Bergamo, Italy: Forget MILAN! Just stay in Bergamo.

Bergamo is a city located nearby Milan. I think most of Ryan Air flights are landed and departed from Bergamo Airport instead of Milan. This city is not far away from Milan. From Bergamo airport you can catch a direct bus to Milan for about 8 euros, you can buy the bus ticket on the plane, Ryan Air crew will offer you the ticket during your flight. Another way to go to Milan is by train from Bergamo central station to Milan central station. It costs you for about 7,5 euros. The journey will take about 50-60 minutes if you use the train and maybe more if you use the bus.

I visited Bergamo last month. It was actually a short transit for my trip to Cinque Terre because my flight was from Eindhoven to Bergamo. I was planning to stay in Milan because we had to catch the train from Milan to Cinque Terre in the morning and I thought that nothing’s interesting in Bergamo, which turned out to be TOTALLY WRONG!

My plan to stay in Milan was canceled because the hostels in Milan are way much expensive than in Bergamo and I was afraid that my flight will be delayed and I will arrive in Italy at night. So I decided to just stay in Bergamo instead. I didn’t plan anything to travel around the city, I didn’t do my research so I didn’t expect anything interesting from the city. I arrived in Bergamo around 3 p.m. and I went directly to the hostel. I had again a terrible experience for a hostel in Italy after my experience in Rimini last winter. This hostel is just an apartment with 3 rooms in it. The building was locked when I arrived. There’s a phone number on the gate but who cares? I couldn’t use my phone in Italy! Thank God, there’s a very nice man who owned a laundry shop besides this building. He helped me to call the hostel owner and allowed me to wait inside his laundry shop. He is a Chinese, he cannot speak English but his kindness and generosity melted my heart. We talked using body language like we understand what we were talking. It was totally fun. After the hostel owner arrived, we had some conversation and she suggested me to see Citta Alta it means the Upper Town of Bergamo.

Where to Go

1. Citta Alta

Bergamo city is divided into Upper and Lower Town. The Upper town which is called Citta Alta in italian language is a very beautiful old Bergamo town. From Bergamo central station you just need to walk straight ahead for about 30 minutes to be at Citta Alta funicular station. This funicular is a train which connects Bergamo lower and upper town, I went there during sunset so the view was so amazing. If you’re lazy to walk, you can take a bus 1A from Bergamo station and you’ll be at the funicular station for about 5-7 minutes.  A one day ticket is available for 5 Euros. you can use it for trams, bus, and funiculars in the city. Or you can just buy 90 minutes ticket for about 2,3 Euros.

Things to do in Citta Alta, visit:

  • A Piazza Vecchia (Old Square) in here you can see the city from above if you climb to the top of the Civic Tower or Campanone 
  • A Civic tower / Campanone (1100 AD), Campanone means a great bell. Go up and see the city from above.  In the old time, every night this bell rang hundred times to remind the people to close and lock the door.
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Piazza Vecchia and the Civic Tower
  • Santa Maria Maggiore Bassilica (1137 AD) 
  • Colleoni Chapel (1407 AD) do not forget to look on the gate for Colleoni coat of arms with the 3 testicles and it is believed it’ll bring luck to those who touch them
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Colleoni Chapel and Santa Maria Maggiore Bassilica
  • Venetian Walls, from here you can watch the Bergamo lower town from above. The best time to visit this wall is during sunset! A reddish sky and busy town from above is just too perfect to be missed. too bad that it was already dark when I got there.

Besides those things above, Citta Alta has a beautiful pathway which I enjoy the most!

 

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Citta Alta Pathway

 

2. Bergamo Lower Town

In the lower town, you can walk down to the center of the city. There’s a nice park and restaurant nearby to just spend your evening here. It was not that expensive to have a very delicate Italian food in a very nice place.

Where to Stay

There are plenty number of rooms in Bergamo. I had 2 times transit before and after my trip to Cinque Terre. I used 2 different hostels.

1. Casalino Central Room

Price: ~30 EUR/Night/Person

Pick Up Key: None

Breakfast: Self Service, Included

Room: 1 room with a private bathroom, 2 rooms with a share bathroom

Location: 10 minutes walk from Bergamo central station

Link : Click here to see the hostel

This hostel is located in the heart of Bergamo lower town. It is very strategic. 10 minutes walk from Bergamo central station and 5 minutes walk to Bergamo lower town centrum. Though it is located near the centrum, this hostel is quite far from the crowd so you can sleep away from the noise of the traffic. This hostel is an apartment with 3 rooms in it. it is equipped with a kitchen and some food and drinks for your breakfast. It’s a nice place to stay if you have to catch a very early morning train to Milan. It’s just you have to be prepared that the owner is not always in the hostel. So, most likely you will arrive at the apartment building locked unless you call the owner before you arrive. I don’t recommend you to stay here in the last day of your trip, except you can call the owner with your phone everything will be just fine.

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The hostel owner phone number
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Closed Apartment Building, Casalino Room is on the 3th floor
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A very nice Chinese man who helped me to call the hostel owner

2. Center Moroni

Price: ~32 EUR/Night/Person

Pick Up Key: CityHub Office, in front of Bergamo Station up to 1 a.m. in the middle of the night

Breakfast : Self Service, Included

Room: Nice! There’s a room with a private jacuzzi too

Location: 15-20 minutes walk from Bergamo central station

Link : Click here to see the hostel

This hostel is an apartment in the lower town of Bergamo. A very nice thing is this hostel is connected with CityHub. The CityHub office is located just in front of Bergamo station. They will email you 2-3 days before your arrival to let you know how to get the keys and everything. The best thing is that you can pick the key up in The CityHub office until 1 a.m, just in case you have a plan to arrive in Bergamo in the middle of the night from another trip. The CityHub staff is very nice and informative. She gave me lots of information about Bergamo city. Too bad that’s actually my last day in Bergamo. She handed me the airport bus schedule which I needed the most because I had to catch my flight back to The Netherlands in the next day.

Oh! Breakfast is included, you can prepare your breakfast in the apartment. There are plenty of food so don’t worry.

Because it was my last day of my trip, so I decided to rent a room with a PRIVATE JACUZZI. Ah with this kind of price, this hostel is totally worth the money.

That’s all for Bergamo. I personally love this city. This city is not that big like Milan and not that small. It’s very clean and tourists friendly. You can download the CityHub application from app store or play store before if you want to have some research before going to Bergamo. The city is equipped with Wifi in most of tourists area so don’t worry you’ll get connected. All bus and train schedule can be asked at CityHub office. They also can give you a free ap if you want! So my recommendation for you If you are landed in Bergamo, just forget Milan! just stay and enjoy Bergamo at its best. Ciao!

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