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Day trip to Old City of Bergamo, Italy

While Carly is away visiting her family, I am traveling by myself to this medieval city from Milan. Only an hour away from Milan by train, this city is located in the Alpine Lombardy region. As I stepped out of the small train station, I could see at a distance, the old city located above a rugged hill.

Bergamo was founded by the celts who called it 'Bergheim' or meaning hill town. The city is divided into two parts, Città Alta (upper town) and Città Bassa (lower town). During the celtic invasion of Northern Italy, the city was conquered by the celts in 550 BC. In 49 BCE, Bergamo became an important city of the Roman municipality. The Venetians had built walls around this city in anticipation of an attack from Milan, which never came. In time, this city stood as a witness of the invasion, power struggles and rise and fall of kingdoms. More recently, since 2017, the upper town fortified by Venetian defense system has been named as a UNESCO world heritage site.

How to get there?

Bergamo is only an hour away from Milan, and there are regular trains traveling to Bergamo throughout the day. The ticket costs 5-7 euros in the Trenitalia website. Once I got off at the Bergamo station, I walked until the old city.

The walk through the lower city is easy and pleasant, keeping an eye on the upper city I walked towards the rugged hill wondering how I could get up there. Soon enough, I discovered that there's a funicular taking us up to the city. If you aren't willing to walk, there are also buses going to the old city or the base of the funicular. The funicular ride costs only 1.5 eur each way, and tickets can be purchased from a small machine directly at the station.

Once in old city, you feel like stepping into medieval times. The cobbled stone hilly streets are a treat to look at, however not so easy to walk on. So be prepared and wear comfortable shoes if you are visiting the city. First head to the Piazza Vecchia in front of the Basalica di Santa Maria Maggiore and Capella Colleoni. This is a spectacular open space with a cathedral at one corner, and lined by old stone buildings. Nestled within these buildings are more modern cafes where people are enjoying the soft afternoon sun with a glass of campari. Every inch of the basilica is spectacular and is a must visit.

Walking through the city I arrived at Mura Venete which is the old wall that protected the city. Here I discovered that its actually possible to walk up to the old city (quite a steep walk) along the wall.

From here I headed to the 12th century tower Campanone o Torre Civica. I could not go up the tower since it was closed that day, but am sure that the 360 degree view of the city would be fantastic.

It's time to roam around the old city and soak up on its history. The stone houses, streets and the narrow alleyways tell stories of thousands of years, which I tried to capture with my camera. This one day easy tour from Milan is an no doubt an excellent way to experience the splendour of Italy.

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Hey there! If we are meeting for the first time, we are Carly & Arya, a binational couple living in Germany and traveling the world. Arya is from India, and Carly is from the US and we have been married since 2021. We hold steady 9-5 jobs while traveling the world. We are excited to share our story and unique perspectives with you. Take a look around, and don't forget to subscribe to our updates and follow us on Instagram

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