Bergamo, located in the Lombardy region of Italy, is a beautiful and historic city that is often overlooked by tourists. However, with its charming old town, picturesque landscapes and delicious local cuisine, Bergamo is definitely worth a visit. In this travel guide, we’ll provide you with tips and recommendations for spending 3 days in Bergamo, including what to see and do, where to stay and eat, and even free tours you can take to make the most of your trip.
Day 1: Exploring the Old Town
The old town of Bergamo, known as Città Alta, is the heart of the city and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can spend the whole day exploring this beautiful area, which is full of historic buildings, narrow streets and stunning views. Some of the must-see places in Città Alta include:
- Piazza Vecchia – This beautiful square is the heart of Città Alta and is surrounded by historic buildings and monuments, including the Palazzo della Ragione and the Torre del Campanone.
- Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore – This stunning church is one of the most beautiful examples of Baroque architecture in Italy, with its intricate facade and ornate interior.
- Rocca di Bergamo – This historic fortress offers amazing views of the city and the surrounding landscape, and is also home to the Museo Civico Archeologico.
- Cappella Colleoni – This small chapel is a masterpiece of Renaissance architecture, with its intricate facade and beautiful interior.
After a day of exploring, you can relax in one of the many restaurants and cafes in Città Alta, such as La Marianna or Osteria della Funicolare, both of which offer delicious local cuisine.
Day 2: Day Trip to Lake Iseo
On your second day in Bergamo, you can take a day trip to Lake Iseo, which is located just a short distance from the city. This beautiful lake is surrounded by picturesque landscapes and charming towns, and there are plenty of things to see and do here. Some of the highlights of a visit to Lake Iseo include:
- Monte Isola – This small island in the middle of the lake is a popular destination for hiking and cycling, and is home to several charming villages.
- Franciacorta Wine Region – This famous wine region is located near Lake Iseo and offers wine tastings and tours of local vineyards.
- Pisogne – This charming town on the shores of Lake Iseo is known for its beautiful churches and traditional architecture.
- Lovere – This picturesque town is located at the northern end of Lake Iseo and is home to the beautiful Santa Maria in Valvendra church.
After a day of exploring, you can return to Bergamo and have dinner at one of the city’s many great restaurants. Some popular options include Da Mimmo and Trattoria Sant’Orsola.
Day 3: Modern Bergamo and Foodie Tour
On your final day in Bergamo, you can explore the modern part of the city and discover some of its culinary delights. Here are some ideas for what to do:
- Città Bassa – This is the modern part of Bergamo, where you can find trendy shops, restaurants and cafes. Some popular areas to explore include Via XX Settembre and Piazza Pontida.
- Bergamo Market – This bustling market is held every Friday and Saturday in Piazza della Libertà, and is a great place to sample local produce and street food.
- Foodie Tour – You can take a guided tour of Bergamo’s best foodie spots, including traditional bakeries, gelaterias and cheese shops.
- Bergamo Cathedral – This beautiful cathedral is located in Città Bassa and features stunning artwork and architecture.
For lunch or dinner, you can try some of Bergamo’s famous dishes, such as casoncelli pasta or polenta e osei. Some great places to eat include Hostaria da Franz and Terrazza Colleoni.
Where to Stay in Bergamo
Bergamo offers a wide range of accommodation options, from budget-friendly hostels to luxury hotels. Some popular areas to stay include Città Alta, which offers historic charm and stunning views, and Città Bassa, which is more modern and convenient for shopping and dining. Here are some recommendations:
- B&B Entro Le Mura – This charming bed and breakfast is located in the heart of Città Alta and offers comfortable rooms and a delicious breakfast.
- Relais San Lorenzo – This luxury hotel is located in a historic building in Città Alta and features elegant rooms, a spa and a rooftop terrace with panoramic views.
- Best Western Hotel Piemontese – This modern hotel is located in Città Bassa and offers comfortable rooms and a convenient location.
- La Castellana B&B – This budget-friendly bed and breakfast is located in Città Bassa and offers simple rooms and a great location for exploring the city.
Where to Eat in Bergamo
Bergamo is known for its delicious cuisine, which features traditional dishes such as polenta, casoncelli pasta and polenta e osei. There are plenty of great restaurants and cafes in the city where you can try these dishes and more. Here are some recommendations:
- La Marianna – This popular restaurant in Città Alta offers traditional Bergamo cuisine and a cozy atmosphere.
- Osteria della Funicolare – This charming restaurant in Città Alta offers delicious food and stunning views of the city.
- Da Mimmo – This family-run restaurant in Città Bassa offers a wide range of traditional Italian dishes and a warm atmosphere.
- Trattoria Sant’Orsola – This rustic restaurant in Città Bassa offers delicious homemade pasta and other traditional dishes.
What is the best time of year to visit Bergamo?
The best time to visit Bergamo is during the spring or fall, when the weather is mild and the crowds are smaller. However, the city is beautiful year-round and even in the summer, when it can be hot and crowded, there is plenty to see and do.
Is it easy to get around Bergamo?
Yes, Bergamo is a small city and most of the main attractions are within walking distance. There are also buses and funiculars that connect Città Alta and Città Bassa.
Are there any free tours in Bergamo?
Yes, there are several free walking tours available in Bergamo that are led by local guides. Check out the official tourism website of Bergamo for more information.
What is the food like in Bergamo?
Bergamo is known for its delicious cuisine, which features traditional dishes such as polenta, casoncelli pasta and polenta e osei. There are also plenty of options for pizza, gelato and other Italian specialties.
Is Bergamo a safe city for tourists?
Yes, Bergamo is generally a safe city for tourists. However, as with any city, it’s important to take basic safety precautions, such as keeping an eye on your belongings and avoiding unlit areas at night.
Tip: For more information and to plan your trip to Bergamo, visit the official tourism website of Bergamo.