Unfortunately known mostly for being Ryanair’s, Milan budget airport, Bergamo is a gem not to be missed. It’s a historic Lombardy town that avoided any damage during World war 2.
The reason we are here is to see the beautiful terraced gardens as this town is built on a hill. Bergamo is a short 45-minute train ride to Milan Centrale Station, so slotting in a walk down the terraced Gardens of Bergamo should be relatively easy if your final destination is Milano. When getting the bus (approx €3) from the airport to Bergamo center, be sure to get one to the top of the hill to a place called Citta Alta, from here your walk is downwards. (Better still take the funicular railway if time permits to the top to see the gardens unhindered, This will stun and leave you in a daze.)
The town in the foothills of the Alps is surrounded by Venetian walls (upper town) and is steeped in history and culture. The walk down from Citta Alta takes in magnificent views, narrow cobblestone streets and quaint hidden Cafes where you can stop and relax and listen to the locals go about their lives.
Highlights of the walk include the Via Gombito beautifully paved, the gully of a canyon made up of tall 16th-century mansions behind wrought-iron gates, towering stone fortresses, a large 18th-century open washroom and of course the Piazza Vecchia.
It is recommended you go on a weekday to avoid any crowds. We visited on Friday morning and virtually had the place to ourselves with the locals.
It is well worth taking the time to see this beautiful city which leaves you wanting more time to explore.