Two weeks ago, I went to Italy for a conference.  I was my first time there (second if you count the time I passed the border and went to Ventimiglia for an hour, just for the sake of saying I had been to Italy).  As my flight was landing in Bergamo, I decided to stay there for the first night before going to Milano.  I had been told it was a pretty town and I usually prefer smaller places, so this seemed perfect for me.  I wasn’t disappointed.  Bergamo is a lovely town, particularly la Citta Alta.

Bergamo at dusk under the mist

I arrived a bit late in the afternoon in warm but misty weather.  By the time I put down my luggage and got to the Citta Alta, it was already dusk (I had forgotten that in September the days would be shorter).  However, it was still nice and enabled me to practice some of Zhu’s wonderful tips on taking night photos, but I still have much progress to make.  Although I wasn’t helped by the mist, I think it gives a bit of atmosphere to the pics.

The archway (wrong one!)

Narrow street in Bergamo

I thus got off the bus, admired the view, went through an archway and went looking for the heart of the Citta Alta.  For some reason, I didn’t look at my map and I should have become alerted by seeing more people going down than up that steep street, but I was enjoying the view and the atmosphere of this narrow street with beautiful houses dominating the city.  I must admit that, for once, my sense of orientation totally failed me.  After a while, I found myself in some deserted street.  I tried to look on my ridiculous map but could not see where I was.  I still kept walking.  Next thing, I was on a dark road with nobody around.  Freaky!  Finally, I found a landmark, a castle (Castelli di San Vigilio).  No wonder I could not see where I was… I was outside the map!  So I went all the way back, still admiring the view but starting to get hungry.  When I arrived to the piazza where the bus had left me I saw another archway.  And for sure this was the entrance to the centre of the Citta Alta.

Wonderful view

Busy street in the heart of the Citta Alta

There I was at last!  Let me tell you, it was buzzing, nothing compared to where I had been.  I wandered for a while looking at the various restaurants and admiring the buildings and fronts of shops.  Hmmm, polenta seemed to be on a lot of the menus and I don’t like polenta (a long story).  I got the explanation quickly: it is the speciality of Bergamo; my luck!  I finally chose a restaurant that was busy enough, had quite an extensive menu and a lovely terrace that was properly lit, and I sat down for my dinner with my book.  I enjoyed my meal so much that I prolongated it by having a dessert (pannacotta with red fruits, yum!).  It was so relaxing to be sitting here with food, wine and a book and take the time to enjoy the buzz around.

However, my adventures weren’t finished.  I had seen on the internet that buses kept going until midnight and I never thought of checking the time of the last bus.  When I arrived to the bus stop, I discovered that I had missed the last bus by an hour!  I wasn’t the only one in this situation and two Scottish ladies were also wondering how to get back to the Citta Bassa.  We decided to share a taxi, but none were in view so we decided to walk back (thankfully, it was going down all the way).  An hour later I reached my apartment, exhausted!