Run by Chinese or Indo-Chinese (it is next dor to a Vietnamese delicatessan), open 7 days Outlet Village has mostly ladies' and some mens clothing and accessories at very discounted prices. A few doors down is a similar shop.
Useful to know that the basement is full of luggage options of every weight and size
What to buy: Ask the wife!
What to pay: Cheaper than the otehr shops or the market
Suvanki already tipped me after one of her Bergamo scouting trips (see her Dischi tip), so on my first (Birth)day we went out to visit Dishi. It's a well equipped small shop. There are many collector items and prices are accordingly. I missed some cheap surplus boxes, but on the other hand, sometimes you just have to see all these top records. The choices we had to make were hard, but in the end we left with a small pile of records.
Tu-Sa: 10AM - 0:30PM; 3PM - 7PM
What to buy: Second hand records.
During our visit in December 2011, Bergamo hosted a number of markets and Christmas markets throughout the Citta Bassa.
We were booked into the Mercure Palazzo Dolci and there was one small market in the park diagonally opposite. Further up Via Papa Giovanni XXIII, near the gates to the old town, was a larger market with many stalls selling a variety of Italian delicacies including Italian meats, salami, cheeses, candies, etc.
It was great to walk through the markets and sample the various items for sale (and snack our way to a mini-meal).
What to buy: I chose to purchase some delicious truffle cheese which was a small truckle and vacuum packed so I was able to take it home to England.
What to pay: Great prices for some very delicious items.
What to buy:
The main thoroughfare in Alta, Via Gombito and Via Bartolomeo Colleoni, is dotted with appealing shops of all kinds. There are a few smart-looking clothes shops, but the ones that most caught my eye were the various food-shops selling traditional edibles of all kinds. I particularly liked the selection in Angelo Mangeli, on Via Gombito, and we bought several things there – jars of olive paste and a selection of jams to eat with cheese, as is typical here. There was also a very good choice of oils and sauces, salamis of all kinds, wine and much more. The service was very friendly, and our purchases wrapped with the sort of care that seems somewhat old-fashioned in today’s self-service supermarket world.
We also shopped in a pastry shop / bakers near the foot of the same road, Nessi, where we bought a nutty slab of toffee as a gift for my sister. Prices were reasonable for the quality of the goods in both shops, though I don’t seem to have noted exactly what we paid.
As a contrast, check out my second photo of the window of a children’s clothes and toys shop at the western end of Via Bartolomeo Colleoni – clearly Bergamo has some mini punk rockers!
Our small shopping expedition brought us close to the end of our time in Bergamo, but we had a final evening in which to enjoy its delights.
And our meal at the Vineria Cozzi di Miliona was indeed delightful!
Orio Center is a shopping mall situated across the highway in to Bergamo from the airport.
The shopping mall is easily accessed by a path which leads under the highway to the mall and takes about 10 minutes to walk.
If you've taken a fancy to the great salami and cheeses of the area, then head to Orio Center and to Iper, a supermarket with a great selection of deli items, many of which are vacuum-packed so suitable for transfer to other countries. I purchased some salami and cheeses whilst on a visit in December 2011.
What to buy: There's a whole selection of shops within the shopping mall but you can spend a whole lot of time in Iper, stocking up on deli items (check legislation in your home country for importing food items) including salami, cheese and other delicious Italian food items.
What to pay: At Iper, you will find prices for food items very competitive.
On my trip to Bergamo I hadn't packed any clothes as I'd intended to pick some up from my storage unit in Exeter en route. However my boat didn't get to the mainland in time for me to catch the necessary public transport connections which meant that I arrived in Italy with just the clothes I was wearing.
On my first night, in Milan, I'd washed my shirt, socks and underpants in the hotel sink for use the following day, drying them on the balcony. On the evening I arrived in Bergamo I repeated the process but expecting a few late nights over the course of the weekend I really needed to buy a couple of changes.
On the Friday afternoon I went in search of the shopping street - via XX Settembre. I found it easily enough but after passing the first half-a-dozen shops where the average price of a new shirt was around three hundred Euros I was beginning to despair.
Then I found a Zara. Problem solved. The mens department had a good selection of reasonably priced stuff and so selecting a couple of shirts, a pack of underpants and a pair of trousers I was pretty much set up. The only thing I couldn't find was socks.
Enquiring from a passing assistant I was informed that they don't sell socks - no call for them. HA! Well I suppose this is Italy.
Sockless I paid the bill - a bargain at 126 Euros for an almost complete new outfit and went in search of socks. On the same street I found a Gucci shop with socks in its window - 60 Euros! Then a liitle further a sports shop beckonedand I found sortof what I was looking for - white tennis socks at 5 Euros for four pairs. OK that's my excuse for wearing white socks - they were definitely NOT me making some sort of fashion statement.
I was however dead impressed with my other purchases - my shirts were Italian-style slim-fitting and they actually fitted me and the trousers turned out to be one size smaller than I normally wear and they fitted too - so maybe this Italian fashion thing is really a bit of a con. Maybe they purposefully label their clothes one size smaller than they really are in order to massage their customers egos??
I found a supermarket!!!
It's always good to know where you can buy bits and bobs at the local price, rather than the tourist price.
I was staying in a hotel, but I still like to have some water and nibbles in my room.
There is a great selection of foods to make anything from a sandwich to a four course meal!
The only trouble I had with this shop is finding my way in!!!
You can follow the arrow to the car park (pictured), from the car park you take a lift down to the store. Otherwise, you have to go through OVS clothes shop (also pictured). You come out the same way but the escalator takes you to a different part of the OVS shop. It's easy to find your way out though.
What to buy: Food & drink. Anything you may need to make meals and snacks yourself.
Via XX Settembre is the street to head to if you like shopping. It's got a good range of shops and is a nice walk too!!
The many shops cover shoes, clothes, hair, beauty, jewellery, mobile phones, perfume and much more.
There are chain shops such as Sephora, and independent shops.
Some shops are of average price and some are expensive. But if you shop like me, you'll hunt out a bargin or two!
Wandering around Via Sant' Alessandro in Citta Bassa, we found ourselves on Via San Bernardino. This street has quite a multi-cultural feel, with it's restaurants serving cuisine from many nations.
I spotted this record shop, which transported me back in time, to the days pre CD/Mp3 etc.
Lots of old faded album covers were on display in the window.
Sadly, this shop was closed at the time, or I would have enjoyed rummaging through the stacks of records.
I'm sure that a certain VTer will make his way here during Eurmeet 2012!
Luckily, I'd travelled to Bergamo with Ryanair, hand luggage only. Luckily, I was on a fairly strict budget......... otherwise.....
This shop had me oooohing and aaaghing at every step - Quirky objects, unusual crockery, shiny saucepans, kitchen gadgets, everything for the cook, cake-maker, dinner party host, home maker and more besides.
Well I'm none of the above really, but I love these kinds of shops, and the Italian shops are always so stylish! This shop was surprisingly large, with one room leading into another treasure trove.Lovely fragrances wafted in the air.
Check out the website for more about this shop and its creator.
What to buy: Pottery cows dressed as nurses and other characters
Espresso cups and other crockery
Lampe Berger room fragrances
Coffee makers of all sizes
What to pay: From a few Euros for a mustard spoon to .............How friendly is your bank manager????
One of the many things that I like about Bergamo, is its lack of touristy shops. You have to search for post-cards etc -This isn't a place where you trip over numerous stands displaying post-cards and tacky souvenirs.
One of the places that I have found that sells cheaper souvenirs is this gift shop/tobacconists on Via Gombiti - handily located a few metres from the funicular station in Citta Alta.
This shop also sells tobacco - Cigarettes, cigars, lighters (including Zippo Lighters), childrens toys, film, batteries, confectionary etc.
Tabacchi Gritti on Via Papa Giovanni is another source for post-cards and fridge magnets as well as stamps, pens, tobacco products, lighters, small toys, confectionary and lottery tickets.
located next door to Grom!
Other places that I've purchased post-cards have been at Floras cafe bar in Piazza Vecchia, Citta Alta and The Tourist Information Office in Citta Bassa.
What to buy: Post cards, fridge magnets, guide books to Bergamo/Lombardy.
During my recent visit (December 2011) I was attracted to the Bergamo Christmas Decorations. I purchased one with mountain scenes (pic 2), which was packed carefully in a sturdy cardboard box, and it survived my journey home. This cost 5.50 Euros
I also purchased 2 fridge magnets for 3.50 Euros each. I had spotted some nicer (and much more expensive hand made fridge magnets in a gift shop on the same street.
3 Euros bought me a pocket sized Tourist Guide of Bergamo, which replaced the one that I originally purchased in 2008 (which was looking a bit worse for wear.
What to pay: From less than a Euro to ............?
Bergamo is blessed with many independent family owned shops, selling a variety of food and wine etc.
There are also a few supermarkets in Citta Bassa.
These supermarkets stock a wide range of goods - Fresh fruit/veg, dairy, tinned and packet foods, breads and pastries, household goods and toiletries. Most have at least one deli counter, to purchase local cheeses, cold meats, antipasti etc.
I find them useful for picking up bottles of water and fruit juice - much cheaper than buying from kiosks etc. Wine to drink in the hotel room is much cheaper too.
Most bottles have corks - Very few seemed to be 'screw-top' Corkscrews are usually displayed nearby for a few Euros.
Often breakfast in cheaper hotels/B&B in Italy is fairly basic, so I usually buy yogurts and fruit to supplement this.
I usually purchase a few items to take home - tinned fish, vacuum packed cold meats and cheeses I've recently purchased vacuum packed Casoncelli Bergamasque - one of my favourite local dishes - it's obviously not as good as freshly prepared in a restaurant, but a pleasant enough reminder of my trip.
I've used the Spar Supermarket mostly. It's on Via Papa Giovanni reached down an alley between Hotel Mercure Palazzo Dolci and VOX lounge bar.
I've passed by the Pellicano (Pelican) supermarket, but not used it yet - It's near to the lower funicular station on Via Vittoria Emanuele 11.
For the widest choice, a visit to the hypermarket at Orio al Serio or Auchan would be advised.
What to buy: Local foods to look for
What to pay: From less than a Euro to as much as your bank manager will allow!
During my first visit to Bergamo, I came across this shop/gallery. I loved the pottery and prints, depicting scenes of Bergamo, and a set of espresso cups caught my eye. I wanted to buy them, but their card machine was out of order - I only had small change in my purse, so I purchased a few cards/post cards, with the intention of returning one day to buy the cups.
Despite a few return trips to Bergamo, I've not got around to returning to this shop-hopefully next time!
More info coming soon!
What to buy: Pottery with scenes of Bergamo
What to pay: From a few Euros to as much as your Bank Manager will allow
Bergamo doesn't have many chain stores, although you can purchase designer and 'label' names, most shops are independently run.
The chain of Coin department stores has one branch in Bergamo. It stocks womens, mens and childrens clothing, lingerie, accessories, beauty products and homewear. A wide range of Italian and International brands.
Apparently there is a Beauty room and fitness area. Men can have their initials embroidered onto shirts too!
I'm afraid that I haven't shopped here, but I have 'Window Shopped'!
The store looked quite impressive at Christmas
Monday to Saturday 09.30 - 19.30
Sunday 10.00 -13.00/ 15.00 -19.30
What to buy: Italian clothing, shoes, handbags, belts, scarves
Perfumes and toiletries
Kitchenwear and linens
What to pay: From a few Euros to as much as your Bank Manager will allow!
Whilst planning our trip to Bergamo in early December, we were pleased to find out that there was a Christmas Market held in Citta Bassa. When we arrived we found that there were a few Christmas Markets!
The Villaggio Di Natale - Christmas Village was located opposite our hotel (The Mercure), but it was closed by the time we had arrived on the Friday evening, so we had to wait until the next morning to take a look around the wooden chalets selling a variety of crafts and food products. As we had another 3 days, this was just for a look-see - or a look-see and smell, as there were some delicious aromas wafting from the stalls - chocolate, garlicy salamis, incense, gingerbread, cheeses, soaps, candles, pine etc.
We were puzzled as to where the strong scent of lavender was coming from - the nearby stall holder had the answer - his wooden carvings of figures, nativity scenes (presepe) etc were impregnated with lavender oil(Main photo) I returned on the Monday to purchase some gifts from him - a couple of carved apples, containing the nativity crib, and a fridge magnet of an old character holding a wine basket, with a removeable glass vial. These were carefully placed into a cellophane bag and stapled shut - on the outer, was a seal, again lavender scented. It's small touches like this that make shopping here a pleasant experience. The nativity scenes were 5 Euros each, and the fridge magnet was 3 Euros, which I thought was very reasonable.
On the Saturday, I spotted a shoe shine stall - I'd been quite embarrassed by the state of my boots, and had wondered about buying some shoe polish from one of the supermarkets, but no need, as there was a man in the market offering this service. I used to love having my shoes polished, when I lived in Turkey, watching the skill and care that the shoe shine boys took - Often my shoes looked better than when I first bought them!
Well this chap did quite a good job, but I was a bit peeved when he fished a 10 Euro note out of his pocket and indicated that this was the charge - Hmmm I don't think so! - I'd not got any loose change, but found a 5 euro note, which he gleefully accepted. Yes, I was so chuffed at the chance to get my boots polished, that I forgot to ask how much it was going to cost me - Hmmm - and I had to stand on one leg, which I'm surprised that I managed without tottering over!
Other stalls sold, wooden carved kitchen utensils and woven baskets, jewellery,knitted hats and scarves, realistic looking marzipan fruits (pic 2). There was also a hog roast and beer stand.
We recognised the Arancino di Riso, that we'd tried on our previous visit here in May - Rice balls (or cones), coated in breadcrumbs and fried, the arancini are stuffed with a meat sauce (or other variants such as mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce and maybe peas)We'd eaten these 'Little oranges' in a Sicilian cafe in Santa Caterina.
When we returned on the Monday to purchase our gifts, we were accompanied by heavy rain, and so it wasn't such a pleasant experience, as there wasn't much shelter.
Over 35 wooden chalets selling food and crafts, sweets and gifts for Christmas and Epiphany
19th November - 26th December 2011
I'm not sure of the opening hours, but it was closed before 19.00hrs during our visit in early December. I think it opened around 10.00
Another Christmas Market is sited in Piazza Dante - and there was also a Festa Di Santa Lucia market in the Sentierone (sweets and toys to celebrate the arrival of Saint Lucy by donkey on December 12th, bringing gifts and sweets for 'good children'), then across Via Papa Giovanni, was an outdoor Market with a festive air.
What to pay: From less than a Euro to ................?