Smart hotel is right in the centre of the Città Bassa
|The smart and modern NH Bergamo|
The immaculate and comfortable NH Bergamo is in a great location in Bergamo’s lower town, the Città Bassa.
This modern hotel in Via Paleocapa is close to the railway station and the stops for buses going to the upper town, the Città Alta, or to Bergamo Caravaggio airport.
It is handy for the best shops and restaurants in the lower town, but within walking distance of the funicular railway that ferries passengers up to the historic Città Alta.
The smart, well-designed hotel has 88 comfortable guest rooms, all with TV, mini bar and free Wi-Fi.
An excellent buffet breakfast is served daily on the ground floor of the hotel and there is a 24-hour bar service.
Editor’s note: ‘I enjoyed a comfortable, peaceful stay at the NH Bergamo. The room was quiet and I was able to sleep soundly, even though I was in the centre of the lower town and close to the main street.’
For more information, to check prices and to book a room at the NH Bergamo…
Why stay at the NH Bergamo?
The NH Bergamo is in a good position, right in the centre of Bergamo’s Città Bassa, but it is also handy for both the buses and the funicular railway up to Bergamo’s historic Città Alta.
It is within walking distance of the main sights in the Città Bassa.and all the shops, bars and restaurants.
The hotel is close to the stops for the bus service that runs to the airport and is also handy for the railway station and the regular train services to Milan, Brescia, Lecco and Cremona. From the nearby bus station there are coaches to resorts on Lago d’Iseo and the countryside north of Bergamo.
|Bergamo's beautiful Piazza Vecchia|
What to see in Bergamo
Bergamo is a fascinating historic city with two distinct centres. The Città Alta is a beautiful walled city with buildings that date back to medieval times but there are plenty of shops, bars and restaurants to make it comfortable for visitors today.
At the heart of the upper town is Piazza Vecchia, which was remodelled during the Renaissance and has been hailed by architects and writers as the most beautiful square in Italy.
It is surrounded by old palaces and has a 12th century bell tower that still strikes 100 times at ten pm each night to mark the ancient curfew.
With bars on two corners and prestigious restaurants along two sides, Piazza Vecchia is the perfect place to stop for something to eat and drink.
You can walk through the archways under Palazzo della Ragione to Piazza Duomo where you will see the Duomo, the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, the Colleoni Chapel and the Battistero - all of them architectural gems.
Streets of shops and restaurants lead off Piazza Vecchia to other squares with fountains, beautiful buildings, old churches and museums.
The elegant Città Bassa grew up on the plain below and still has buildings that date back to the 15th century.
More imposing and elaborate architecture was added in the 19th and early 20th centuries and it is now a vibrant city with a wealth of shops, bars and restaurants. There are also palaces, churches, art galleries and museums to visit as well as a theatre and other venues providing concerts and entertainment.
|The elegant Via Sentierone|
Via Sentierone, a short walk from NH Bergamo, is a popular place for la passeggiata. The Sentierone, which means broad path, links Piazza Vittorio Veneto with Via Torquato Tasso, a road that leads into the oldest part of the Città Bassa.
The Donizetti theatre, named after the opera composer, is on the corner of Via Sentierone, and close by, the Donizetti monument, set back from Via Sentierone in Piazza Cavour, was erected in 1897 to commemorate the first anniversary of the birth of the composer in Bergamo.
Directions: From the airport, you can either take a reasonably priced taxi, or buy a ticket for the No 1 bus that passes the railway station before turning along Viale Papa Giovanni XXIII in the direction of the Città Alta. The hotel is in Via Palocapa, on the left, which is across the road and a short distance from the bus stop outside the beautiful church of Santa Maria delle Grazie. The church is a good landmark, on the corner of Viale Papa Giovanni XXIII and Porta Nuova, with its 19th century green cupola topped with a golden statue.
La Ciotola is a short walk away from NH Bergamo in Viale Papa Giovanni XXIII in the centre of the Città Bassa. La Ciotola, which means ‘the bowl’, offers many Bergamo specialities, including the local pasta dish, casoncelli,gnocchi with fennel in a cream sauce and risotto with truffles in red wine. There are fish and chicken dishes and a long pizza list, or you could try the local favourite of veal with mushrooms and polenta.
Try casoncelli alla bergamasca (Bergamo’s own version of stuffed pasta), polenta taragna (polenta with Taleggio cheese) and stinco al forno (pork shank braised in wine with vegetables and herbs).
White: Try Valcalepio Bianco, a light dry wine with a delicate fragrance, produced in the small valley between Bergamo and Lago d’Iseo.
Red: Valcalepio Rosso is dry and soft with an intense scent. It is placed on sale every year after 1 November following six months’ refinement in wooden casks. It goes well with red meat, game and polenta and local cheeses, such as taleggio.
|The Bergamo speciality casoncelli|
One of the main thoroughfares in the Città Bassa in Bergamo is Via XX Settembre, which leads from Piazza Vittorio Veneto in the centre to Largo Nicolo Rezzara at the lower end of Via Sant’Alessandro.
Dubbed ‘the shopping street’ by the Bergamaschi because of the wealth of smart shops that line both sides, Via XX Settembre is named after an important event in Italy’s history. It was on 20 September 1870 that Italian troops under Victor Emmanuel II finally entered Rome and completed the unification of Italy.
Rome had remained under French control even after the first Italian parliament had proclaimed Victor Emmanuel King of Italy, despite repeated events by nationalists to liberate it. But after the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian war, Napoleon III withdrew his troops. Italian soldiers seized their chance, and, after a brief bombardment were able to enter Rome through a breach in the walls at Porta Pia.
Victor Emmanuel took up residence in the Quirinale Palace and Italy was declared officially united.
These days shoppers celebrate the anniversary by visiting the establishments gracing the elegant street such as Calvin Klein, Stefanel, Benetton, Max Mara, Luisa Spagnoli, Marina Rinaldi and Sisley.