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Bergamo City Guide
Located in northern Italy, Bergamo is a multi-faceted destination. The city is just 40km from Milan and 30km from the spectacularly serene and beautiful Lakes Como and Iseo. It’s also a gateway city to the Italian Alps.
The city itself is split into two sections, the older ‘Upper City’ and the more modern ‘Lower City’. The Upper City is surrounded by Venetian walls and features many historical attractions, museums and places of interest including the Citadel, Cathedral and Castle.
The ‘Lower City’ is defined as Bergamo’s business and residential district. Amongst the businesses based here are Italcementi, one of the world’s largest cement producers and UBI Group, an Italian banking group. The Lower City is also home to Bergamo’s shopping district, which is almost entirely located on one street.
Tourism is a large industry in Trentino so there is a huge choice of where to stay, but if you want to experience a very traditional experience of the area, then perhaps an agriturismo (Italian farm stays) is for you. The agriturismo offers a unique opportunity for guests to have an authentic experience of the area and truly enjoy the breathtaking rural setting.
Since many of Italian best food traditions aren’t found in stylish or high-class restaurants, but in the countryside osterie (A place serving wine and simple food) there’s often no better choice than dining at an agriturismo. Farm stays are available across Lake Garda offering a range of outlooks from lakefronts to stunning views from the mountains overlooking the entire area. They use a unique rating system for these, using daisies instead of stars to indicate their.
There are many hotels and b&bs and even camp sites in the local area – so whether you are a couple or a family or travelling with friends there is the perfect place to stay for every occasion.
The hotels [http://www.gardatrentino.it/en/lake-garda-hotels/] range right up to 5 star with all the usual facilities that you would expect. As the area attracts a lot of people who are interested in sports, most carry facilities to ensure that you can train whilst on your holiday or indeed relax in their SPA facilities.
A lot of the b&bs are owned by local people, they are usually a great source of local information, knowing the best restaurants and things to do in Garda Trentino, including the best mountain paths and cycle lanes.
Another popular option is camping but these are not average campsites. Many boast excellent facilities, including swimming pools, kids’ clubs and even restaurants. The campsites are situated on the shores of Italy’s biggest lake and highly suited to families and sporty campers. If visitors don’t wish to bring their own caravan, motorhome or tent, the campsites have accommodation available for hire. Choosing to be on the campsite gives you the opportunity to be close to nature and possible being less expensive than a hotel.
The area also has lots of private apartments for rental – this is popular with those wanting to stay in self catering accommodation – you can find a full list of apartments available for rent, here
It’s no surprise that the dining experience is exceptional; the local culinary traditions are part of the unique charm of the area. Local menus feature traditional delights, including: carne salada De.Co.(Denomination of Town Origin), lake fish igp, Dro plums Dop, Torbole broccoli (Slow Food Presidium), Drena, Nago, Pranzo and Campi chestnuts (the last one De.Co.) Monte Baldo truffles and saffron, the delicate Extra Virgin Olive Oil of Garda Trentino Dop, wines like Nosiola, Schiava, Cabernet, Merlot, Chardonnay, Traminer, Sauvignon, Pinot bianco, Pinot grigio, Moscato giallo, aromatic grappa, and the venerable Vino Santo Trentino (Slow Food Presidium).
This gastronomic heritage is at the heart of the project “Holidays with Taste”, [http://www.gardatrentino.it/en/Food-Wines-Lake-Garda/ ] (launched here and shared with our neighbours Valle di Ledro and Vallagarina) which aims to promote local food and wine and develop the network of producers, restaurants, agritourism and shops. Local specialities are the focus of a series of themed menus for the end of summer and autumn and popular events like “Garda con Gusto”, Garda with Taste, which is dedicated to local food and wine. Please visit http://www.gardatrentino.it/en/Lake-Garda-Restaurants/ for some recommendations.
As an aperitif, the locals often have Aperol Spritz – Now you can get it here, but it doesn’t quite taste the same as when in Trentino, so worth a try.
There are so many exciting things to see around the local area of Bergamo, it is steeped in history, but these are our highlights:
The north of Lake Garda is most noteable for its ancient heritage and striking scenery. The awe-inspiring mountains tower above the towns such as Riva del Garda, Arco, Torbole sul Garda, Nago, Tenno, Dro and Drena giving you views that will not disappoint.
If you are looking for an action packed holiday adventure then Lake Garda is the perfect destination, there are so many activities to keep you occupied and get the heart racing. From world-class watersports facilities to rock climbing, walking and mountain biking, there are also some hidden architectural gems throughout the area. There are many ways to make your way around in the local area, there is a walk around the top of the lake, this includes a cycle path for those wanting to travel by bike. The local buses and ferries are also a great way to move between the towns. This area in Lake Garda really is suitable for anyone, there are activities and accommodation to suit anyone, be you a lone traveler, a family, an elderly couple.
With high mountainous surroundings, Riva del Garda is one of the most spectacular parts of the lake and a favoured spot for hill walkers and rock climbers. The town is popular for sailing due to the winds (one from the North and the other from the south of the lake). With the activities, architectural attractions, great places to eat and natural landscapes Riva is sure to entertain a variety of visitors.
Lake Garda is approximately 100km from Bergamo airport and takes approximately between 1hr 30 mins – depending on traffic and where abouts on the lake you are wanting to go.
Arco is a small town situated between Riva del Garda and Dro, the climate in the area is mild, which lends itself well to the pretty gardens (and the very interesting arboretum) around. There are lots of historical buildings in the local area, including the castle. Arco is known as a mecca for rock climbers.
Torbole is well known as the ultimate windsurfers paradise thanks to the winds that blow here. The Pelèr in the morning and Ora in the afternoon. The place also hosts many national, international and world championships throughout the year.
Nago, sitting above Torbole is surrounded by beautiful vegetation – the view back from the ruins of the castle towards the lake is outstanding. The local nature park of Monte Baldo, also called “The Garden of Europe”, is set on Nago – Torbole’s borders territory and is characterized by its rich diversity.
The medieval village Canale di Tenno is a must for those wanting to immerse themselves in the past. In Tenno, you can’t escape the history, art and culture. The village, entrenched on a mountain slope halfway Lake Garda and the Alps, has recently been included in the list of the most beautiful villages in Italy and this is not surprising: narrow paved alleys, arcades, small internal squares, houses set one against the other like in the ancient villages of the 13 century. The village was abandoned after the war, but in the sixties it came back alive thanks to lively artistic and cultural activities.
Dro is well-known to climbing and free climbing lovers, is the starting point of some of the most beautiful rock walls. It is also perfect for mountain treks and mountain biking. The area boasts many traditional stone buildings dating back to medieval times.
Further up into the mountains, the forests of Drena host ancient chestnut groves that produce the famous “Marroni di Drena”. The main attraction is Drena Castle, a medieval castle dating from the twelfth Century, overlooking the Sarca valley.
Shopping & Markets:
For those who like traditional markets, there are regular ones in the local area
1st& 3rd Wednesday in Arco
2nd& 4th Wednesday in Riva
Every Tuesday – Farmers market in Arco
Every Friday – Farmers market in Riva
Christmas market runs in Arco, Riva del Garda and Canale di in the run up to Christmas – There are lots of handmade things, Vin brulèe (like German Glühwein)
Taxis from the airport, also offer passengers a door to door service and this can be a great benefit, especially at night orfor business professionals needing to reach addresses that would normally be hard to reach using public transport.
Buses leave from the airport to Bergamo every 30 minutes throughout the day and connect passengers to the train station. The number of the Bergamo bus in number 1 and the bus drops passengers outside the train station and then also collects passengers from outside the railway station to take them back to the airport.
There are many major car hire companies that operate from inside Bergamo airport and all of them offer competitive rates.
It’s wise to check out the public transport timetables before embarking on your journey.