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Bergamo

STUART, FL
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282 posts
5 reviews
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Bergamo

Is Bergamo worth a stop if we only have a short time on the drive between the east shore of Garda to Varenna? We want to make it to Varenna early enough to hike to Bellano and back before dinner. Is it a worthwhile detour if we have such limited time, or are we better off just driving straight through?

Alme, Bergamo, Italy
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1. Re: Bergamo

You can always stop off at the Orio al Serio Centro Comerciale Shopping Center if you can figure out how to get there and have a great view of the Old Town of Bergamo and the mountains behind, from the bar with the big windows looking over the autostrada and the Orio al Serio (Bergamo) Airport.

What I can't understand is how you plan to do so much in such a short bit of time. It'll take over an hour to drive from Garda to Varenna. And then I don't know how much time it takes you to climb up a mountain and back.

Chorley, United...
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for Venice
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2. Re: Bergamo

Well, difficult decisions. Bergao is sensational if you go up to the Citta Alta, a perfectly preserved medieval walled town with with a beautiful Piazza Vecchia including the 12 th century Torre Civica. a 12 th cetury Palazzo della Ragione and some godd restarurants. Next door is the Colleoni Chapel of 1476. The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore wqas begun around 1137 but with a baroque interior. In the apse area look under the seats which have splendid scenes in wood inlay designed by Lorenzo Lotto.

Up the second funicular is the 14th century Rocca, the castle of the former rules, the Visconti.

Down in the lower town is a fine gallery - the Carrara Academy, well worth visiting if you appreciate fine art.

So, yes, Bergamo is well worth a visit. However you programme is already busy if you are driving from Lake Garda to Varenna and then hiking from Varenna to Bellano and back before dinner. It depends, are you fitness freaks who must have a long walk every day?

If not, and the purpose is actually to see Bellano, there is no contest, neither Varenna or Bellano, as small towns, even begin to match up to Bergamo apart from pretty views of the Lake.

STUART, FL
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282 posts
5 reviews
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3. Re: Bergamo

Yes, we are kinda fitness freaks! Every time we go to Europe it seems like I gain 10 pounds, what with the lack of hard exercise and partaking in all of the good food and wine. That said, we still do not want to miss worthwhile sites.

Bergamo sounds very interesting, we might have to cancel the hike.

uk
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508 posts
2 reviews
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4. Re: Bergamo

Good to see you are still working hard planning your trip Designerang. It is getting ever closer.

We flew into Bergamo on last years trip and the traffic nearby was horrendous. That alone would put me off making the detour.

Maybe Robert J can comment on whether this was a one-off or not.

I hope you are going to post a trip report on your return.

Chorley, United...
Destination Expert
for Venice
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18,465 posts
118 reviews
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5. Re: Bergamo

I have driven into Bergamo from Lecco and also from Cremona. I did not think the traffic on either trip was significantly different from driving into other Italian cities but traffic in Italy generally around cities is pretty grim, lots of it, driven with gusto at pace and parking is never easy either.

Moral - nowadays we mostly travel around Italy by train, much less nerve wracking.

STUART, FL
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282 posts
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6. Re: Bergamo

We are not crazy about driving in cities in Italy; the crazy drivers and lack of parking is a pain. We will play it by ear and see what the traffic looks like and what kind of mood we are in that day. We may feel like relaxing with a bottle of vino on our terrace in Varenna, or getting out in nature rather than sightseeing - after awhile how many churches can you look at!

Sollyman, did you say you have stayed in the Piedmont area before? We are looking for a quaint agriturismo in the Asti/monferrato area that serves a nice dinner and maybe sells wines. Any ideas?

uk
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7. Re: Bergamo

Yes we have, but sorry cant help with an Agroturismo recommendation.

Have you heard of the Slow Travel movement? They run an excellent message board that is searchable and its users seem to go for the sort of accomodation you are looking for. It may well be worth look.

slowtalk.com/eve/ubb.x/a/frm/f/862600685

The same site has accomodation and restaurant reviews by users, arranged by Region.

Here are the Piedmont hotels :

www.slowtrav.com/italy/hotels/list.asp…

Good luck.