We’ve made no secret of our love of Bergamo, a stunning walled medieval town (with a more modern lower town) in Lomabrdy, usually over shadowed by Milan. Which for us is good, because it means we can hopefully keep it as our little secret a bit longer.
However, we don’t feel it’ll be a secret for that much longer. When we first started visiting Bergamo, the airport was a bit grotty and generally used as the cheaper option for people going onto Milan. We’d be part of a small group of people – most of whom were locals – doing the quick journey into Bergamo, and we’d always feel a bit smug about our “secret”. But, the airport has now expanded and inproved beyond recognition – sleep capsules, and best of all, a whole section in departures devoted to the Lombardy Slow Food Movement. Not only the best airport food we’ve ever had, but also so aching, stylishly designed, that it can only be Italian. So, yes, we think the secret will definitely be out – but do you know what? Good things are worth sharing.
Our lastest visit was a couple of weeks ago. These days, we don’t fly. We drive, from our new home in Istria, northern Croatia, which still excites us greatly. It’s a bit of a drive – taking into account we need to go through Slovenia and then loop aound the Gulf of Venice, and depending on traffic it can take about five hours. So, we tend to do a stop-over and this time we took in Brescia. On other trips, we’ve stayed in Verona and Venice – and because we can be a bit more flexible more, we can find some amazing bargains, especially out of season. All to be shared on here, so that you too, can experience a bit of what we’re finding out. We’re good like that 😉
In the past we’ve stayed in Citta Bassa, the newer (although we’re still talking 200/300 years old) town, on the lower plain, thinking places in Citta Alta would be out of our budget. Wrong! Everywhere we’ve stayed in Alta has been reasonably priced and you just can’t beat the thrill of staying somewhere just so perfect. This time we booked for one night into Bergamo Alta Apartment via Booking.com – we’re not on commission from them, it’s simply that we seem to get the best deals from this site. Checking in was a bit unusual – you pick up the keys from the City Hub office, just opposite the train station in the lower town. Like the airport, this area has been completely renovated and what was once a very scruffy and down at heel part of town, is now very stylish, clean and modern. However, all was seamless and we were quickly on our way – with a parking permit too, which is a real plus for this apartment, as there are parking restrictions in Alta.
The location is excellent – Piazza Lorenzo Mascheroni – right in the heart of the old town, and situated on the first floor of a traditional (and very old) Italian town house. And, it is a stunner! I’ll just let the pictures do the talking…
They are real, proper exposed frescoes on the walls!
The apartment is suitable for four people as it has two double bedrooms and a large bathroom. There’s a small, but really well equipped kitchen, cleverly hidden behind a partition in the living room (which has a wood burning fire). Wi-fi is great too, so if you can’t do without your social media fix, it’s great on that front, too. We can’t recommend this place highly enough – and in fact, friends are booked in over half term, based on what we thought of it.
The day/night we were there, at the end of September, coincided with a festival and Bergamo was putting on quite a show. We weren’t there long enough to fully investigate it – there was far too much eating and drinking to be done, and the small matter of Atalanta v Everton to take in – but we did get a fair few snaps of the transformation of Piazza Vecchia and Biblioteca Civica. And the transformation was magically jaw-dropping…
Hope this blog gives you a flavour of how beautiful Bergamo is, and that it tempts you to visit. But, sshhhh…let’s try and keep it a secret for as long as we can.