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There’s a wealth of reasons to visit Bergamo – and just as many reasons to arrange Bergamo car rental with TravelSupermarket...
If you’ve holidayed in Milan or Italy’s lakes before, you’ve probably heard of Bergamo. In fact, you might have landed here; many low-cost airlines use the city’s airport as a gateway to the treasures of the glittering capital and the lakes of the Lombardy region. It’s a surprise then that the locals have managed to keep their gorgeous little walled city such a well-guarded secret.
With medieval architecture, a glorious mountain backdrop, and some of the region’s most tempting restaurants, Bergamo should be swarming with tourists. Thankfully, it’s not, and you can enjoy a few days here with a warm welcome and a charismatic and attractive city on your doorstep begging to be explored.
It’s immediately obvious what sets this city aside from its Italian sisters. If you’re in the modern, lower part of the city known as Citta Bassa you need only to look up to gaze upon the beauty of Citta Alta, perched in the hills above and wrapped by an ancient set of Venetian walls. It’s here that a web of medieval streets reveal surprise after surprise as your feet lead you on a journey past time-worn chapels, churches, bell towers, museums, theatres and pretty fountain-dotted squares. But if sweeping views make your heart flutter, take an amble along the walls for far-reaching views across Lombardy and hop aboard the funicular railway with a camera at the ready. The railway connects the lower and upper towns.
Bergamo’s airport is a 15-minute drive south of the city centre. Known as Bergamo Orio al Serio Airport, as well as Milan Bergamo and Il Caravaggio, you can find great-value flights here throughout the year. If you’re after cheap car hire, Bergamo Airport has plenty of rental providers and you can find a deal when you book in advance with TravelSupermarket. You can collect your pre-booked vehicle at the airport or at a location in downtown Bergamo.
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When you’ve seen the best bits of Bergamo, make a beeline for Milan, the mountains or the shimmering shores of Italy’s lakes...
It takes less than an hour to reach the heart of Milan from Bergamo, though the busy streets of this mega-city can feel like a world away from the medieval lanes of Bergamo. In Milan, fashion, football and food rule. The city features a good number of landmarks and major attractions too. Must-sees include the Duomo and da Vinci’s Last Supper, which can be viewed in the Monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazia. Catch an opera at La Scala or cheer on one of the Milanese sides at the San Siro stadium.
Italy’s famous lakes are also within easy reach of Bergamo. Lake Iseo might not be one of the most recognised names on the map, but you need only spend a few hours here to be persuaded of its virtues. With hardly any of the tourists that gather around the other lakeshores, Iseo presents a hushed look at Italian life by the water and plenty of opportunities to connect with nature via hikes, horse trails, cycle routes, swimming and sailing. You can reach Lake Iseo by road from Bergamo in around half an hour.
A little further away and in the opposite direction is the eastern branch of Lake Como, which is certain to ring a few bells. This celebrated haven of luxury and celebrity has long been drawing crowds to its exclusive village retreats. The lower parts of the lake can be accessed in around 40 minutes from Bergamo, or you could venture onwards to destinations such as Bellagio or Varenna, both accessible in less than 90 minutes after departing Bergamo. You could also drive to the southern and western shores of Lake Garda in around 80 minutes.
Many visitors land at Bergamo Airport to take advantage of the winter ski season. Dozens of runs can be found within a 45-minute drive of the city – just another great reason to book car hire in Bergamo.