Bergamo would have never been on my list of towns to visit, but I am so happy we got to spend time in this adorable walled city. A dear friend from college moved to Italy years ago and fell head over heels with a Venetian man. They got engaged in this tiny little town and decided it was the perfect place to tie the knot. My three best friends from college and their husbands/fiancé all made the trip to Bergamo, and we had the most amazing time!
Bergamo is a large city northeast of Milan in the Lombardy region at the foot of the Italian Alps, the foothills if you will. The “city limits” are quite large and reaching but we stayed in the Ciatta Alta, the old walled city at the top of a hill.
The old town is very small and can be walked from end to end in about 10 minutes. But in those 10 minutes, there is plenty to see! There are plenty of cute shops, gelaterias, bakeries, pizzerias and beautiful Piazzas to explore in Bergamo. The Basilica was started in 1100 and was not totally finished until the 1500’s and is absolutely stunning. The area is actually even older and was once home to a Celtic tribe and became part of the Roman Empire in 49 BC WOW.
The town is known for a funicular that connects the old city to the new city and I have heard is worth the ride. We didn’t get a chance to ride the funicular but we did walk along the wall of the town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The walk gives you beautiful views of lower Bergamo and the countryside.
Where to Stay
Up Town Bed and Breakfast – We stayed in a little B&B called Up Town Bed & Breakfast that was located directly across from the funicular. Since it only has four rooms we rented out the entire place. The B&B is basically two separate apartments both with two bedrooms each. The decor was green and minimalist, but we were really only there to sleep so we didn’t mind.
Hotel Piazza Vecchia – This is where the bride and her family stayed. We popped in here for champagne brunch to get ready with the bride. My impression was that it was a little more high-end than out B&B, but we only stayed on the main floor and on the porch.
Where to Eat
Caffè Corsarola – European breakfast is not centered around eggs and bacon… more like bread, cheese, bread, meat and some more meat. Unless you are at a hotel, you will be hard pressed to find eggs. So we ate yumm sandwiches at Caffè Corsarola.
Il Fornaio – I had marked this as the pizza place to go to but we didn’t have the time! The pizza in the window looked divine!
Lalimentari – The rehearsal dinner was held in the Piazza Duomo at Lalimentari. We arrived super late so we didn’t get to eat here. However, we did go here after the wedding and they served us till the wee hours of the morning so they get an A+ in my book
Ristorante Pizzeria Da Franco – Since we the rehearsal dinner and were starving we went out looking for somewhere to fit our large group and found Ristorante Pizzeria Da Franco just down the main street of Via Bartolomeo Colleoni. Reasonably priced Italian was just what we needed. Nothing to write home about but it satisfied everyone’s craving for Italian wine, pizza and pasta. I mean you are in Italy so it’s better than most Italian in the states.
Al Donizetti – A great outdoor restaurant & bar. Since it was so beautiful we wanted to sit outside so this fit the bill.
The wedding & reception took place at Ristorante Il Pianone just outside of the high city. I would highly recommend coming here for drinks or dinner just to take in the stunning views. Situated north-west of the high city the area gives beautiful views of the foothills.
The wedding was truly amazing, so filled with love and so laid back. And the food! Oh, man, we had a full buffet happy hour then a sit-down dinner then dancing. I feel like the wedding lasted a 10+ hours and it was amazing!