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.


Bergamo’s palatial post office was built to impress

Not to be missed in Bergamo’s Città Bassa…


Bergamo fascist architecture
Palazzo delle Poste
The main post office in Bergamo is in the Città Bassa (lower town) in Via Masone on its corner with Via Antonio Locatelli.
Like many buildings in the Città Bassa, the Palazzo delle Poste is an impressive piece of architecture, designed to follow on from the development of the lower town at the beginning of the 20th century by Marcello Piacentini.
Built of brown stone, the building has a tall clock tower and the long windows typical of 1930s architecture.
The Poste e Telegrafi building was planned in 1929 by Angiolo Mazzoni and completed in 1932. 
Mazzoni was chief architect for the Ministry of Communications and for the state railways during the Fascist era in Italy, when the government embarked on a building programme based on dynamically modern architecture to encourage the Italian people to associate Fascism with progress. Hundreds of post offices and railway stations around Italy were built from Mazzoni designs.
It is well worth a look inside to enable you to appreciate the scale and style of the building, with its glass lamps and works of art by Mario Sironi, commissioned in 1934 to decorate the ground floor sala dei telegrammi.
These include two interesting paintings on the themes of work in the fields and in the city.
The post office can be easily reached from Viale Vittorio Emmanuele by walking down Via Zelasco.

Main sights                Bergamo Hotels                Fly to Bergamo


Milan a top destination for London passengers

Bergamo among top destinations for London flights
London was the city most requested in 2011 by people comparing flight prices to and from Milan's airports, according to Skyscanner.
The travel search site has published the names of the top 10 cities requested by travellers looking to depart from or arrive at Bergamo Caravaggio airport -- often referred to as Milan Bergamo -- as well as Malpensa and Linate last year.
Both Moscow and St Petersburg in Russia were in the top 10 for flying into Milan while Paris, Barcelona and Amsterdam were in the top 10 requested for departing from Milan .
Catania, Naples, Palermo, Rome and Bari were in the top 10 requested cities for both departures and arrivals.
Skyscanner is a useful travel search site that provides online comparisons for cheap prices on millions of flights and more than 1000 airlines as well as car hire, hotels, insurance and other deals.
It is free to use and customers book directly with the airline or company they have chosen after they have seen the cheapest and latest prices.
Skyscanner claims to help thousands of people find the cheapest flights and travel deals every day.

Main sights                Bergamo Hotels                Fly to Bergamo



Banish winter blues with a break in Bergamo

Brighten up your February with a romantic break in Bergamo.
Citta Alta Bergamo
Romantic Città Alta
Even if you can’t be there for Valentine’s Day itself, you could still treat yourself and your loved one to some low cost flights and a good deal on a hotel for a few nights.
For romance and atmosphere you need look no further than Bergamo’s Città Alta (upper town) with its medieval buildings and cosy bars and restaurants.
You could try Hotel Piazza Vecchia, which is centrally located in a 13th-century house in Via Colleoni, just off the beautiful Piazza Vecchia. Many original features have been preserved but the hotel has a contemporary décor and bathrooms with all the latest comforts. Or you could consider GombitHotel next to the 13th century Gombito Tower, which is handy for the the main sights, the shops, bars, restaurants and funicular.
Check prices and availability:


If you would like to wake up to magical views of the Città Alta from your bedroom window, why not stay at the sophisticated Hotel Excelsior San Marco, which is close to the funicular for the Città Alta, but only walking distance from the main shops and restaurants in the Città Bassa (lower town).
Or if you would like to be right at the hub of the Città Bassa, close to Porta Nuova and the stylish Via Sentierone, consider the elegant Hotel Cappello d’Oro in Viale Papa Giovanni XXIII.
While you are there, sample some Bergamo specialities in the restaurants, such as casoncelli alla bergamasca and polenta taragna. Then sip some of the delicious local Valcalepio wine and the winter blues will soon be a thing of the past.


Lombardy and the Italian Lakes book devotes space to describing Bergamo

Take a look at Best of Bergamo's online Book Shop

Although Bergamo is one of Lombardy’s main cities, very few guide books about the region tend to cover it in depth.
Travel writers usually focus on Milan and the lakes that are the most popular with tourists, such as Garda and Como.
However, Lombardy and the Italian Lakes by Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls proves to be a welcome exception.
The seventh edition of this classic from Cadogan Guides devotes 25 pages to Bergamo and places of interest just outside the city.
There is no attempt to write off the Città Bassa (lower town) as of little interest, in the way other guide books have done in the past. Instead the writers describe it as ‘wide and stately’ and there is a useful run down of the churches, interesting buildings and art treasures that can be seen.
They say: ‘The view of the Città Alta, its domes and towers rising boldly on the hill against a backdrop of mountains, is one of the most arresting urban views in Italy’ and then go on to take a detailed look at what there is to see after you have made the ascent on either the funicular or bus.
Outside Bergamo they recommend visiting San Pellegrino Terme, once a fashionable spa town, Oneta, supposedly the birthplace of Arlecchino (Harlequin) and Cornello del Tasso, a medieval stopping-off point for merchants on their way to Bergamo.
The guide book shows due respect for Lago d’Iseo, pointing out that though it is only the fifth largest of the Italian lakes, it is one of the first for charm. There are ten pages covering the resorts around the lake, Valle Camonica to the north and the Franciacorta wine growing area.
With plenty of hotel and restaurant recommendations, Lombardy and the Italian Lakes makes useful reading if you are planning to explore Bergamo and its surroundings or Lago d’Iseo.


Italy’s image under scrutiny in Bergamo

An exhibition poster
An exhibition to celebrate 150 years of Italian unity by examining the image of Italy abroad is currently being shown in Bergamo.
The Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea (GAMEC) is exhibiting works by 200 Italian and international artists covering a multitude of visual expressions of Italy.
The exhibition Il Belpaese dell’arte – etiche ed estetiche della nazione (The beautiful country of art – ethics and aesthetics of the nation) runs until 19 February, 2012.
The exhibition explores art, cinema, literature and Italian products to examine Italy’s image in elite and popular culture throughout the world since the 18th century.

How to find GAMEC

The gallery is at number 53 Via San Tomaso in the Città Bassa (lower town) and is a short walk from Via Sentierone in the centre. Leave along Via Torquato Tasso past the Church of San Bartolomeo. Turn left into Via Pignolo and walk uphill in the direction of the Città Alta (upper town) until you reach Piazzetta del Delfino. Turn right into Via San Tomaso and you will find the gallery on the right hand side before you reach Piazza Carrara at the end of the street.

Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday 10.00 – 19.00; Thursday 10.00 – 22.00. Closed Mondays.


Petronilla Hotel has transformed traditional palace

Petronilla Hotel
In the heart of Bergamo’s Città Bassa (lower town), close to the historic Piazza Pontida, the smart Petronilla Hotel occupies a 19th century palazzo.
But although the hotel building in Via San Lazzaro dates back to 1853, the Petronilla has a modern, uncluttered décor and colourful, contemporary furniture. There are 12 guest rooms, some of which have balconies, walk-in wardrobes or jacuzzi tubs.
The Petronilla also has a wellbeing and relaxation room with gym equipment and a sauna.Guests can sit and relax in either the lounge or the courtyard garden and there is wifi access throughout the hotel.
Petronilla Hotel is in the quiet neighbourhood of Borgo San Leonardo, but is within walking distance of Porta Nuova and stops for the buses that run between the Città Alta (upper town) and the railway station and Bergamo Caravaggio Airport at Orio al Serio.
Check prices and availability:
Guests can also walk in just a few minutes to nearby Piazza Pontida, where there is a good choice of shops, bars and restaurants. And by leaving the square along Via Sant’Alessandro it is possible to walk up the hill to Porta San’ Giacomo, one of the gates into the Città Alta.

Map and street view:

View Larger Map
Bergamo Main Sights         Bergamo Hotels         Fly to Bergamo



Get away from it all on Monte Isola

Peschiera Maraglio at the foot of Monte Isola
Only a few kilometres from Bergamo in the middle of Lago d’Iseo lies an island that provides a perfect escape from the modern world.
If you would like to experience unspoilt, natural scenery and enjoy some peace and quiet for a day, head for Monte Isola, a green oasis where there are hardly any cars.
The largest lake island not only in Italy but in the whole of central and southern Europe, Monte Isola can often be seen by passengers about to land at Bergamo's Caravaggio (Orio al Serio) airport as Lago d'Iseo sits under the flightpath of many incoming aircraft. The island rises to a peak of about 600 metres above the surface of the lake.
Relax by the peaceful lake shore
There are several points around Lago d’Iseo from where you can take a ferry to Monte Isola, but the shortest crossing is from Sulzano on the Brescia side of the lake.
Take the train from Bergamo to Brescia and then change to the local Ferrovienord train that runs along the side of the lake in the direction of Edolo. It will pass through the resort of Iseo before it reaches Sulzano. It is a short walk from the railway station in Sulzano to the imbarcadero (jetty), where you can buy boat tickets and get tourism information leaflets. After a few minutes on the ferry you will be disembarking at Peschiera Maraglio, an old fishing village on Monte Isola.
You will see rows of motorbikes and bicycles belonging to residents close to the landing stage. Only a few important people on the island, such as the doctor and the mayor, are allowed cars.
You can choose either to walk round the island using the peaceful paths that run alongside the lake or hire a bicycle to get around on.  A complete circuit of the island will take you only about two hours.
Tempting fish specialities at Ristorante Milano
If you want lunch before you set off to explore, a good place to try is Ristorante Milano on the waterfront near Peschiera’s Tourist Office, which serves fresh fish caught from the lake.
From Peschiera Maraglio it is a comfortable walk to the other side of the island and Monte Isola’s main village, Siviano. The path runs through olive groves and you will see lovely views of the lake and of another, smaller island, Isola di San Paolo, as you walk. It takes about an hour on foot to reach Piazza Municipio in Siviano where there is a bar for refreshments.
Isola di San Paolo
From there, it is a short walk down to the imbarcadero below Siviano, from where the boats leave for Tavernola Bergamasca on the Bergamo side of the lake. From the pretty resort of Tavernola Bergamasca you can catch a bus back to Bergamo.
Or, you can ride back to Peschiera Maraglio on the island’s small bus, which leaves from Piazza Municipio, to take the boat back to Sulzano from where you can return by train to Brescia.

Bergamo Main Sights         Bergamo Hotels         Fly to Bergamo


Capodanno in Bergamo

A popular restaurant in Bergamo
New Year’s Day is called Capodanno in Italy, which literally means ‘head of the year’.
After a late start following the New Year’s Eve festivities, many families will enjoy another traditional feast together, either at home or in a restaurant.
Both visitors to Bergamo and residents will attend church services before sitting down to a festive meal and toasting the new year with a glass of good prosecco.
Buon Anno e Tanti Auguri per 2012 da Best of Bergamo!

Language note

Tanti auguri is the Italian phrase that is equivalent to 'best wishes' in English.

Bergamo Main Sights         Bergamo Hotels         Fly to Bergamo