There are many Bergamo day trips that uncover the charms of the Lombardy region. Some of the best places to visit are less than an hour drive away.
Bergamo Day Trips: Lombardy Region
While Bergamo is a convenient, easy day trip from the famous and stylish metropolis of Milan, it is also a worthy destination in itself without Milan in the picture. The historic walled city is a direct flight from numerous major European cities, including Athens. For those who love to explore the less-traveled, Bergamo is a perfect starting point to see the world of northern Italy beyond its famed cities.
As described in my earlier blog posts, exploring Bergamo’s old town/upper town and new town/lower town is the big highlight. When that’s accomplished, dedicating a day or more to explore its countryside means discovering an expansive landscape filled with fertile valleys, one big beautiful lake and access to impossibly quaint and picturesque villages around that lake.
6 kilometers northeast of Bergamo
If you love wine, this pocket of northern Italy is your place to roam. The wine region currently has 15 protected destination of origin (PDO) and 13 Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT) designations.
Those awarded designations alone equate to dozens of wineries that produce excellent wine. The Vineyard Brugherata Scanzorosciate is one of them. Rows of grape vines line the property and so do a few rustic small homes. The winery also produces olive oil from its own olive trees.
While touring the Vineyard Brugherata, I tasted the Scanzo Muscato Doge Brugherata, a 2009 red dessert wine with an intense aroma and floral notes of rose, fruity jams and cinnamon.
While in Scanzorosciate, dine at La Taverna Babale. A must-try dish is the local stuffed pasta called casoncelli. I particularly loved the Babale’s mushroom risotto – best I have ever tasted! I love everything about mushrooms and risotto.
32 kilometers northeast of Scanzorosciate/34 kilometers from Bergamo
While I wished sunny skies would break through during my visit to the charming little village of Clusone, the rainy grey day probably enhanced its beauty. Romantic misty skies framed a backdrop of medieval architecture and distant green sloping hills.
There, the Basilica Santa Maria Assunta stands grandly as the highlight of Clusone, a cathedral built between 1688-1698 right on the ruins of an ancient temple dedicated to the Roman goddess Diana. Its impressive porch consists of a wide arched hallway and a long stone “deck” area flanked by two impressive statues, perfect for taking in the view.
The cathedral’s interior is majestically detailed and its impressive touches are a story in itself.
In front of the facade of the basilica is the Oratory of Disciplini which features one of the most famous frescoes of Lombardy. This fresco named the Triumph of Death dates back to 1485.
At the lower end of the village, the astronomical clock stands as it has since 1583. The feat of a distinguished mathematician and engineer named Pietro Fanzago.
16 kilometers from Clusone/43 kilometers from Bergamo
The port village of Lovere sits right on the edge of Lake Iseo. Lovere’s architecture offers an essence of the neighboring country of Switzerland thanks to the wood roofed buildings. The narrow cobblestone streets are full of Italian village charm including quaint squares, medieval towers, pastel colored window shutters, small bakeries and the painted, faded yet charming signs labeling small shops and restaurants.
Lovere’s port is part of the town’s tree lined, lake front pedestrian way. It is a great vantage point to admire the lake side scenery of the region. Ferries depart and arrive each day, making scheduled stopping at other picturesque villages.
Just look at the fantastic views from the ferry ride by Navagazione Lago d’Iseo. You can check out the destinations and ferry schedules on the company’s site.
Scanzorosciate, Clusone and Lovere can all be done in a day or over a few days. For another great Bergamo day trip make plans to staya at the beautiful and elegant Pellegrino Thermal Spa, set in the area known the world over for its natural spring water.
Getting to Bergamo:
Ryan Air operates direct flights from many European destinations into Bergamo, just outside of Milan. Direct flights from Athens are about two hours. From € 30 /one way.
Where to Stay in Bergamo:
Many historic homes have been refurbished into quaint bed and breakfasts in the old upper town. I stayed at Casa Mario Lupo. I loved the warm hospitality, local breakfast and history of the residence. Check out my review.
Where to Eat in Bergamo:
Grazie to Turismo Bergamo sponsoring the excursion to discover the fantastic one day trips possible from beautiful Bergamo.
Have you ever visited the Lombardy region of Italy?