With picturesque mountains ideal for skiing, sweeping views from its iconic Venetian Walls and plenty of high-end shopping outlets, Bergamo is much more than Italy’s main transport hub.
The best way to kick-start any trip to Bergamo is with a funicular ride up to the medieval upper district of Città Alta.
Let the historic railway system, which is hundreds of years old and designed in the 19th century for steep inclines haul you high into the clouds from the lower, newer district of the city.
The views as you ascend higher and higher inside the passenger car are simply spectacular. Think of the funicular as transporting you from Bergamo’s glittering present to its glorious, historic past.
The first thing you’ll notice once you reach Città Alta is the Venetian Walls that surround Bergamo’s oldest district.
The stone walls dip and weave along the perimeter and it’s here you’ll enjoy breathtaking views of the city below. As you walk along the old walls you’ll come across Bergamo’s City Gate, known as Porta San Giacomo.
A marble gatehouse built in the 16th century, it’s still in fantastic condition and is a perfect representation of Bergamo’s proud, ancient past.
Flying into Bergamo Airport, you can’t help but notice the incredible mountains that surround the province.
The snow-covered Bergamasque Alps dominate the skyline and attract tourists from all across Europe looking for that perfect ski break without breaking the bank.
Looking for an evening of art and entertainment after seeing the sights?
Restoration of Bergamo’s 18th century Teatro Donizetti began in 2017 and it is considered the city’s “house of culture”, attracting visitors all year round.
Uniquely shaped like a horseshoe and named after Bergamo-born composer Gaetano Donizetti, it’s a place of artistic excellence, with ballet shows, jazz performances and opera productions all on offer.
Donizetti is one of Lombardy’s grand opera theatres. With a host of attractive cafés, bars and restaurants also located right next door, it’s the perfect place to spend an evening.
Sports fan? If you get the chance to visit Bergamo, it’s well worth making time to visit the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia, home of the province’s most popular football team, Atalanta.
Nicknamed ‘La Dea’ (the Goddess) Atalanta qualified for the UEFA Champions League for the first time in 2019 after finishing third in Serie A last season — their highest-ever finish.
Atalanta also reached the Coppa Italia final in 2019 and are enjoying one of their greatest-ever periods under manager Gian Piero Gasperini. Tickets for Atalanta home games start at €35 and can be bought at the stadium.
We know, we know: enjoying lunch inside a former prison sounds like a daunting experience, but this is not the case at Il Circolino, which is one of Bergamo’s most trendy restaurants.
Located in the Upper City and run by a socially-inclusive local cooperative, Il Circolino provides all your traditional, delicious Italian dishes like ravioli, pasta, pizza and lasagna.
Despite being housed in a former prison, it boasts a warm, welcoming, friendly atmosphere and is always packed with locals and international visitors alike at lunchtime and dinner.
Best of all the restaurant’s ceilings are covered in ancient frescoes which adds to its unique vibe and style. All of which is complemented by its excellent customer service.
The enchanting ‘Grotte delle Meraviglie’ is a must-see for anyone paying a visit to Bergamo.
Stalactites, stalagmites and white calcareous concretions create an alluring environment which is perfect for an exciting excursion just outside the city.
Uncovered in 1932 and opened seven years later, Zogno's Caves of Wonders became the first touristic caves in Italy.
Uncover hidden marvels underground with a guided tour of the Caves of Wonder in the Brembana Valley.
One of the best things about Bergamo is the city’s fascinating history, especially in the oldest district. The easiest way to see all of its elegant beauty is on foot with a walking tour.
Explore its cobblestone pavements and narrow streets, seeing sites like the Piazza Vecchia square, Santa Maria Maggiore church and Campanone bell tower.
Walking tours in Bergamo are an inexpensive way to truly appreciate its ancient past, architectural marvels and religious sites.
Need a sugar fix after seeing all the sights? Cool off with some traditional Italian gelato.
The most popular flavour in Italy is stracciatella, which is milk-based ice-cream topped off with little shavings of chocolate.
Bergamo has the proud honour of being the original home of stracciatella. The delicious dessert was invented here back in 1961.
After you’ve toured the historical sights, enjoyed your fill of pasta and stracciatella and taken in the views from the Venetian Walls, make a little bit of time to squeeze in some shopping.
While many visitors to the Lombardy region associate Milan with shopping, Bergamo has an array of high-end outlets throughout the city too.
For the best shops, cafés and restaurants go straight to Via XX Settembre. This is the busiest and most vibrant street in the lower district of the city, which is called ‘Città Bassa’.
- For more information on places to see in Lombardy visit in-Lombardia.it