Luca was right, Bergamo was “molto bello.” We had heard it called the “wealthiest city in Italy”, and our expectations didn’t let down. The entire old town is built atop a steep cliff. Cars are not allowed in the old city on the weekends so we had to take the stuffy, hot and unventilated Funicular to the top, where upon exiting we were drenched in our own sweat and the smell of deodorentless Europeans. The old town, or “Bergamo Alta” was very well maintained, very walkable and shoppable. It seems like an important city historically as well as architecturally, as there are many gems to be found here. It was the first city invaded by the Nazis in Italy and there was a park with lots of WWII memorabilia and statues. Luca and Massimo explained that when the Nazis came to Ghisalba they knocked down doors and stole all the children away and killed them.
We were surprised to see tourists in the city as it barely appears in any guidebooks. Other than us the tourist population seemed to be mostly from other parts of Europe, like somehow that the city just never made it into the English guidebooks. But it was very interesting, with its obvious Venetian influence and interesting architecture. It seemed very rich. We loved being in a beautiful city that didn’t feel overly crowded or over touristy in the high season. It felt like we had a secret. Luca and Massimo insisted on paying for the entire excursion and we returned back to Ghisalba to pack up our things before saying our goodbyes and heading on our way to Slovenia.
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