I hope you are all keeping well, Easter weekend it’s just gone and despite we achieved so much at home (new patio and decking fitted and more renovations) I must admit I felt really sad to not have been at home in Italy with my family to celebrate Easter, this has been the first time in five years of living abroad that I skipped the Easter trip, and I did feel homesick, I am sure people who live abroad can relate with my feelings…I tried to keep busy with lots of cooking and baking and cuddling the dog but that bloody feeling wasn’t going away!
So…to celebrate my love for my town, why don’t I talk about it? Interested in Bergamo? Here we go!
Bergamo, the undiscovered pearl of Northern Italy
Not that many people know about the existence of Bergamo, for lots of people it is just, “oh yes Milan Bergamo where we can fly into with Ryanair”…Bergamo is much more than a Ryanair route let me tell you.
120’000 People live there, 40km away from Milan using the busy A4 Milano Venezia motorway, 50km away from Brescia and the Lake Garda, 38km away from Lecco (where the Lake Como area begins), 200km to the beautiful city of Venice, well connected internationally with Bergamo Orio al Serio airport and with the most beautiful hilltop medieval town surrounded by defensive walls built by the Venetians to preserve the city in the past from the attacks of the enemies (Bergamo in 1428 fell under the control of the Venetian Republic). Bergamo is known as well as Citta’ dei Mille (city of the thousands, because of its contribution to the Risorgimento, that takes to the Italian unification in 1861).
One of the most visited part of the city is Piazza Vecchia, the old square of the old town, called Citta’ Alta (upper city). This square is always patched with tourists from all over the world and locals, especially the students from the University of Bergamo which is based in the old part of the town. Patisserie, delicatessen shops, restaurants, bars, museums, churches, clothing shops, they is so much history and fun around Citta’ Alta.
Bergamo is a very fashionable city, it does feel the influence of the super fashionable next door neighbour Milano, the young people are image and brands obsessed, they all want to look good and they all want to make a statement everytime they walk into the latest bar to hang out and be seen, the “Bergamaschi” mingle at every occasion, lunch break, aperitif, dinner, after dinner, there is never a good excuse not to enjoy what the city offers!
If you fancy a bit of retail therapy Via XX Settembre it is the place to be, the shopping district of Bergamo bassa (the lower and newer part of Bergamo), you can have a nice and civilised breakfast at Balzer cafe, an institution in the city, you can get the funicular/cable car to go uptown to Citta’ Alta or you can walk up the long staircase that takes you to the old town, crowded with tourists and students…and what about the local food? There are so many local delights in the many trattorias and restaurant around, a must have for me is Casoncelli alla bergamasca (ravioli Bergamo style, stuffed with meat, pinenuts, herbs, amaretti and god knows what’s more) and coniglio con polenta taragna (rabbit with cheesy polenta), after a few days in Bergamo you might be a few pounds heavier but if you visit the city you cannot avoid the food experience that the city has to offer. Bergamo is always been a rich city, thanks to the many companies who used to serve the city and the big extended province of Bergamo. There is something particularly special about the city itself…the people are friendly, always up for a laugh and a drink, the sun does shine quite a lot, you might just need a moped and off you go to discover this beautiful place.
Now you all please book a flight and go to enjoy my beautiful hometown that I love and miss so much!
I am writing this post because I am taking part of Giffgaff International Campaign – The Top Things to Know About Your Hometown
Photo credit by Catherine Coppens Photography