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Milan is overrated – visit Bergamo instead

Why you should visit Bergamo instead of Milan – top reasons

Bergamo is a city close to Milan, 60 km north-east. It’s mostly famous for its airport which many of the low budget airlines use instead of the Milan Malpensa airport. However, Bergamo is much more than an airport town. With its population of 121 000, Bergamo is a charming Italian city including both old heritage and modern vision.

Climbing the infamous Milan cathedral

Top reasons to visit Bergamo

Most Italian cities look similar, but each one has its own charm. It’s the same with Bergamo. The city is unique in its own way and if you’re stopping there on your way to bigger cities in Nothern Italy, you should check it out. I even prefer it compared to Milan and here is why:

1. Big shopping mall next to the airport

The Oriocenter shopping mall is located next to the airport when you cross the Torino – Trieste highway A4. You can get from the airport to the mall on foot (about 10 mins tops). It’s a good place to spend some time waiting for your flight. There are many shops of popular brands, a big supermarket and a food court.

2. Old history

Most people go to Milan to see the cathedral and other Italian history sites. Bergamo has its own old town and beautiful historical buildings. The old town of Bergamo can be easily reached from the airport or from the train station with bus 1 or 1A as I wrote in my article bus to Bergamo airport.

Also known as Citta Alta, the historical old city of Bergamo is a must see. The Venetian walls and gates offering a breathtaking view, the churches, the ancient stronghold and the oldest library – all these places have to be experienced if you find yourself in Bergamo.

Ex Church of Sant’Agostino and Fara in Bergamo
Ex Church of Sant’Agostino and Fara in Bergamo – one of the places where bus 1 stops at the old town

3. Beautiful nature and views

You can’t see typical Italian views in Milan. An urbanized city, the Lombardy capital cannot offer any nature experience – but you can find it in Bergamo. The elevated Old city – Citta alta, offers breathtaking landscapes.

Bergamo’s beautiful view

The upper city offers a view to die for!

If you have the time, definitely go see the Bergamo stronghold – the views from up there are amazing!

Bergamo Stronghold

4. Bars and entertainment

Bergamo has lots of bars and restaurants to pick from. Some of the bars located in the upper town offer a view towards the whole city down! Bergamo is definitely a place for the young tourists as well as for the culture-seeking traveler.

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If you ever visit Bergamo, make sure you try their gelato shop Gelateria La Romana at the corner of Via G. Tiraboschi and Via Antonio Ghislanzoni – it’s a very popular place with huge queues in front day and night.

5. Italian spirit

In big tourist spots you just can’t stop to feel Italy due to the crowds and over-urbanization. Unlike Milan, Bergamo can definitely offer you a slower, paced approach to Italy. You can stop and just feel Italy, the people, the culture. The tiny streets, the cobblestone pavements, small shops and charming piazzas are what Italy is all about.

Church of St Bartolomeo and Stefano in Bergamo

Have you visited Bergamo? Did you like it? Share and comment below!

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