Day 1. Arriving in Bergamo, Italy

Cristallo Palace Hotel, Bergamo
We were up early as we had booked a 6.00 am flight to Bergamo.  As it was such an early start to the day we fell asleep before take off and didn’t rouse from our slumbers until we were touching down in Bergamo Airport.  In the airport we purchased 72 hour travel passes for the Bergamo area and took a bus into the town centre.  Near the bus station we spotted a McCafe so we had cappuccinos and pastries for breakfast.  Feeling more awake now, we took a bus the short distance to our hotel, The Cristallo Palace on the edge of town.  It was only 11.00 am but we were able to check in and access our room which was a bonus.  It was my third weekend visit to Bergamo but my first to the Cristallo Palace Hotel.

The Funicular
We walked into Bergamo’s new town and discovered a large continental market in the centre.  Apparently it had only arrived today for the weekend, so we were fortunate to have chosen the same time to visit.

Old Town
Walking up the hill, we took the funicular to the old town, this journey taking 6 minutes and covered by the travel pass.   Bergamo’s old town is a delight,  narrow cobbled streets with beautiful old churches set in majestic squares.  Interesting small shops, selling local produce line the roads alongside pizzerias and restaurants.  At the far end of the old town, there is a second funicular up to the tiny hilltop village of San Vigilo.

View from the Old Town
There are two restaurants up here and fine views down to the old town below.   A short walk in the other direction leads to the Castello de San Vigilo.  After returning to the hotel for a rest,  we had dinner in one of the Old Town restaurants then wandered through the continental market before bedtime.


Day 2. A Visit to Milan

After breakfast in the hotel’s restaurant we walked to Bergamo’s railway station and bought return train tickets to Milan.  Trains depart frequently and the journey time is one hour.

On arrival in Milan’s Central Railway Station we marvelled at the ornate hall with its large, curved roof adorned with frescoes and chandeliers.

La Duomo, Milan

We rode the escalator down to the metro and bought day tickets for the Milan transport system.  We then took the metro to Duomo station.  It’s an amazing sight, mounting the station steps and finding ourselves in the main square with its stunning cathedral in front of us and the wonderfully elaborate La Galleria shopping arcade to our left.  There was a lengthy queue to enter the cathedral but this moved quickly and it was only a few minutes until we were inside.  We looked all round then descended into the crypt which was very ornate.

La Galleria, Milan

Our next stop was La Galleria which must rank as one of the world’s most beautiful shopping arcades, filled with high end stores including Armani and Louis Vuitton.  After coffee and cakes we visited La Scala Opera House and the castle with its attractive gardens.

The Castle, Milan

Next, it was time to take a ride on one of Milan’s delightful old trams with their highly polished wooden seats.  We travelled out to an outer suburb, had a little look round there, then took another tram back to the railway station.  The front of this grand station was undergoing renovations during our visit and didn’t look as appealing as I remembered it from my previous visits.

The train back to Bergamo was crowded but we managed to find some of the last remaining seats to rest our legs.

Milan’s old trams

After a short rest at our hotel we decided to have dinner in the hilltop village of San Vigilo at the top of the second funicular.  It took some time to get there but it was worthwhile as the Ristorante Pizzeria San Vigilo had stunning views of the new town below, together with lots of atmosphere as it was very busy being a Saturday evening.  We both had mozzarella and anchovy pizzas which were delicious.

Day 3. A Day at Lake Como

Continue reading “Day 3. A Day at Lake Como”

Day 4. Final morning in Bergamo

We went down to breakfast promptly when the restaurant opened at 7.00 am as we had a morning flight back to the UK.  The Cristallo Palace had been quite a good choice of hotel, rated as a 4 star but probably more of a 3 star standard.  Staff had been friendly and the wifi worked well throughout the hotel.

After gathering our belongings together, we walked to the centre for the bus back to the airport.  Our 72 hour pass bought on our first morning was still valid for use back to the airport.

Funicular to Old Town
After another coffee in the airport it was time to board our Ryanair flight back to the UK.

I would definitely recommend Bergamo as a city break destination.  There are several low cost airlines flying into Milan (Bergamo).  It has a lovely old town, two funiculars and good rail access to Milan (one hour) and to Lake Como providing picturesque old town, city and lake combinations.

Bergamo Old Town
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