What to Eat in Bergamo, Italy

Bergamo, Italy by Monica Goslin

Eating in Bergamo, Italy – The food in Bergamo is exquisite; I have never had a bad meal in this city. Plus some of the best gelato can be found in Bergamo! So you can’t really go wrong with picking a restaurant in Bergamo.

* For what to see and do in Bergamo, Italy visit “Visiting Bergamo, Italy” parts one and two.

* To see more photos of Bergamo, Italy click here.

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I recommend eating at the Pasticceria Donizetti which is located on Via Porta Dipinta street in Bergamo (the main street through the center of the medieval town). This restaurant has an outdoor area but is still under a roof. The pastries are really something and you can ogle them all throughout your meal as they are displayed on a table in the center of the restaurant. Once you are ready for desert you point out what you want from the many choices, most of which are local delicacies. Tip – I noticed one lady was very wise and asked for small portions of three different deserts so she had a sampling; next time I am doing the same thing!

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– Fun Fact about Bergamo, Italy – There are many delicious flavors of gelato, and one of the best (in my opinion) is stracciatella which is equivalent to the American version of chocolate chip ice cream, only better! So the fun fact…. This wonderful gelato flavor of stracciatella was invented in Bergamo! Enrico Panattoni (great name!) invented the flavor in 1962 at his famous gelateria “La Marianna” which you can still go to today.

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“La Marianna” is located on Largo Colle Aperto, and in fact it is just before the old city gate and the road up to the park with more panoramic views of the city. For a link to the famous gelateria in Bergamo click here for the website (in Italian) of “La Marianna.”

Visiting Bergamo, Italy

Bergamo, Italy by Monica Goslin

Visiting Bergamo, Italy – Part One: Main Attractions

Bergamo, Italy is the epitome of a charming medieval town and modern city combined. Bergamo has a big city feel in the lower city where traffic is crazy; locals are having boisterous conversations with plenty of hand gestures, modern art exhibits and operas, and the general rush of big city life. While the upper city is a medieval maze of cobble stoned streets, charming cafes, grand piazzas and castle ruins.

* See more photos of Bergamo, Italy by clicking here. 

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What to see and do in Bergamo, Italy

The main tourist attraction is the upper city or “Citta alta” situated on a hill above the city.

1 – Piazza Vecchia – the old square is the where you will find the main attractions, details of each below. Just past the square is the Piazza Duomo where you will find the main sights which are two churches and a chapel, all representing different centuries, and collectively spanning 500 years!

2 – Palazzo della Ragione – Situated at the end of the old square, this small stone building is now an art museum. The atrium below the palazzo has an 18th century sundial that cuts a diagonal right through the atrium.

3 – Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore – The basilica is just past the old square and right next to the Capella Colleoni/Colleoni Chapel. The church was founded in the 12th century and was constructed well into the 13th and 14th centuries with restorations made in the 17th century. In fact, the Basilica rests on the site of what used to be a Roman temple and an 8th century church.

The church can be entered by the small door flanked by two lions. Above the doorway are the statues of Saints and the Madonna and Child. (There is another entrance to the church on the other side which is a bit less traveled by tourists, and that entrance is guarded by two white marble lions).

Inside the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore you will find tapestries from the 16th century, frescos, a wooden choir, bronze candelabras, a 14th century crucifix, and the tomb of the composer Gaetano Donizetti and his teacher Simone Mayr. Also note the fresco of The Last Supper from the 14th century by the entrance, the artist is unknown, but it is a lovely painting.

 

4 – The Colleoni Chapel has the geometric façade composed of pink and white marble. The Chapel was built in the late 15th century for Bartolomeo Colleoni, a member of an important family of the city and whose tomb is inside facing the entrance while a tomb and monument to his daughter Medea is on the left. The chapel is dedicated to the saints Mark, Bartholomew, and John the Baptist whose stories are depicted in the frescoes of the dome.

* Both the Chapel and the Basilica are free to enter.

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For more of what to see in Bergamo, Italy keep an eye out for part two of “Visiting Bergamo, Italy”