Must-see from Milan: Bergamo Upper Town Day Trip
Away from mass tourism but not far from Milan (just 45 minutes) Bergamo boasts a unique position: it stands at just 1-hour ride from the Alpes and from the Iseo Lake. Another peculiarity is that it is divided into a lower and an upper part: while the lower part represents the modern and industrial side of the city, the upper old town still maintains a unique, Medieval charm thanks to the well-preserved buildings and to its structure, full of history and traditions. Moreover, Bergamo Alta (Upper Bergamo) offers its visitors a breath-taking panorama over the lower town and its surroundings.
Let this recently listed UNESCO World Heritage Site surprise you with its elegant charm!
What you can expect
Meet your licensed guide and your driver in Milan and enjoy a 1-hour ride towards Bergamo on a luxury car/minivan.
Once in the city centre, you will get on the characteristic funicular railway that connects the lower to the upper part of the city and start discovering Bergamo Alta.
You will immediately have the chance to enjoy an incredible view over the lower part of Bergamo and its surroundings from the Venetian Works of Defence, a wall built between the XVI and XVII centuries by the Republic of Venice: not an ordinary wall, not only for the panorama but also because it goes from Bergamo to Montenegro passing through Croatia. This site earnt Bergamo and 5 other Italian, Croatian and Montenegro cities the recognition of UNESCO as a World Heritage!
The visit will continue to the very heart of the old town, Piazza Vecchia, where you will admire the Palazzo della Ragione with its curious meridian, the highest Tower of Bergamo called “Campanone” by the locals and Palazzo Nuovo, that now hosts a public library.
Your guide will then lead you to Piazza Duomo to visit the amazing Bergamo Cathedral, started in the XV century and dedicated to the patron saint of the city, St. Alexander Martyr. The building holds numerous treasures, such as paintings by famous Italian painters like Giambattista Tiepolo, an altarpiece and some wood and marble inlays. You will also see a tiara belonged to Pope John XXIII, who was born near Bergamo. The mortal remains of Saint Alexander Martyr are kept in an urn inside the high altar.
Right next to the Cathedral, another masterpiece awaits: the Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica, built in honour of the Virgin Mary, who protected the city during the outbreak of a plague in 1100. You will also have the chance to get inside the Colleoni Chapel, a masterpiece mausoleum of the Lombard Renaissance wanted by Bartolomeo Colleoni, a warlord who played an extremely important role in the history of the city.
It is now time for a 1-hour lunch break: ask your guide for precious advice about the city most delicious restaurants!
The tour will then continue around the small, picturesque alleys and the numerous, lovely squares that characterize Bergamo Alta. In fact, you will pass by Piazza Mercato delle Scarpe, an ancient shoe marketplace that used to be also a point of convergence for the streets coming from West (Milan) and East (Venice), now point of access to the city for tourists and citizens. You will also be surprised by Piazza Mercato del Fieno thanks to its proximity of the Medieval S. Francesco convent that is now a Museum. Finally, you will get to admire a perfectly preserved, ancient washhouse (Lavatoio), built in 1881. It was used by the locals to do the laundry, to chat and to quench their thirst and represents a masterful example of applied engineering, as it worked perfectly until the 1950s; a precious evidence of the past of this city.
Once the funicular railway brings you back to the lower part of town, your private minivan will bring you back to Milan. Take your time to ask the guide the questions that still cross your mind, or ask for tips about your stay!
- Round trip from Milan with a private, luxury car/minivan
- Licensed, English-speaking guide
- Audio headsets to hear the guide better (if more than 6 people)
- Private visit to the lovely city of Bergamo Alta
- Enjoy the breath-taking panoramas and the amazing sites
- Venetian Works of Defence (a UNESCO site)
- Piazza Vecchia (Palazzo Nuovo, Palazzo della Ragione and the Campanone – outside)
- Piazza Duomo (Duomo Cathedral, Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica and Colleoni Chapel)
- Ancient Washhouse
- Bergamo Alta alleys
The order of the sites visited might change due to organisational reasons.
– Be at the meeting point 15 min prior to departure time to check-in!
– Please wear comfortable shoes. During hot days wear a hat to protect yourself from the sun.
– A dress code is required to enter places of worship and selected museums. No shorts or sleeveless tops allowed. Knees and shoulders MUST be covered for both men and women. You may risk refused entry if you fail to comply with these dress requirements.
– Some of the venues (or parts of them) may be subject to last-minute, unpredictable closures (ongoing restoration, mass celebrations, special events). When this occurs, we offer the customers an extended visit of the outside and/or of other attractions according to the advertised total length of the tour.