For somewhere that should feel quaint, quaint isn’t quite the right word to describe Città Alta. Yes, there are quiet, cobbled streets. Yes, there are little shops, cafes and restaurants; some hidden away. Yes, there are old buildings, even older buildings and a hill top castle. But, there’s a lively bustle contributed to by the [main] road, buskers, tourists and cars/scooters forcing their way down mainly pedestrian roads; all of which removes the quaint feel.
Despite this, Città Alta provides some beautiful views over Bergamo, countryside and distant mountains. And if looking out across Bergamo over the Venetian walls, Milan’s high rise buildings can even be seen on the horizon. Dotted around Città Alta are university buildings; during term time, the number of students milling around outnumbers the tourists. For student travellers, this can make for a cheaper visit as many places offer a student discount. Although, these offers may only be available to local or Italian students, but it’s worth asking.
A bus can be caught from the train station (ticket machine can be confusing and only takes coins; some also take card). Understanding which ‘zones’ are travelled through and which ticket is needed may require asking someone- there is an information point out the front of the train station, which could come in handy. Tickets are around 2-3€, however there more zones travelled through the higher the price. Useful for tourists, there’s an option to get a 24hr or 72hr network ticket that takes away a fair bit of confusion.
The bus can be taken all the way to the top of the funicular or can be left at the base. There are bus stops throughout the route and can be left at any point (the earlier the stop, the more hill walking).
Food And Drink
Along the main streets, there are plenty of restaurants, cafes, pasticcerie and gelaterie.
Restaurants serve local dishes as well as pizza and popular pasta dishes, depending on how adventurous the diner feels.
It feels necessary to mention that there is an entire shop dedicated to selling red wine. However, if red wine isn’t your poison, then there’s plenty of liquor shops and bars selling other alcohols.
All around Città Alta are water fountains and taps where bottles can be refilled and quick drinks can be taken, which is incredibly helpful on sunny days.
Shops selling sweets, other treats and souvenirs are also dotted around.
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