After spending 2 days in Bergamo we took the train to Milan and spent 2 days there before continuing on to Lake Como by train. It’s an hour on the train between Bergamo, Milan and Lake Como. We stayed 2 nights in the town of Lecco on Lake Como and used it as a base for exploring the beautiful nearby towns of Varenna and Bellagio. Afterwards, we returned to Bergamo and flew back to Dublin.
The entire week was wonderful and filled with stunning scenery and great espresso everywhere, but the best food we ate was in Bergamo. We also drank the best Italian craft beer of our trip, though being in Italy we typically stuck with wine.
For food, beauty, architecture, art and tranquility you can’t go wrong spending 2-3 days in Bergamo. You could easily spend an entire day in Bergamo just church hopping. The town has an abundance of stunning churches with ceiling frescoes that are reminiscent of the Sistine Ceiling at the Vatican. Another fantastic thing about church hopping in Bergamo is that admission to all of the beautiful churches is free and not packed with tourists.
Bergamo has a modern lower town and a medieval upper town. Accommodations in the upper town are more expensive because that’s where the bulk of tourists go. We stayed in the lower town and took the vernacular train to the upper town. But if you spend a few days in the old town, don’t dismiss the lower town as there’s still some great areas to explore.
If we could replicate our week in Lombardy we probably wouldn’t do anything different (asides from maybe stuffing ourselves with even more pizza). For a week in this region, consider dividing your time between Bergamo, Milan and Lake Como. While this may seem like a lot for a week, the distances between these places are only around an hour apart, and easy to navigate with efficient and easy to understand trains and ferries to have a great time with minimal hassle. This is definitely an area of the world we’d love to return to someday and on a future trip we may add a different lake to the itinerary, like Lake Iseo, just east of Bergamo and Lake Lugano in Switzerland, both of which would also be fantastic.