Bergamo – 5-1-09

I awoke at 7 am, having taken a shower the night before and prepared for an early train to Bergamo. Bergamo is a beautiful city consisting of two parts. The old upper city a walled fortress built at the top of a steep hill and the languid lower city stretching off into the plains. Bergamo’s upper city is the real attraction, with its ancient wealth and preserved medieval walls and streets it is an Italian gem.
We arrived at the central station in Bergamo at San Giovanni. We exited and followed the main street up through the lower city. Tree lined and green the lower city is a beautiful example of Italian construction in the last 1-200 years.

After the quick twenty minute walk to the funicular we discovered that due to the may day holiday the funicular was closed and would open at a leisurely 1:45pm. Next came the daunting decision to hike to the upper city. No small feat. We started up the medieval pathway, small cobblestone switchbacks leading us ever higher. Beautiful views of the climb gave us a clear view of the Bergamo valley, the transition from foothills to plains. Low hills opening up to the open grassland beyond.
We arrived at the giant lion’s port, climbed through the portcullis and into the upper city. Walking through the tiny and confuse streets gave the city enormous presence. We stumbled out of the narrow streets onto a larger main street leading to Universitá Bergamo. Next to the university are two churches exhorting the wealth and corruption of men who deemed themselves the mouthpieces of God. One built of white marble and inlaid gold, and another of darker stone with frescos, tapestries, gold, silver, statues and bas relief. Shockingly beautiful and intricate. An amazing testament to art and construction in ages past.

We ate chicken and salami with a cool bottle of wine on a side street hanging off the side of the fortifications. Then hiked back into the city and around the last of the streets. We met the funicular and packed like sardines in a can we decended to the lower city. After exploring Bergamo we headed home and prepared for our departure Saturday morning to Lake Como and our experiences there.
I’ll let my foto’s do the rest of the talking – a beautiful city.