Bergamo is an ancient picturesque town located at the foot of the Alps. The town is notable for its exquisite architecture, ancient history, beautiful natural landscapes and romantic surroundings, annually attracting thousands of tourists. In Bergamo you can find wonderful places released of crowds of tourists, cozy pizzerias with views of the mountain scenery and cafes with delicious cappuccino.
What’s more, you don’t have a big budget for an exciting pastime in the city, and further you will discover a few great ideas of having fun in Bergamo even if you have only 100 euros!
#1 Take a ride to the Upper Town in a cable car
Bergamo’s Upper Town is certainly a pearl of Italian heritage. In fact, you can get there by foot, but if you feel too lazy for that, you can admire the picturesque view of the Lower Town from a cable car.
There are two cable cars. The first one will bring you to the gates of the Upper Town, and another one can take you higher – up to San Vigilio Hill. The stop of the first cable car is located closely to the Central Station. The fare is €1.25
#2 Wander the streets of the Upper Town
Bergamo Alta cable car stops closely to the Old Piazza Vecchia, which is the central square of Bergamo. The architectural appearance of the area has developed in the Middle Ages, and its main attraction is an impressive building of Palazzo della Ragione. Every evening at 10 o’clock you can hear the chime from Torre del Campanone tower, which declares that it’s time to close the city gates. Today it’s just a tradition, reminding that in the old days the city used to be the target of invaders.
#3 Try Spritz in the cafe on the square
After checking out the major sights located on the central square it’s nice to stop for a while in Sant Ambroeus Trattoria and order a glass of Spritz there. Spritz is a typical cocktail of northern Italy, which includes Aperol, Prosecco, Campari, sparkling water and decorated with a piece of orange and green olives. It’s truly a very refreshing drink!
Address: Piazza Vecchia, 2
#4 Visit one of the old palaces
So, after taking a rest in the trattoria you can continue the journey by the Upper Town. While walking along the way you will see the pointers to the palaces of noble families of the Renaissance, like Terzi, Moroni, Medolago-Albani and others. It’s highly advisable to drop in one of them, for example, in the Moroni Palace. From the outside it is quite an ascetic building, but when you get inside, you’ll find yourself in a true palace with all the attributes. In addition, there’s a very beautiful inner garden with a medieval tower, where you can relax in peace and tranquility.
The address of the Moroni Palace: Via Porta Dipinta, 12
Admission fee: €8
# 5 Try La Polenta cake in one of the confectioneries
When walking around the city’s streets, you can’t help noticing delicious yellow cakes decorated with chocolate birds, which are displayed in the windows of local confectionaries.
It’s recommended to try the cake, because it’s Bergamo’s specialty, which costs around €2.5! The taste of the cake is very similar to marzipan, but it’s made of sponge cake, butter cream, and some rum. The birds decorating the cakes are also made of marzipan and covered with chocolate icing.
#6 Try delicious homemade tiramisu at the top of San Vigilio Hill
After sightseeing around the Upper Town, you can take another ride in a cable car which will bring you to Sant Vigilio Hill. When you get there, you will find a wonderful “Baretto di San Virgilio” restaurant located almost opposite the stop. If the weather is nice, you can sit on the terrace of the restaurant and admire the panorama of Lower Town, while enjoying the lunch. By the way, the restaurant has one of the finest collections of wine in Bergamo!
The prices are not that cheap in the establishment, but in this case you may skip the appetizers and the main course, and order the tiramisu, which is incredibly delicious there!
#7 Admire the city scenery from Bergamo’s highest point
After finishing the dessert in the restaurant, you may climb to San Vigilio Castle. One side of the castle overlooks the Lower Town and another one provides a very beautiful view of the valley of the Po River. The observation deck is arranged at the top of the fortress, where you can get by the stone stairs available inside of one of the towers.
Address: Via al Castello San Vigilio, 1
Opening hours: in summer from 9:00 till 20:00; in winter from 10:00 till 16:00
#8 Visit a local zoo
If you have enough time left and you have a rental car at your disposal, you can visit Parco Faunistico Le Cornelle, which is a local zoo, located 10 km away from Bergamo. Le Cornelle is not a typical zoo, but rather a kind of a biological research station. The zoo represents a scientific foundation of Milan University, where the students are engaged in various scientific researches. The visitors of the zoo can walk between the enclosures and participate in one of the numerous tours and lectures. If you don’t have a car, there’s a bus running from Bergamo directly to the zoo in summer.
Address: Via Cornelle, 16, Valbrembo
Admission fee: €9-11
Opening hours: April-October: 9:00 – 19:00; November-March: 09:00 – 17:00
So, if you are traveling to the north of Italy, Bergamo definitely should be included in your route, because it’s not just an Italian city where you can enjoy the time with a small budget, but the real Italy with charming streets and stunning views of the Alps!
Author Bio: Lily Berns likes adventurous trips. She tries to share her views to get effective vacation for readers.