We’re very close to recovered from the bewildering experience of moving overseas (for the second time in a year). Our home is feeling like a proper home. We’re starting to run into people we know while we’re out and about. I know which grocery stores will have what I’m looking for. It feels like we are settled enough to at last properly enjoy some adventures in Italy.
Winter has been mild so far, and they say uncharacteristically dry. But it’s still a European winter, kind of cold and kind of dreary and kind of turned off for tourists. Over the winter break we talked ourselves into a couple of day trips simply for the sake of getting out. One day we wandered Milan. Another we drove to Bergamo.
We chose Bergamo simply because it had a funicular in operation and was within an hour’s drive. Funiculars and trains are our tactic for getting our kids excited about being tourists. “Isn’t it exciting?!?!”
There are two parts to Bergamo: Bassa and Alta, or low and high. The low part is where the business happens, where you can find the impressive banks and buildings.
The high part, Citta Alta, contains a well-preserved medieval square and all the tourists. I did not take a photo of Citta Alta from below before the fog descended. Lesson learned: if you have the shot, take it!
The interior of the duomo in Citta Alta is breath-taking, a nice surprise well-kept by its rather modest facade. We haven’t explored many Italian cathedrals, and I’m always stunned by the opulence and detail inside them.
I do enjoy wandering the streets of preserved medieval hilltop villages. Something about the food and treats and shopping makes me feel like I’m in a parallel universe, where piles of laundry and bills don’t exist.
A small natural history museum can also be found in Citta Alta. Admission is cheap and there’s something magical about seeing so many animals in suspended animation. The boys liked having something to look at that interested them, a little reward for a crowded funicular ride and a long stroll through town.
We weren’t particularly motivated with this trip, so we skipped the tower that would have given us a view over the city and the second funicular. Hopefully we’ll get back our family travel groove –– there is much to see in the next 2 years!