When I first visited Bergamo I found myself wondering why I'd never heard of it before.
Verona, Bologna, Naples are all of international renown yet Bergamo has something very special to offer, which for me eclipses the beauty of many other cities.
In simple terms, the lack of fame makes it quieter and less tourist-infested and, in addition, it's not a big city so less crowded but it's more than that of course.
So here are my 5 reasons to visit Bergamo.
1) The walled high town with its castle, university, cable car, cobbled streets, pedestrian area and varied restaurants offering beautiful views out over the plains of northern Italy
2) The excellent shopping area to be found in the low town.
3) The superb location, 10 mins from Milan Bergamo airport (Ryanair Hub) and 40 mins by train from Milan.
4) The hinterland that includes lakes, mountains and varied activities.
5) Its history and culture rival that of any other Italian town (perhaps with the exception of Milan, Florence and Rome).
I have written a destination guide at www.monticolo.it/bergamoguide.html
40 mins by train from Milan
10 mins from Milan Bergamo airport.
20 Mins from Lake iseo
Bergamo is ideal as a short break destination as it is a Ryanair hub (although called their Milan airport). There is a regular service bus into Bergamo city centre. There are a couple of interesting museums, lovely shops and the medieval hilltop town to explore.
I have written a Guide to Bergamo:www.europealacarte.co.uk/Italy/bergamo/.
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