Time seems to come to a standstill when you enter Bergamo, a city in Lombardy just 40 km (25 mi) northeast of Milan. In Città Alta, the upper city, broad cobblestone paths wind past Renaissance and Baroque style buildings, leading to majestic palazzos and thriving piazzas that have stood for centuries.
Surrounding the upper city is a formidable stone wall which has guarded the city since the early 14th-century. The border, especially ethereal at night under the red glow of the street lamps, was built by the Venetians who ruled the city for almost 400 years. A funicular connects the ancient administrative centre of Bergamo to the more modern residential quarters – Città Bassa, the lower city – which itself has a history dating all the way back to the 19th-century.
Here, we recommend 10 accommodation options, from hotels to vacation rentals, where you can head out from to experience life in the medieval town of Bergamo.
Palazzo Rivola is another gem just minutes away from Piazza Vecchia, and the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. This contemporary palace contrasts rustic styles with contemporary fittings to create a unique ambience in each room. Unpolished wooden door frames are paired with concrete-grey walls, and bare brick feature walls augment the pop of lime-green or orange of the bed frames.
Located on the 3rd and 4th floor of a 17th-century building, guests can be sure of a peaceful sleep at night. In the morning, you can enjoy a traditional Italian breakfast with views of the beautiful city below. This quaint B&B only has 5 rooms, so do make sure to reserve your places early!
Beneath the hewn stone exterior of Gombit Hotel, a playful, minimalist interior lies waiting to delight guests. The eclectic hotel is a project of the prestigious DesignHotels circuit, which brings together artists dedicated to applying their creativity to living spaces. Each space in Gombit has been carefully curated to a color theme, be it the earth-brown of the classic room, the deep orange of the deluxe room, or the pastel green of the superior room. Design culminates in the suite loft, which features a mahogany staircases set against a floor to ceiling stone wall. Most impressive of all, the furnishings in Gombit Hotel are tailor made with comfort and spatial geometry in mind.
Gombit Hotel can be found next to Torre del Gombito, a 13th-century stone tower built as a symbol of power to restrict access to Piazza Vecchia. Today, it is opened to the public, who can scale its 263 steps to discover sweeping views of the city and its surrounding vistas. On clear days, you can even see as far as Milan.
The Fabulous Central Flat is fabulous for two reasons. First, for its convenient location. The modern flat is located surprisingly close to the historic landmarks in Città Alta, underlining the fact that this city’s best treasures are behind its walls. Second, for its refined design. The monochromatic color scheme of the apartment is anything but dull, oozing sophistication with the owner’s tasteful choice of steel, wood, and glass as the primary materials for its furnishings. Large windows let in an abundance of natural light, reflecting off the white walls to brighten the space naturally.
If such a spacious three bedroom apartment, seated in a prime location, is not reason enough to convince you to rent the property, perhaps the knowledge and affability of the host Anna just might.
Fabulous Central FlatBergamo, Lombardia, Italy
Top guest reviewsvery nice kitchen and full amenitieswe found the kitchen lacking in the basic amenities and in general was not set up for optimum comfortthe street has nice cafes for breakfastvery spacious and cozy apartment with a lot of natural light especially in the living roomanna's apartment is really spacious and comfortable and it looks even better than the photosthe place was very clean and the space was massiveapartment was extremely cleanit was very clean and had everything we needed for our stayit was big clean and comfortable for our group of 6anna's place is beautiful and spacious very clean and well equipped
Host:anna was a fantastic hostanna was a fantastic hostanna and roberto are great hostsshe is a wonderful hostanna is a very friendly hostRead more reviewsgreat location close to transportationthe location was great only a 5-minute walk away from the stationgreat central location near the bus terminalgreat location near to bus & rail stationamazing apartment in a good location with the train station within easy walking distance
Petronilla Hotel is a boutique hotel in the borough of San Leonardo in Città Bassa. The place is excellent for its attention to detail, be it in meeting the needs of their guests, or in the wooden bathtub and unique decor of its rooms. Its lower ground floor is a wellness zone where you can soak in the wooden hot tub, meditate in the infrared sauna, or request for a deep-body massage.
The 12 rooms of Petronilla are themed according to contemporary art icons such as Caravaggio or Giorgio De Chirico. Depending on the masterpiece featured, the palettes and furniture are matched accordingly. To ensure that you enjoy the most out of Bergamo, the hotel even offers itineraries customised to your schedule and interests.
Best Western Hotel Cappello d’Oro is a 4 star business hotel in Città Bassa that offers all the modern amenities of a conventional hotel, with the warm hospitality of Bergamo culture. The hotel offers a lavish breakfast spread from 6.30am to get you going nice and early. There is also a sauna and gym to help you unwind after a long day of exploring. Just 5 mins away from Bergamo Train Station, the Best Western is ideal for those visiting the town for a brief stopover.
The Excelsior San Marco Hotel is another classic option in Città Bassa, just a 15 minute walk away from the funicular. While the rooms are immaculate and well-equipped as is the standard for any 4 star accommodation, it is the Roof Garden Restaurant that leave many visitors raving.
Facing Città Alta, the restaurant has a superb view of the walled city and its soaring bell towers, steeples, and domes. Its all glass design is intended to harmonise the ancient of the outside, with the stylish setting of the inside. In the summer, request for an alfresco seat in the spacious balcony to watch the milling crowds below, as you tuck into a full course Italian meal.
In Loft nel cure di Città Alta, the words “sii all'altezza dei tuoi desideri” – be worthy of your desires – is written prominently on the wall. It is not hard to be inspired by such thoughts in this exquisite loft, with its exposed rafters, uncluttered layout, and basic black and white interior that encourages gentle living.
The loft is situated right behind the Duomo. You can get a glimpse of Città Bassa, and even Milan on clear days, through the many windows that brighten the place immensely. Outfitted with a full kitchen and other essential appliances, you can definitely settle in to the apartment for a few nights and experience living in the surreal upper city.
Cà del Borgo-Loft nel cuore di Città Alta-TransferBergamo, Lombardia, Italy
Top guest reviewsan amazing modern apartment with all the amenities you needthis is a lovely apartment with a very large living room amazing views and very brightthe views were wonderful the bed very comfortable and everything was incredibly cleantop floor apartment with stairs rewarded by magnificent viewother than the very steep stairs and loud bell tower the apartment is a great findeverything was very clean and tidythe apartment is super clean and tidy very modern but set in a beautiful old palazzothe flat is nicely renovated and was sparkling cleanit is furnished very we'll and was very clean it has everything you needthe apartment was clean and inviting and we would have loved to stay for more than one night
Host:simona is a wonderful hostgreat apartment and exceptional hostsimona is a great hostgreat place lovely host and was exactly as portrayedsimona was lovely - a fantastic host who went above and beyond to make sure we were comfortableRead more reviewsthe location was perfect and very close to everything in citta altaamazing apartment in a brilliant locationgreat apartment with a perfect location in the citythe apartment is in a great location right in the middle of the old townbeautiful place great location right in the heart of the città alta
Porta Dipinta house Upper Bergamo is also a vacation rental located in an energetic part of Città Alta, a mere 550 m (1,804 ft) away from the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. However, the owners of Porta Dipinta chose to accentuate Bergamo’s historicity with parts of the building’s original stone walls left uncovered. Frescoes adorn the bedrooms, affirming the local sentiment that art should be celebrated by everyone, everywhere.
A line of teal green wooden shutters takes you through to a wrought-iron balcony, which overlooks an elegant courtyard. Feel free to sip a glass or two of cool wine under the sheltered patio table, or in the colder months, take your conversation indoors where a cosy lounge and a blazing fireplace awaits.
Porta Dipinta house Upper BergamoBergamo, Lombardia, Italy
Top guest reviewswhat a lovely apartment exactly as seen on internethaving two bathrooms was great with two families sharingthere is heating control for the rooms and the house is extremely peacefulbeautiful apartment very well finished in a beautiful area of the old townwe received a very warm welcome from angela's parents and the fridge was generously stocked with breakfast provisionssuper clean and stylishcharming clean and comfortable housethe bathrooms are new with lovely towels and the bedrooms very spacious and comfortablecheck-in was easy communication was clear the home was very cleanthe space is immaculately clean and absolutely charming-- it's also in the perfect location
Host:amazing town amazing home and an amazing hostangela was an outstanding hostthanks angela you were a wonderful hostthey were so welcoming and helpful giving us many local tips and recommendationswe really loved angela's home and she was an amazing hostRead more reviewsthis apartment is a great location in citta altaso easy to walk everywhereonly wish we could stay for longer highly recommended for the friendly welcome beautiful house and amazing locationa beautiful apartment in a great quiet locationgreat location in città alta with an array of great restaurants and gelato close by
Part of a refurbished farmstead, the vibrant floral rooms of Dimora Le Nove Fate reflect the lush blooms and landscapes surrounding the property. The bucolic retreat sits at the entrance of Brembana, the Bergamo valley 6 km (3.7 mi) from the main town. Legend has it that the stunning valley was formed when nine fairies transformed a lake to trap a fearsome monster.
Parco dei Colli, where the B&B is seated, is a network of walkways, biking paths, and horse riding trails. The best way to enjoy the hill view is from the courtyard, as you tuck into a hearty, homemade Italian breakfast. For those seeking a bit of magic in the old hills, the enchanting estate of Dimora Le Nove Fate beckons.
Hotel Piazza Vecchia is a revived 14th-century townhouse that once belonged to the great Bartolomeo Colleoni, a captain-general of the Republic of Venice. It is situated a mere 50 m (164 ft) away from its namesake, the old square of Piazza Vecchia, otherwise known as the heart of Città Alta.
The hotel cultivates a cosy atmosphere with exposed stone and wood surfaces, and flax-colored walls. Replicas of masterpieces by Van Gogh, Gauguin and Bergamo’s own Trento Longaretti, all skillfully painted by the proprietor Tiziana De Franceschi himself, anoint the place with a touch of elegance. At Hotel Piazza Vecchia heritage coexists with modernity.
Bergamo, an open air museum
Bergamo is a treasure trove of art, history, and gastronomy. Its mix of architecture is testament to the different cultures that have battled to rule this enchanting city. Città Alta is perfect for those who want to bask fully in the medieval vibe, with piazzas, cathedrals and palaces often just within spitting distance of their doorstep. On the other hand, those who gravitate towards a more familiar stay might prefer the accommodations at Città Bassa. Even then, with the funicular so centrally located, and the shopping streets throbbing with life, you never have to worry about missing out on the excitement in Bergamo.
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