‘There is more time than life. Do not rush, live for the moment. Look, life will be over, but time remains.’ Quote by Gabriella Zaffanella, Italian writer
A half-day visit to Bergamo – Let’s just say that have booked the return flight for the late afternoon. Let’s say you’ve already seen the famous Milan and explored other beautiful cities like Mantua or Cremona. In short, let’s just say you still have 5 or 6 hours to spend, a half-day vacation to enjoy before returning home. Why do you have to wait at Milan Bergamo Airport when there is still so much to visit? You cannot leave without first seeing the splendid city of Bergamo.
Of course, maybe you will ask yourself, ‘how can you possibly visit a city in half a day?’ The answer is simpler than expected… if you plan your itinerary!
Here we go: we’ve divided the last day of vacation in 3 mini-tours and we’ve pretended to have to get back to the airport at 16.30. In this way, you will take your 6pm flight at your leisure, and bring home more memories to share with family and friends. Enjoy!
A half-day visit to Bergamo: where to start
1) First Mini Tour
Old Square, Civic Tower and Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica tour
Let’s start our flash visit from the ancient part of Bergamo, the beautiful Upper Town. If you take the cable car that passes through the imposing Venetian walls, you will go back in time and you will have the chance to admire some fascinating buildings dating back to the medieval period.
For example, the Campanone, the tallest Civic Tower and its historic bells that every night, at 10pm, clang a hundred times, reminding the inhabitants of the closing doors. The Old Square is also the beating heart of the Upper Town, where you will admire the marvellous Fountain of Contarini, built in 1780, and the majestic Palazzo della Ragione. The Church of S. Maria Maggiore is equally beautiful and enchanting: inside, there are several Lotto’s masterpieces, Gaetano Donizetti’s tomb, and the confessional in baroque style carved by Andrea Fantoni.
A half-day visit to Bergamo: the importance of Bartolomeo Colleoni
2) Second Mini Tour
Colleoni Chapel, Corsarola and Colle Aperto tour
Let’s continue our journey to the Colleoni Chapel. This mausoleum is dedicated to Bartolomeo Colleoni, the famous general-captain of the Republic of Venice during the XV century. According to the legend, whoever touches the family’s coat of arms, which depicts three testicles, will be blessed by luck. A few steps away there is Corsarola, the main street of the Upper Town, where you can admire shimmering showcases with beautifully elegant dresses, handicrafts and local delicacies.
A perfect path for a pleasant stroll — visit our high fashion boutiques, restaurants and gastronomy shops. Once in Colle Aperto, take a break in the Botanical Garden, which focus on alpine and Mediterranean flora, and get an ice-cream at La Marianna, the popular ice-cream and pastry shop that it is said to be the birthplace of the famous “stracciatella” flavour. A place full of charm and wonder where you can have a quick snack before continuing your adventure.
A half-day visit to Bergamo: Arts and Museums
3) Third Mini Tour
Venetian walls, Accademia Carrara, Gamec and Sentierone tour
The last stop of our itinerary leads to the majestic Venetian walls, which has 4 imposing entrance doors, 14 bastions and 6 kilometres of perimeter. From here you will reach the area where art plays an essential role. Passing through Saint Agostino gate, you will arrive at the Accademia Carrara, a fascinating art gallery and an academy of fine arts.
Further on there is the GAMeC, the Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art, which regularly hosts exhibitions and one of a kind events. Then, you will then enjoy a beautiful walk on the Sentierone and the discovery of Via XX Settembre, visiting the characteristic places of Lower Town, the most modern part of Bergamo.
It’s already afternoon and, with all this wandering, we were a whisker away from losing the track of time: it’s time to get back to the airport! From the city centre, you can take the shuttle that connects Bergamo directly with Orio al Serio. Half a day has already passed, but the memory of these hours is still alive. And this is a good reason to come back to Bergamo soon, and appreciate it again!