Another perfect day trip from Milan is the town of Bergamo, it’s a beguiling city with Romanesque, Renaissance and Baroque architecture. It’s known for the juxtaposition of it’s upper ancient city- Citta Alta which can be reached at two different levels by funicular and it’s lower, more modern city. There was so much to see here, so leave early in the morning for a full day and plan to return to Milan later in the evening. Trust us -you’ll need a full day! Even better if you can stay over night or take a weekend as it’s one of the most beautiful cities in all of Lombardy and top of our must see list. Below is a short video of our day in Bergamo and continue reading for all you need to know about this wonderful city.
It can also easily be reached from the Milan-Garibaldi train station in a little over an hour with the terminus being Bergamo. Once you arrive in the train station leave the front piazza and you’ll see the old town loaming on the hill above, head straight down the main street to the Funicular which will take you up into the heart of the ancient city. While making your way to the funicular you will be walking through the more modern city which also has so much to explore, you can start here or head straight to the upper town which is how we tackled it and then visit the lower city on our return. On your way to the funicular, stop at one of the cafes that sell a day pass and pick one up. For only $2.50 euros it allows you unlimited hop on/off for the day. You can purchase them right at the funicular station but by buying them at a café you’ll skip a possible line up for tickets and you can head straight into the cue. While you are touring the ‘Citta Alta’ remember that there are two funiculars, the second is towards the back of the first few piazzas and leads to another upper Piazza with spectacular views.
At the top of the second funicular there is a café/restaurant to the left as you exit, it is a great spot to stop for a glass of vino and take it all in. Perched on the top of the mountain you get sweeping views of Bergamo (the lower city) below and supposedly on a clear day you can see all the way to Milan. It was cool so we had a ‘Chocolata Calda’- hot chocolate that is like a piping hot, melted chocolate bar in a cup. Thick like a pudding unlike the North American version which is much thinner, its heaven in a cup (Mamma Mia)!
There is so much to see in just the ancient city that you can easily fill a day here. But don’t forget the lower city, it also has lots to offer and would be a shame to miss. Bergamo has many churches, museums and monuments, many of which you’ll trip upon during your sightseeing or you can map out a day. I won’t bother rehashing what has already been posted, just Google ‘the top 10 things to do in Bergamo’ and you won’t have a shortage of things to see but hopefully we’ve provided the inspiration. Here is a link to the photo gallery.
Our other recommendation for a day trip from Milan is Lake Como and area, the towns of Como, Bellagio and Varenna. If you missed it here is a link.