Wednesday 5th May 2010 Weather:-Rain-15 degrees
Bergamo, Lombardy, Italy-B&B Entro le Mura
Bergamo (population 120,000) is an extremely pretty old town in Lombardy and is located on the edge of the Bergamasque Alps. This City's location is set on a defensive hilltop and in 1561 AD the citizens of the town started to build the very thick, stout walls that have protected it for centuries; nowadays this historic part of town is known as the 'Citta Alta' (upper town) and that's where we are staying in a little Bed And Breakfast called 'Entro le Mura'. There is a much extended part of Bergamo that surrounds the 'Citta Alta' and this is known as the 'Citta Bassa'(lower town) it is a lot more modern and is where the local train station is situated. Luckily they have a funicular to take people from the top of the city to the base—lucky for us as we will be catching the train from down there on Friday to our next stop which will be Venice.
This morning we had a bit of reprieve from the rain that has been plaguing this side of the world so we took the opportunity to walk 6k of the perimeter of these walls (7.4k) and came across some very scenic and picturesque places. The whole town is dressed in flags and 'Welcome to the Alpini' signs as the Alpini Brigade of soldiers that have defended this part of the world so many times in years gone by are having their 83rd year anniversary here with the official programme commencing on Friday and culminating on Sunday—there are signs all over the place with businesses and restaurants offering the old and not so old soldiers much reduced prices as a gesture of "Thank You"—It is nice to see them in their typical Alpine Hats and it would have been even nicer to be able to stay and witness some of their Remembrances later on in the week but alas, there is not an empty room in the house for at least 20ks around this place, I know for we have tried to find one. Enrica the owner of our B&B told us by e-mail earlier when I was trying to get a booking for this comming week-end that they had 400,000 people comming but Herman and I wonder if she has used one to many zero's.
Today we have just explored around the perimeter of this 'Citta Alta' of Bergamo and found the place utterly beautiful with so many quaint and pretty little corners but unfortunately the low sky prevented some nice photos of the Alps—perhaps tomorrow we will be more successful—come hail, rain or shine we are going to climb up the Campanone(Civic Tower) 52 metres high to see what we can see from there as well as well as going to do all the other touristy things that must not be missed around here.