Italy 2022 – Bergamo

Our next stop: the Medieval town of Bergamo. The city dates back to 49 BC and is really two cities in one. There is the upper city or Città Alta and the lower city of Città Bassa. The lower town is the more modern town and up top is the quaint old town. The two cities are connected via funiculars and walking trails. We are staying in and exploring the Città Alta.

To get there, we had a nice relaxing train ride. It took just under an hour to get there. Rather than trying to haul our luggage on the bus and funicular, we decided to just take a taxi. The line was somewhat long and the taxis seemed scarce, so I gave Uber a try and it worked.

We had heard that Uber is not available everywhere in Italy, so we were lucky to connect. Our driver, Franco, whisked us up to the Citta Alta in fifteen minutes. We walked the last 100 meters to the hotel since the street was too narrow for the car to fit.

Our hotel was the Gombit Hotel and it was wonderful. Quite the contrast with our last hotel. Our room is on the third floor and is really great. It feels like a small apartment rather than a hotel room.

We needed to rest when we arrived as I have caught a cold. Though it will slow us down a little bit, it won’t stop us from exploring Bergamo.

I can not even begin to describe how quaint the town is. The cobblestone streets are a little tough on the tootsies, but the herringbone brick streets make for good walking.

Our first night’s dinner was at Trattoria Sant Ambroseus. It is literally right around the corner from our hotel in the beautiful Piazza Vecchia. The piazza was lit and lively with people enjoying the beautiful evening.

We were seated and started with a glass of prosecco while we looked over the menu. Everything looked delicious and from the tables around us, it all smelled good too! On this evening, Sue started with casoncelli and then followed it up with roasted rabbit with polenta. I had the casoncelli to start and the veal cutlet as my main. On the waiter’s recommendation, we tried a bottle of Barbariccia, produced locally and a nice pairing for our meal.

We finished up dinner with tiramisu and a glass of a moscato based dessert wine, then strolled back to the hotel to relax.

We woke up the next morning and were getting ready to leave for breakfast when there was a knock on the door. We must have checked the wrong box as it was room service with our breakfast. She came in, set up our table and left us with a very nice breakfast. What a nice treat.

Breakfast in the room

Afterwards, we went out to explore a little bit. The Main Street runs from the funicular from the city below all the way down to the funicular that takes you up to the Voglie. A small park with great site lines over the area. The street is lined with little shops, restaurants, bars and piazzas. The cross streets are where you find the residential area and the churches.

Being a hilltop town, there were lots of stairs and lots of inclines – we never seemed to find a path that led to a decline.

After our walk we needed a little boost, so we found the local gelateria and indulged. Sue was thrilled with a scoop each of pistachio and chocolate, while I enjoyed a mix of chocolate-hazelnut and banana.

There’s a little park next to our hotel with an interesting history, so we found a couple chairs and just enjoyed the shade for a while.

Bergamo was holding a landscape exhibition while we were there. That was the reason for the extra flowers and small displays around town – including in the park I mentioned.

Back in the 1800’s, there was a communal wash station set up and it is said that the women would meet there and do their laundry. There was no plumbing in the buildings in the old days, so this was a necessity. Today it is but a rememberance of days gone by.

Dinner was at Enoristorante La Tana, just a short downhill walk from our hotel. It was a warm, humid evening and the bugs were buzzing – making us their dinner! Yikes!

Our meals were both very good. Our Prosecco starter, then an Il VioLino Essenza Red wine went well with our dinners. Sue had Ravioli San Allesandra and then a pork roll and sausage with polenta. I had the casoncelli and then – Pata Negra – a roasted pork loin with crispy potatoes and a chimichurra sauce. Sue finished with a tiramisu and I had an apple torte.

After a filling dinner and with the humid air, the walk back up felt like an Olympic Trial. There would be showers tonight if we were going to be comfortable sleeping.

Went down to breakfast and then out for a walk. Today’s quest was to buy some tissues. We walked from one end of the town to the other and couldn’t find any place that sold tissues.

Though the weather forecast said it would be rainy, we actually only received a few sprinkles a couple times during the day. We were able to sit in the park and stay dry under the trees in the afternoon, while others were gingerly navigating the cobblestones.

By dinner time, the skies were pretty clear and we ate outside at Ristorante da Franco. When we arrived, we had our choice of any table we wanted. Within twenty minutes, there were no tables left outside or inside the restaurant.

The menu had some different choices available and we were ready for a little change. Sue ended up having Ossobuco and I went with a grilled steak. A bottle of Ripasso paired nicely and we enjoyed our evening. Since the portions were fairly large, we even skipped dessert tonight.

We took a last stroll through town on the way back to the hotel. It’s hard to believe that we will be leaving in the morning.

In the morning we cleaned up, finished packing and headed down to check out. The hotel called for a taxi and ten minutes later we were on our way to the train station. We will start our journey by taking a train to Milan, where we will meet our driver to Alba.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Just a quick thought I wanted to share with you. People have been amazed and delighted that we are visiting their town just to be tourists. both Brescia and Bergamo are not on many people’s travel itineraries, but should be. The towns are interesting, the people are lovely and the perspective you get about the way people live is so worthwhile.

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2 Responses to Italy 2022 – Bergamo

  1. Patricia Galbo says:

    We’ve been reading your posts and following your adventures. That train strike and the mess it caused sounded bad but being the well seasoned travelers that you are you were able to handle it. Taking the private car service, Uber and taxis, like you have done in the past few days seems like the better way to go! Pete said he was drooling over you dinner choices. I must say they looked delicious.

    Liked by 2 people

    • herktrav says:

      The train strike was a little bit stressful, but in the end it was a learning lesson. I’m getting old though, those snap decisions took two glasses of wine to get over. I have to tell you, we have been pleasantly surprised with all our meals not a dud in the bunch. They are bringing out the white truffles, so the next couple of days should be worth a peek too. Thanks for reading along. I can’t believe we finished up two weeks already.

      Liked by 1 person

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