Forty kilometres northeast of Milan, and even closer to Switzerland, in the mountain region of Lombardy - Bergamo is a city of more than 100,000 people in the province by the same name. Like so many modern cities Bergamo sprawls until it melts into Milan and its metropolitan area is home to 500,000. Bergamo Italy is neighbour to the famous alpine lakes: Como and Garda among others.
Directly north of the city of Bergamo are the Bergamo Alps. Bergamo is, in fact, two cities – an upper and a lower city connected by walking trails. Visiting and staying in the Upper City offers panoramic vistas of the Alps and lower city. Bring your ski gear if you want to mingle with the locals. As a medieval village, the upper city is a maze of cobbled streets surrounded by ancient walls. You can ride up and down between the upper and lower cities on the quaint trolley - the Funicular - cable car that rises and falls 85 km over the hills linking the two cities together for more than 120 years. Visit historic Piazza Mercoto Delle Scarpe, named for a market that was situated in the square more than 600 years ago.
For lovers of the architecture of the ages, history, and extraordinary scenery of hills, valleys, and charming plazas, Bergamo Italy is the place for a walking tour of towers and churches. The Church of Santa Maria Maggiore was built in honour of Saint Mary after the people of Bergamo asked for her protection from a plague. The church is located in Piazza del Duomo. With a marble exterior, the Santa Maria is ornately adorned on the inside. Designed by famous Renaissance artist Lorenzo Lotto, décor of wood, stucco, and tapestries make this historic church worth a look.
The Upper City is fortified by ancient Venetian walls which quite luckily remain intact and are a UNESCO world heritage protected beautiful, 6 km scenic walk. Tourists can start the walk at the gate of San Giacomo. To explore the tunnels beneath the walls a tour is required.
When walking, climbing and tunnelling have taken their toll, Bergamo Italy is the place not only for sustenance but to indulge. Try some regional favourites like Casoncelli Bergamaschi. Originally a ravioli-like pasta used to save leftover meats, this stuffed pasta dish has been refined over time to become a splendid dish with a top reputation. Its past includes amaretto biscuits, sultanas, spadona pear and lemon zest. Restaurants and Trattoria throughout Bergamo will have this on offer for locals and tourists alike. For those who just can’t decide between a sweet or salty treat, polenta Osei comes in both varieties. The sweet variety is a corn polenta covering a sweet centre of sponge cake, cream, and chocolate.
Who can resist Bergamo? If not for its undulating hills and valleys and historic walls and churches, its Venetian roots, or broad plazas then surely for the truly unique pasta and polenta treats that await weary travellers who need a sweet and salty refuel before rolling down the road.