Skip Milan, Visit Bergamo: Italy’s Hidden Charm


Bergamo, located in the Lombardy region of Italy, is a city with a rich history and a lively atmosphere. Established in 49 BC by the Celts, it’s now home to over 120,000 people. Yet, despite its unique charm, many tourists skip Bergamo and head to more famous places like Milan.

In this article, we’ll tell you why this often-overlooked town should be on your list when you visit Italy (its not only because stracciatella gelato originated in Bergamo!).

What to see and things to do in Bergamo

Bergamo is divided into two parts – the Città Alta (Upper Town), an old town sitting on a hill, and the Città Bassa (Lower Town), which is more modern and busy.


Città Alta is at the top of a hill, and you can ride a funicular to get there. This area is full of old, beautiful buildings and narrow streets that are fun to walk around. One of the main places to see here is Piazza Vecchia. It’s a big square with a beautiful building called the Palazzo della Ragione and a special fountain called the Contarini Fountain.

Another place to visit in the Upper Town is the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. This church was built in the 1100s, and it’s a great example of an architectural style called Lombardian Romanesque. Inside, you can see beautiful pieces of art like tapestries, frescoes, and wooden inlays.

Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore

The Upper Town is also where you can find the Venetian Walls. These walls were built in the 1600s to protect the city. Now, they’re a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and they offer great views of Bergamo and the nearby areas.

The other side of Bergamo is the Città Bassa, or Lower Town. This part is more modern, and it’s where you’ll find lots of shops, cafes, and restaurants. One of the main places to see here is the Sentierone, a big promenade where people like to walk. There are also nice parks to visit, like Parco Suardi and Parco Sant’Agostino.

For people who love art, there’s the Accademia Carrara in the Lower Town. This art gallery has lots of great art from the Italian Renaissance. Artists like Botticelli, Bellini, and Titian have works here.

Last but not least, Bergamo has some great food to try. Some local dishes include casoncelli, which is a kind of stuffed pasta, and polenta, which is made from cornmeal. And did we mention that straccitella gelato was actually created in Bergamo?


Bergamo has it all: beautiful old buildings, interesting history, great art, and delicious food. Even though many people don’t know about it, it’s a place that’s worth visiting. So, next time you’re planning a trip to Italy, consider adding Bergamo to your list. You might be surprised by what you find!

🏨 Accommodation in Bergamo

For comfortable stay in Bergamo, we recommend Villa dei Venti:

Check out our interactive map below for more hotel deals in Bergamo:

🚗 Car rental in Bergamo

Car rental in Bergamo airport starts from €13 per day. We encourage you to book your car at – the service that we love and use ourselves. Also check out our tips about renting a car.

⚒️ Helpful resources

Compensair can help you claim up to €600 from the airline, if one of the following happened to you:

  • your flight was delayed for more than 3 hours
  • your flight was cancelled in less than 14 days before departure
  • you missed your connection flight and arrived to your final destination more than 3 hours late
  • you were not allowed to board because of overbooking

Necessary prerequisites:

  • delay was not caused by weather or other extraordinary conditions
  • the flights must have taken place within the past 6 years
  • departure from EU or destination in EU or both

Apply for free with Compensair, which operates on a “no win – no fee” model, charging a 25-35% service fee only if you receive compensation. All you need to do is complete a simple application form (takes under a minute), and they will handle the rest. With 7 years of expertise and over 5 million EUR in compensations secured, Compensair maximizes your chances of obtaining the compensation you deserve.

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