Sunday, October 12, 2014

We're With the Band: A Day Trip in Bergamo

Last year another teacher sent me the most amazing thing in the world: the 'to do list' she gives to her visitors. 

As someone who's been in Milan for probably 10 years (I can't remember exactly how long it's been), she's explored so many areas and tried enough restaurants to really have it narrowed down to the best. One of her top day trip suggestions is Bergamo, a city about 25 miles north of Milan. I can't believe it took me over a year to make it to the beautiful city, when it's not even an hour away by train, and cost less than 12 euro round trip!

The city is split into two centers: Città alta (upper city) and Città bassa (lower city). 

We traveled up to the Città alta via funicular. The word 'funicular' had been thrown around a lot when discussing Bergamo, but I honestly had no idea it meant 'cable car' until getting inside one. The upper city is surrounded by 17th century Venetian walls, and maintains a medieval atmosphere, with tiny, winding streets, cobble stones, and surprise cathedrals around each corner. We stumbled on the weirdest garden in the world, a colorful, geometric area with creepy music playing and a couple in wedding attire who did NOT look happy. It was such a huge contrast from the rest of the area, and we were completely and utterly confused about what was going on around us. We took a second funicular up to the second level of Città alta to the Castello di San Vigilio, the beautiful remnant of a medieval castle with a phenomenal view. 

As our day came to a close, we hopped back into a cable car for a ride back down to Città bassa. 

The sound of a marching band became louder and louder the closer we came to the ground, and when we finally arrived we found ourselves surrounded by older Italian men, dressed in camouflage with Robin Hood hats, playing in a band. The happened to be marching in the direction of the train station, so we marched along with our musical escort. We skipped along happily, until we realized we were about to miss our train back to Milan, and then literally ran the rest of the way, jumping on the train, sweaty and stressed, with seconds to spare,  thrilled to be in the middle of another 'Only in Italy' experience.

1 comment:

  1. Very picturesque little town, thanks to you now I know it and placed it in my own "to do" checklist in my head (one of the checks is to actually write it so I won´t forget it)