Visiting Bergamo - Part II

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Photo Credit: Myself


Hello, guys!


In my previous post, I made it to the middle of the little adventure I had in Bergamo, Italy. And in this one, I want to share a few more insights while being in the city. I'll continue right where I left off.



Photo Credit: Myself


The Funiculars


What is a Funicular?

Definition of Funicular

Also called funicular railway. A railway up the side of a mountain, consisting of a counterbalanced car sat either end of a cable passing round a driving wheel at the summit.


Photo Credit: Myself


Another option for transportation in Bergamo besides the buses are the funiculars. I knew that there was some kind of mini tram on ropes or something, or at least that was my impression from the pictures on the maps of Bergamo, but I didn't actually know what it is exactly until I saw it with my own eyes. The moment I saw it I remembered that I used such transportation before, in my own country - at the fortress Cari Mali Grad (I have a separate blog about it). In Bergamo, there are two stations for funiculars, and it's a popular way of traveling because the trip is faster than with the bus and there are no stops.



Photo Credit: Myself


And of course the view, but there is an awesome view with the bus as well, so I can't tell which one is better. I wouldn't say the funiculars look like trams to me, I would call them open-air elevators (the only difference is that they don't move up - down, but a bit diagonally) or lifts, but this is a question of perceiving, I guess. On the way down we used this option to reach to the lowest parts of the city. And once we left the last funicular a bus was just stopping at the bus stop right in front of it and we ran to catch it.



Photo Credit: Myself


The Buses



Photo Credit: Myself


Now when I remember this story, I have the feeling that it might not have been the best decision to catch this particular bus. You'll understand why a bit later on. The buses in Bergamo as I noticed have a very strange numeration, according to my understanding. Like, for example, at the bus stop I tried my best to read the schedule, and it appeared that it's not enough. I saw buses from the sort of 1, 1A, 1C, 1/, 1&, 1~,1✈, etc. etc., and others with all kinds of symbols available from the keyboard. Added that the readable text was in Italian, I hardly managed to understand whatsoever. And that was the exact reason why we got lost so often - probably it was just the language barrier. Yes, I do understand some words which are similar to the English ones but in some occasions, this is hardly enough to catch half a sentence. Back to the story, when going out of the funicular we took bus number 1B.


Video Credit: cessnagbdso via


It was certainly going in our direction (the direction of our hostel). But on the next morning was our flight and we needed to make sure we know which bus stop is most convenient for going to the airport. And we intentionally missed the stop which was five minutes away from our hostel, just to check where is the next one and if it is closer and at a better location. And of course, that happened to be a mistake. The bus didn't stop at all for a really long time, way longer than I anticipated, and when it did, it stopped in an area which looked quite scary with no people, no shops, and no lights (it was already late in the evening). Taking our chances we didn't leave the bus but continued to travel.

Ok, my idea was a stupid one, to wait for the bus to reach its final stop and then go back to our hostel. But in 30 minutes of traveling nothing similar to that happened and I started to worry and ask myself what's going on. It seemed like we passed through two other cities, and we were definitely out of Bergamo. I remember seeing a road sign Pedrengo and another city which I can't recall the name right now.



Photo Credit: Myself


We got to the point when everyone else had left the bus, only both of us were there and the driver obviously had no intention to turn back, not that I knew what was the back direction after traveling for so long. I had no choice but go to the driver and tell him what's the issue. Fortunately for us, he knew a little English and agreed to drive us back to the railway station of Bergamo. He said it was his last course for the day, and I was so grateful that despite that he was willing to help. When I was already in Bulgaria I checked where we were with the bus and it was in two cities at a distance of 5 km from Bergamo (not that much but at night it is quite scary to get lost without knowing how to go back).


bergamo_transportationPhoto Credit: Myself


I thought that would be the last time I got lost as the day was over, and the flight was in the morning. Surprise, surprise. In the morning we went to the exact bus stop we missed the previous day, quite certain that it's the right one. The moment we reached it, the bus passed but didn't stop for us and just continued driving. I thought that maybe the driver didn't see us, and he stops only if passengers are waiting at the bus stop. So, we decided to wait for the next one - 20 minutes later.

It was a rainy morning. When we saw the next bus we started waving like crazy for the bus to stop, but I don't think the driver even saw us, he just passed and didn't stop again. Obviously, this bus stop was made for other buses and not the one we needed (we were waiting for 1✈). The best bet we had here was to go to the railway station which was 10 minutes away from us and catch the bus from there. The only problem we had was that missing two buses led us to the possibility of missing our flight.


Video Credit: Nina B via


We arrived at the airport on time, but the challenges didn't end. It took 20 minutes to go through the security check - there were so many people that I almost lost hope that we would catch this flight. We passed the check in the last minute but we still needed to reach the gate, which was the farthest possible. It took 10 minutes running to find the exact gate so we were late. The good news was that everyone else was late, and there was no problem with boarding, but it was kind of stressful. I didn't believe the Bergamo airport is so big and it has so many hallways and escalators and everything. And that was the last issue we experienced this day.



Photo Credit: Myself


We reached home happy and refreshed from visiting another country and its historical landmarks. The only site we couldn't visit was the Botanical Garden for the simple reason that we couldn't find it and we didn't have more time to spend looking for it. Bergamo is a great destination for a day or two of relaxation and stunning views. But if you go there, make sure you check the map first - it is not that small, and you have plenty of opportunities to get lost.



Photo Credit: Myself

Thanks for reading!



- NinaB


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