Two for the price of one
Bergamo is set between hills and valleys, and has two distinct urban centres. Bergamo Alta (High Bergamo, on a hill located at 365 metres a/s/l) is the oldest of the two - it's also where the historical old quarters are, stands on a hill (365 m.) . Bergamo Bassa (Low Bergamo, located at 249 metres a/s/l) is in the plains, and it's the modern industrial and commercial centre of the city. The people. Bergamo is so near Milan (about an hour) yet culturally so far. It may as well be a city, but the inhabitants are for sure not city-dwellers: their mentality is still provincial", in the better meaning of the term - they are friendly, genuine, and reserved. Stubborn too, at times.
Divine signs in Santa Grata inter Vites?
More comments later!
But do have a closer look at the statue of Jesus.
When looking at the pictures, it seemed his face is turned into a big light.
Enlightened Jesus on Whitsunday? the day of the enlightment?
Did he interfered to help us communicate with the elder Italian lady who took us into the church?
Cassiglio is a small, pleasant village (100 people) about 40 kms far from Bergamo, in the wild Brembana Valley.
This place is worth for two things: the small lake surrounded by unspoilt Dolomites-like mountains and the weird MIlesi house, painted with funny images of a death dance.
Train Bergamo to Milan and back
Milan Central Station is 45 minutes from Bergamo by train- there are several trains throughout the day and into the night. (Approximately hourly Monday to Friday - less often at weekends) We didn't pre-book- instead we just turned up and took our chance. It is possible to book tickets on-line http://www.trenitalia.com/en/index.html
When purchasing your tickets check which of Milans stations you arrive at/depart from - Milano Centrale, Milano Porta Garibaldi or Milano Lambrate - (they are all linked by metro)
We bought our return tickets easily at the ticket counter (I think we paid about 9 Euros each (2009), then as we had just missed a train, adjourned to a nearby cafe for coffee/tea to wait for the next train.
The train arrived on time. Before boarding, we each validated our tickets (pic 3). This has to be done before boarding. It is illegal to travel without validating your ticket, and inspectors issue heavy fines. If you do have to board before validating your ticket, let the inspectors know as soon as possible. This happened to me when I travelled from Peschiera to Venice. My train was pulling upto the platform. There was only one machine, and there was a small queue. I decided to 'risk it', rather than have to wait for the next train. Of course, there was a ticket inspection! I explained what had happened, and luckily I wasn't fined.
The train carriage was clean and comfortable, and the journey went by very quickly.
We were all impressed by the Grandeur of Milan's Central Station.
After a few hours in Milan, we returned to catch our train back to Bergamo.
As our hotel was so near, we could walk. A local bus service (ATB) operates half hourly from Bergamo Orio al Serio to Bergamo train station (a 10 minute journey) which then continues through the lower city, to the funicular stop, and onto the upper city. Tickets cost 1.65 Euros (2009) and is valid for 90 minutes (this includes the funicular if taken within this time limit)
Trains also leave Bergamo for Brescia, which is the recommended station for getting from Bergamo to Lake Garda, Verona or Venice etc.
To reach Bologna, Florence, Rome or the Tuscan coast from Bergamo, transfer at Milan.
Disabled assistance Call Center
Daily 07.00 - 21.00
approx 2.65 cents/min - subject to variation.
A hidden treasure
Al Vecchio Tagliere (literally 'At the old chopping board') is a wonderful wine bar and restaurant at the feet of the walled town. It's located in a private tiny piazza dedicated to the most famous Bergamasco sculptor 'Manzù'. It's a tiny cozy place where to have an aperitivo or taste a 'tagliere' - woodden chopping board covered with local cheese, salami or polenta. Cheese tagliere - I love cheese and especially the mountain ones.