Hiring a car in Bergamo

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Hiring a car in Bergamo

Pick up your hire car at Bergamo Airport and get ready for some breathtaking views, on and off the slopes.

60-second guide to Bergamo

in its own head

"Where else in Italy do you get two towns for the price of one? We've got an ancient walled upper town and a vibrant, modern lower town. Beat that!"

but more realistically

While Bergamo might not be the only town to blend new and old, it is indeed a fine mixture of Italian history sitting side by side with a modern residential city.

the vibe

The cobblestone upper town is the place to head for medieval spires and shady squares, whereas the lower town is where you'll find the real Italian buzz.

the natives

The locals are much more laid back than their Milanese neighbours. Take time out and go at their pace.

the weather

The climate in the plain of Lombardy is continental, with hot summers and severe winters. Perfect for sunseekers and ski enthusiasts alike.

the local speciality

The cuisine of Bergamo is Alpine-Venetian, and polenta is served with virtually everything. The local specialty is polenta e oseia, a polenta cake decorated with little chocolate birds' heads.

the celebrity

They don't come more famous than the pope. The 20th century's most popular pontiff, Pope John XXIII, was born in Bergamo.

did you know?

The current Miss Italy, Claudia Ferraris, is from Bergamo.

they say

"Bergamo is a perfect place to come and find traditional country food." - celebrity chef Antonio Carluccio

5 to see in town...

1. Accademia Carrara

This terrific gallery of Italian art houses the odd Botticelli, Rafaello, Bellini, and even Carpaccio - more than just a tasty raw meat, it seems.

where to park?

There's plenty of free parking available in the area around Piazzale Lodovico Goisis in the Stadium Atleti Azzurri d'Italia neighbourhood.

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2. Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore

If you like your churches to be a steamy mixture of Renaissance and Gothic architecture with grand doorways guarded by sculpted lions, look no further.

where to park?

Metered parking spaces are available along the Viale delle Mura for a maximum stay of two hours.

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3. Capella Colleoni

Next door to Santa Maria Maggiore is the extravagant Rennaisance tomb of the famous local condottiere Bartolomeo Colleoni, built in the 15th century. The fabulously ornate building is considered a masterpiece of Lombard art.

where to park?

The Colleoni Chapel is right next to the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, so you won't need to move your hire car. If the Viale delle Mura is full, try Viale della Fara, where you can park for up to four hours.

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4. Piazza Vecchia

Once you've had your fill of staring open-mouthed at great works of art or gigantic churches, head for this gracious square in the heart of medieval Bergamo for a scoop of ice cream and a long exhale. There are some great restaurants, too.

where to park?

Park at the Piazza Mercato del Fieno for €1.80 per hour. It's near the upper station of the funicular railway.

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5. The Porta Nuova district

With its interconnected squares, promenades and civic architecture - including the Donizetti Theatre and the Law and Justice building - the Porta Nuova district is the showpiece of modern Bergamo.

where to park?

You can park your hire car for free at the funicular railway station in the lower town, or at the central rail station.

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and 4 to drive to...

1. Montecampione

Whether you prefer to traverse the slopes by ski or by board, the dramatic mountains around Montecampione are well worth the hour drive from bustling Bergamo.

how to get there?

Head southeast on Piazza Giacomo Matteotti and pick up the SS42. Exit onto Strada Comunale delle Sorti and follow signs for Montecampione.

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2. Foppolo

Whether you were born to snowboard or are only just finding your ski feet, there's a slope at this family friendly resort for everyone. Slope-side lodging is available in the quaint village below.

how to get there?

Follow the Via Guglielmo Marconi/SS470 and merge into the SP2, following signs to Foppolo. The journey will take roughly an hour and 15 minutes.

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3. Aprica

This extensive slope is a favourite among first-time skiers, with 16 pistes well-designed to help you find your feet... and a host of other attractions should you struggle.

how to get there?

It will take a good two hours to reach the slopes. Follow the SS42, then exit for the SS39. Turn left at Via Palabione for Aprica.

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4. Padua

The ancient city of Padua claims to be one of the oldest cities in Northern Italy, so if historic buildings are more your thing, come lose yourself in the rambling arcades.

how to get there?

Take the A4 and continue on to the SP47. Keep following the SP47 until you see signs for Padova Centro. Exit here and take the Calvalcavia Chiesanuova towards Padua. The drive will take up to two hours.

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