Visiting Bergamo is like diving head first into a fairy tale. A city with ancient origins in the Lombardy region of northern Italy, it was once a Celtic settlement before the arrival of the Romans in 39 B.C. Just take a walk through the narrow streets to uncover a timeless tradition, amazing food, and warm hospitality that’ll make you want to start looking for your own house here. Next time you make your way to Italy, it might be a good idea to stop by.

1

Bergamo sunrise

The view of Upper Bergamo as the sun rises beats any espresso. Take a stroll in the early morning or late afternoon to catch the rays over the iconic skyline. Photo: @marinforcella

2

Bergamo cable cars

Cable cars will take you to the Upper City if you don’t feel like walking off all the gelato. Catch this historic funicular in Viale Vittorio Emanuele II 62 to head up in style for some incredible views. You can buy a ticket there on the spot. Photo: @marinforcella

3

Motorino

Seeing the city by scooter is a great way to explore on your own time. You can rent your own “motorino”, but here in Bergamo you can get around quite easily using public transportation or on foot. Photo: @seb_gordon

4

Upper Bergamo

Take a walk through Upper Bergamo to witness the historical significance of the city while wandering the old cobblestone streets. Entering Piazza Vecchia is definitely an experience and it’s no wonder that Le Corbusier once said of the plaza: “you can’t move a single stone, it would be a crime.” Photo: @seb_gordon

5

Upper Bergamo

There are many paths that will take you to viewpoints like this over Upper Bergamo. My advice: get lost and enjoy the adventure, even better if it’s with a special someone. The narrow streets and panoramas make for a great romantic experience. Photo: @sanneb10

6

The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore

The quintessential view of Bergamo. The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore is in the center of Upper Bergamo, where you’ll discover countless buildings dating back to the 12th century. Here you can also enjoy an incredible sunset and happy hour in one of the many locales in the plaza just below. Photo: @sanneb10

7

Inside the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore

Be sure to visit Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore before 6 PM when it closes and while there’s still light to admire all the details. If you’re visiting in the summer, remember to dress accordingly or bring something to cover up -- shorts and tank tops aren’t allowed. Photo: @carnetsdetraverse

8

The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore

At the center of Upper Bergamo, the Colleoni Chapel and the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore (seen here), as well as Piazza Vecchia just around the corner are great places to get a feel of the vibrant city. Happy hour in the area is definitely a good idea. Photo: @m89m

9

Pasticceria Cavour

Pasticceria Cavour for a sweet stop. Polenta and Osei (left) are a traditional pastry made with sponge cake, cream, and marzipan. There are plenty of small and cozy cafes to stop in to pass the afternoon with a nice coffee, pastry, or snack. Photo: @carnetsdetraverse

10

Café del Tasso

History is important here, and places like Café del Tasso keep the tradition alive and kicking with great classical dishes. Bergamo is a great mix of cultures and populations, as the city changed rule throughout the centuries. Photo: @carnetsdetraverse

11

Casoncelli

Casoncelli, or Casonsei in local dialect, are to die for. The traditional pasta, which is unique to the city, is filled with ground meat, amaretti, and more before being served with melted butter and sage. You’re going to want to ask for the recipe... Try these at Trattoria del Teatro.

12

Stracciatella

The “Stracciatella” flavor was invented here in Bergamo at La Marianna Ristorante, and you can’t leave without grabbing a cup or cone.

13

Piazza Cittadella

Bergamo was once a part of the Republic of Venice and you can still see the remnants of its rich past. Head to Piazza Cittadella for a full immersion. Photo: @seb_gordon

14

Grand Hotel on the Brembo River

While it might look like the Grand Budapest Hotel, the abandoned Grand Hotel on the Brembo River is just under an hour from the city and can be admired in San Pellegrino Terme, great for a weekend to relax and unwind. Photo: @carnetsdetraverse

15

Casino of San Pellegrino Terme

The red carpet is always rolled out here at the Casino of San Pellegrino Terme, just across the way from the Grand Hotel. Pop in and get a taste of the luxurious and refined atmosphere. Photo: @emilio.turco

16

San Pellegrino Terme

Hanging in the pool on the terrace at the San Pellegrino Terme -- the perfect way to unwind after a long day of exploring. Photo: @luciafernandezmuniz

17

San Pellegrino Terme

They take relaxation seriously here and there are plenty of comfortable (and creative) lounge areas. Photo: @carnetsdetraverse

18

Upper Bergamo

The Venetian Walls that surround Upper Bergamo are also in the running to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site by 2017. That would make it the 11th UNESCO site in the region.

19

Bergamasque Alps

Last but not least, just outside the city you’ll run into the Bergamasque Alps. Here there are plenty of opportunities to ski (check out Foppolo), relax, and just take in the views. Photo: Diego Bedeschi

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