Bergamo, Italy
45° 41' N 9° 43' E
Jul 06, 2009 12:39
Distance 104km

Text written in: English

Northern Italy

Bergamo. Tuesday, July 6th.

Train into Bergamo: went through some whistle stop towns to get there.  Bergamo is where the Ryanair flight for 'Milan'  leaves from.  It is actually 50 K away, halfway between Verona and Milan.  Nice compromise, as I was less than eager to go to Milan: it is a city of 1.5 million.  As luck would have it, it rained for most of the train ride, but as soon as I got to Bergamo it stopped.   

 

Bergamo is a town of 117,000 huddled up against the foothills of the Alps, and near the lakes of Northern Italy.  It has a cute walled town on the top of a hill behind the new town.  You can take a Funicular to the top, or you could walk up.  Decided the latter, which naturally implies getting lost, dis-oriented, seeing views that come along the way and getting  a good workout.  The cobblestone road had surprises, for every time you stopped to look or take a photo, the sights just got better and the earlier photos deleted.

 

The 12th century village was surrounded with a 5 K wall and had the signature narrow alleys, steeples and citadels, buildings with pillars (precisely carved), and so many churches, each with its spire pointing upwards.  It made me think of  Dubai with all its mosques.   Dubai prides itself that there is a mosque every 500 meters : well this small old town beats this claim easily, but with churches instead.  As one of the attached photos shows, there are at least seven steeples in this one shot, and there were several in other directions.

 

When I started this adventure, the first order of business was the interview done on the way to Athens.  The outcome of this interview was constantly on my mind.  At first it was just waiting for time to pass, then there was the disappointment of not hearing anything ten days later, then letting go of an affirmative result and finally, after I had accepted rejection, the job offer e-mail came.  What a glow this positive result has been. It  put a halo of grace  onto this new pilgrimage.

 

And so ends the trekking part of this trip.  What a wonderful experience it has been.  There have been so many highlights, but the crowning day was the day on Brac Island.  Rent a scooter, pretend you know how to ride it, fill the tank with gas, bring your swimmer and experience the Mediterranean as it once was: there has not been a finer day in my travels. 

Photos / videos of "Northern Italy":

Entrance to the fortified top of the hill, where the old town of Bergamo is. I am at the foothills of the Alps, so it is green, hilly and has a mild climate in the summer. In the centre of the walled town at the top of the hill is a castle from the Middle ages.  Could not get in, but maybe that was just as well. The walled town is quite large, and within it there is its own hill. Churches and steeples everywhere.  In the olden days, folks were avid RC church goers, but not today. One of the many narrow alleys that cross the old fortress town of Bergamo. View from another part of the wall. Liked the mixture of shade and sunlight, and the canyon feeling. Town centre square. View of the fortress town from the modern Bergamo.  I walked all the way up and down from where I am standing.  It was a grand day indeed.