antipasti dishes of prosciutto and bresaola are served with preserved mushrooms, olives or pickled vegetables.
Stuffed pasta is usually served as a first course, either in the shape of ravioli or tortellini, which are said to have been offered as Christmas gifts to priests and monks during the 12th century.
For the main course, turkey or capon is likely to be served, with potatoes and vegetables as side dishes.
The traditional end to the meal is almost always Panettone, served warm accompanied by a glass of sparkling wine.
Panettone is said to have been concoted by a Milanese baker, Antonio (Toni), to impress his girlfriend at Christmas time in the 15th century. The result was so successful that ‘Pane de Toni’ has become a regular feature of the Christmas season all over Italy and now abroad.
The feasting and family parties continue on 26 December, the festa di Santo Stefano (Boxing Day).
To transport you back to Bergamo over the festive season, why not read Death in the High City, a crime novel in which much of the action takes place in Bergamo’s Città Alta.

Death in the High City by Val Culley is available from Amazon.com

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