A really good Italian hotel will cosset you with creature comforts, seduce you with style and elegance and make you feel at home with friendly service. Use this website to help you find the perfect place to stay during your visit to Italy. We have tried and tested every hotel featured and can vouch for the locations, standard of facilities and level of service.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Hotel Annunziata Ferrara


Wonderful views of one of Italy’s most impressive castles


The Hotel Annunziata is directly opposite Ferrara's star attraction, the magnificent Castello Estense
The Hotel Annunziata is directly opposite Ferrara's star
attraction, the magnificent Castello Estense
The Hotel Annunziata is in a great location on the opposite side of the square from Ferrara’s most famous landmark, the imposing Castello Estense.

There are lovely views of the castle from the windows of many of the hotel’s guest rooms.

The four-star Hotel Annunziata is set in a restored, historic town house with a contemporary décor. All the accommodation is immaculate and spotlessly clean, earning the praise of many of its guests.

Breakfast is served in the hotel’s elegant dining room and there is a bar serving drinks and snacks 24 hours a day. All the guest rooms have free wifi, satellite TV and air conditioning.

Although the Hotel Annunziata is located in a pedestrian only area of the city, there is a car park for the use of guests.

The Hotel Annunziata occupies an historic restored townhouse in Piazza Repubblica
The Hotel Annunziata occupies an historic
restored townhouse in Piazza Repubblica
When out and about in Ferrara, you will see many of the local residents travelling by bicycle. The Hotel Annunziata provides cruiser bikes free of charge to guests so that they can explore all corners of this wonderful city with ease.

The Hotel Annunziata is located at Piazza Repubblica, 5 in the centre of the city.

Editor’s note: ‘Right in the heart of the historic city of Ferrara, I enjoyed my stay at the Hotel Annunziata in a very comfortable guest room with wonderful views of one of the most impressive and beautiful castles in Italy.’

Click here for more information, to check prices and to book a room at the Hotel Annunziata.

What to see in Ferrara

Ferrara was ruled by the Este family between 1240 and 1598. You can still see the original, narrow, medieval streets to the west and south of the city centre, between the main thoroughfares of Via Ripa Grande and Via Garibaldi, which were the core of the city in the middle ages.

Building work on the magnificent, moated Este Castle (Castello Estense) began in 1385 and it was added to and improved by successive rulers of Ferrara until the end of the Este line. 

Lucrezia Borgia lived in the castle after her marriage to Alfonso I d’Este in 1502 and was reputed to have had an affair with the court poet, Pietro Bembo, there.

The castle was purchased for 70,000 lire by the province of Ferrara in 1874 to be used as the headquarters of the Prefecture. 

The Palazzo Diamanti is another Este palace in Ferrara, its walls studded with diamond-shaped stones
The Palazzo Diamanti is another Este palace in Ferrara, its
walls studded with diamond-shaped stones
It is open to the public every day from 9.30 till 5.30 pm, apart from certain times of the year when it is closed on Mondays. For more details and ticket prices visit www.castelloestense.it.

Another Este residence in Ferrara that is worth seeing is the Palazzo Diamanti in Corso Ercole I d’Este, which takes its name from the 8500 pointed, diamond-shaped stones that stud the façade, diamonds being an emblem of the Este family. It was designed by Biagio Rossetti and completed in 1503.

The palace now houses the Pinacoteca Nazionale di Ferrara on its first floor, where you can also see the 16th century apartments inhabited by another Este bride, Virginia de’ Medici. She lived in the palace after her marriage to Cesare d’Este, the grandson of Alfonso I, Duke of Ferrara. Visitors can see three of the rooms that Virginia used, which overlook Corso Biagio Rossetti. The Pinacoteca is open from 10.00 to 17.30 Tuesday to Sunday.

Eating out in Ferrara

A good place to try some Ferrarese specialities is Trattoria il Cucco in Via Voltacasotto, where they serve the traditional cappellacci con la zucca, a type of ravioli stuffed with pumpkin, sage, butter and cheese. You could follow that with salama da sugo, which is said to have been Lucrezia Borgia’s favourite dish. It is a spicy pork sausage made from different cuts of meat that has been boiled for about four hours.


Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Hotel Piemontese Bergamo


Smart hotel in an ideal spot for visitors


The Hotel Piemontese is in a handy location in Piazzale Marconi on the opposite side of the square from Bergamo’s railway station.

Guests can quickly access local buses that leave from outside the railway station or from stops near the top of Viale Papa Giovanni XXIII to go out and about.
The pink facade of the Hotel Piemontese

The hotel is within comfortable walking distance of the shops, bars and restaurants of the Città Bassa (lower town)

The Piemontese has a modern décor and there are 50 rooms served by a lift, all with telephone, satellite television and wifi connection.

A generous buffet breakfast is served each day in the large breakfast room on the lower ground floor and there is an internet point in reception and car parking available for guests.

Transport advice

The hotel is a short bus or taxi ride from Bergamo Caravaggio airport at Orio al Serio.

There are coaches to the lakes and nearby towns from the bus station, which is close to the hotel in Via Bartolomeo Bono. Trains leave frequently to Milan, Brescia, Lecco, Cremona and further afield from the railway station.

To visit the Città Alta (upper town) you can either take the bus to the funicular railway station in Viale Vittorio Emanuele II, from where you will be conveyed up the steep hill by the funicular, or you can take the bus round the 15th century walls that surround the upper town and get off at Colle Aperto, which is next to Porta Sant’Alessandro, one of the city gates.

Editor’s note: ‘It was great to be able to just cross the square to the station in the mornings and board a train to Milan or Cremona and not have far to walk from the station back to the hotel at the end of an enjoyable day out.’



What to see in Bergamo

Città Bassa

Walk down Viale Papa Giovanni XXIII until you reach Via Sentierone. Turn right to see the 18th century Teatro Donizetti and next to it the monument to the composer Gaetano Donizetti, erected in 1897 in the centenary year of his birth in Bergamo. Opposite is Balzer, a bar founded in 1850 under the portici that has now become a Bergamo institution. 

The Accademia Carrara is one of Italy's finest art galleries
Further along Via Sentierone is the church of San Bartolomeo, which houses a large altarpiece by Renaissance artist Lorenzo Lotto depicting the Virgin Mary and child on a throne surrounded by saints.

Walk down Via Torquato Tasso to Piazzetta Santo Spirito, where the church of Santo Spirito also has a work by Lorenzo Lotto. Turn left into Via Pignolo and walk along until you reach the church of San Bernardino in Pignolo, also home to a Lotto masterpiece. Further along Via Pignolo you can turn right into Via San Tomaso, at the end of which you will find the Pinacoteca di Accademia Carrara, one of Italy’s finest art galleries.


Città Alta

If you ride up to Bergamo’s upper town on the funicular railway and step out into Piazza Mercato delle Scarpe you will feel as though you have travelled back in time.

Walk along narrow Via Gombito, which is thought to have existed during the Roman era. It is lined with shops and bars occupying the ground floors of medieval houses. 

The Cappella Colleoni and (bottom left) il Battistero in Piazzetta del Duomo
The Cappella Colleoni and (bottom left)
il Battistero in Piazzetta del Duomo
Via Gombito lead to Piazza Vecchia, a beautiful square with a 12th century building, il Palazzo della Ragione (Palace of Reason). Next to it, the big bell tower, il Campanone, dates back to at least the 12th century. Just in front of the Palazzo della Ragione is a statue of Torquato Tasso, one of the greatest Italian Renaissance poets, who was the son of a Bergamo nobleman. 

If you walk through the archways of the Palazzo della Ragione you will find yourself in the Piazzetta del Duomo, where in addition to il Duomo you will see the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, the Cappella Colleoni, and il Battistero.

In nearby Via Arena is the Palazzo della Misericordia Maggiore, which houses a museum dedicated to the life of composer Gaetano Donizetti, who was born and died in Bergamo.

Another fascinating street leading off Piazza Vecchia is Via Colleoni, which is lined with shops, wine bars and restaurants housed in medieval buildings.

Bergamo food and wine

Sampling melt-in-the-mouth casoncelli alla bergamasca, topped with chopped bacon, sage, butter and grated cheese, is an unforgettable part of a stay in Bergamo.

Casoncelli alla bergamasca is a traditional Bergamo dish
Casoncelli, also sometimes referred to on menus as Casonsei, are a type of ravioli, filled with sausage meat, which has been mixed with several other vital ingredients, including finely chopped pears, sultanas and amaretti.

Casoncelli are believed to have originated in the countryside outside Bergamo, where they were originally created as a way of using up left over meat.

Enjoy your casoncelli with a glass of chilled Valcalepio Bianco, a light, dry white wine with a delicate fragrance, produced in the small valley between Bergamo and Lago d’Iseo. If you prefer red wine, try Valcalepio Rosso, which is dry and soft with an intense scent and goes well with red meat, polenta and local cheeses, such as taleggio.



Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Hotel Savoia & Jolanda Venice


Enjoy a view of the lagoon from a palace on the waterfront


The Hotel Savoia & Locanda occupies a superb position on Riva degli Schiavoni
The Hotel Savoia & Locanda occupies a
superb position on Riva degli Schiavoni
Overlooking St Mark’s basin from an excellent location on the Riva degli Schiavoni, the Hotel Savoia & Jolanda can boast a long history of providing hospitality to guests from all over the world.

It has the charm of a Venetian palace but with all the modern facilities such as free wi fi, Sky and satellite tv, a gym and a boat available for the use of guests.

The hotel is very handily placed for the San Zaccaria vaporetto stop for boats that go up the Grand Canal towards Rialto, the station and Piazzale Roma, and, in the other direction, boats that go across the water to the Lido.

The Savoia & Jolanda is just a few minutes walk from the Bridge of Sighs, the Doge’s Palace and St Mark’s square and by going through the alleyways (calle) following the yellow signs with arrows it does not take long to reach the Rialto Bridge area.

Guests have one of the most iconic Venetian views from the hotel’s front windows as you can see the church and island of San Giorgio Maggiore out in the lagoon.

Editor’s Note: ‘I used to love sitting at a table at the bar outside the hotel watching the people going by as the sun set over the lagoon. Every time I have stayed at the Hotel Savoia & Jolanda my room has been comfortable and immaculately prepared, the breakfast has been excellent and the service faultless.’

The Palladian church of San Giorgio Maggiore is one of the most famous of Venetian views
The Palladian church of San Giorgio Maggiore is one of
the most famous of Venetian views
For more information, to check prices and to book a room at the Hotel Savoia & Jolanda go to our hotel booking partners Hotels.com

A little bit of history 

The Savoia & Jolanda’s origins can be traced back to the early part of the 19th century thanks to the discovery of a black and white postcard showing the building, which was then named Bavaria & Jolanda. It was named in honour of the official union of the Savoia royal family with the Duchy of Bavaria. This was sealed when Princess Enrichetta Adelaide Savoia married Duke Ferdinand of Bavaria in 1650. 

A few metres from the hotel there is an equestrian statue of the first King of Italy, Vittorio Emanuele II, which was erected to commemorate the tenth anniversary of his death. The statue was inaugurated in 1887 by King Umberto I and his queen, Margherita Savoia.

The name of the hotel was changed to Savoia Hotel & Principessa Jolanda in the early part of the 20th century and it finally became Hotel Savoia & Jolanda in the 1940s.
Afterwards the hotel was proud to welcome art patron Peggy Guggenheim, who stayed in a suite there in 1948 on the occasion of the XXIV Venice Art Biennale.

Food and wine

There are plenty of good restaurants in the calle between St Mark’s Square and the Rialto Bridge and, to get good value for money, opt for one that is some distance away from the piazza.

Fegato alla Veneziana is a classic Venetian dish, made with calf's liver and often served with polenta
Fegato alla Veneziana is a classic Venetian dish, made with
calf's liver and often served with polenta
Look out for some of the local specialities, such as sardine in saor (served with a sweet and sour sauce), fegato alla veneziana (tender calf’s liver cooked on a bed of onions) and zuppa di cozze (mussels with white wine, garlic and parsley).

Make sure you try some of the wines from the Veneto region, such as Soave, a white wine that is very well known internationally and is made from grapes grown in the vineyards around the nearby hilltop town of Soave. Also look out for Tocai and Bianco di Custoza, other good white wines from the region, which will be on most restaurant menus.

If your preference is for red wine, Valpolicella is a pleasant, light, fruity wine made in the area between Verona and Lake Garda.

If you like sparkling wine, don’t miss trying Prosecco, which is mainly produced in the Veneto.

Named after the variety of grape it is made from, Prosecco is lighter and more delicate than Champagne because it is bottled while young rather than being fermented.

It is made in the areas of Valdobbiadene and Conegliano north of Venice, although it was probably named after the town of Prosecco near Trieste, where the grape, one of Italy’s oldest, is believed to have originated.

Book a room at the Hotel Savoia & Jolanda with Hotels.com


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Friday, October 4, 2019

Hotel Continental Treviso



Great location for this smart traditionally furnished hotel


The entrance to the Hotel Continental, a short walk from the centre of Treviso
The entrance to the Hotel Continental, a short
walk from the centre of Treviso
Situated about halfway between the railway station and the centre of Treviso, the smart Hotel Continental is in an ideal position for visitors who want to travel around the Veneto region during their stay.

This traditionally furnished, four star hotel in Via Roma is also just a short walk from Piazza dei Signori in the centre of Treviso, where there are plenty of shops, bars and restaurants.

The Hotel Continental first opened its doors in 1959, having been given glamorous early 20th century décor to wow its guests.

There are still marble floors, dark wood panelling, chandeliers and antique furniture, but the hotel now also provides 21st century facilities.

The hotel reception is open 24 hours a day to provide assistance to guests whenever it is required.

Room service is available from eight o’clock in the morning till ten o’clock at night. A sweet and savoury breakfast buffet is served in the breakfast room on the ground floor from seven o’clock until 11 o’clock each morning.

Despite the traditional décor that reflects a more stylish, bygone era, all rooms have the modern comforts of air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, a minibar and satellite tv.

The Continental can be found on the corner of Via Roma and Via Girolamo Da Treviso, a few steps from the railway station
The Continental can be found on the corner of Via Roma and
Via Girolamo Da Treviso, a few steps from the railway station
Editor’s note: “I felt I had been transported back to a more glamorous era but but was still made to feel relaxed and comfortable while staying at this friendly hotel. The staff were always pleasant and helpful, the breakfast was excellent and the room and bathroom had everything you could wish for.”

For more information, to check prices and to book a room at the Hotel Continental try our booking partners Hotels.com and TripAdvisor

Why stay at Hotel Continental Treviso

The Hotel Continental is in an ideal location for people interested in exploring the Veneto as the railway station and bus stops are just a short walk away on the other side of the city’s old walls. It is also close to the centre of Treviso and you pass plenty of smart shops, bars and restaurants on your way into the city. It is handy for the airport, as it is just a short bus or taxi ride from Treviso’s Antonio Canova airport.
  

The Palazzo dei Trecento is one of the sights of Treviso's attractive city centre
The Palazzo dei Trecento is one of the sights of
Treviso's attractive city centre
What to see near the Hotel Continental

Just a short walk away from the Hotel Continental you are in the centre of the city and Via Calmaggiore, the main street, where there are some smart shops. At one end is Piazza dei Signori with its Palazzo dei Trecento, which was originally built in the 13th century and at the other end is Treviso’s Duomo.

Stroll along the willow-fringed canals with waterwheels behind Via Calmaggiore until you reach the Pescheria (fish market), which is on a very small island in the middle of Treviso’s River Sile. 

Restaurant recommendation

For traditional Treviso cooking or good pizza, try Zeus Pizzeria Ristorante da Laura at Via Avogari 14 in the centre of Treviso, just minutes away from Via Calmaggiore. The staff are friendly and it stays open till late in the evening. 

Risotto con funghi - mushroom risotto - is a popular dish in Treviso restaurants
Risotto con funghi - mushroom risotto - is a popular
dish in Treviso restaurants
Local Specialities

Try tagliatelle al sugo d’anatra (tagliatelle with duck sauce), risotto con funghi (mushroom risotto) and bigoli in salsa di acciughe (pasta with anchovy sauce). Also sample the locally-grown Treviso radicchio (a type of chicory).

Local wine

A stay in Treviso gives you the perfect opportunity to sample Prosecco, a light, refreshing sparkling wine, which is made by many different producers in the area. Treviso is close to the so-called strada del prosecco, the road between Valdobbiadene and Conegliano, which is lined with wineries producing Prosecco DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata), the stamp of quality given to the best Italian wines. 

Shopping
There are plenty of the top fashion stores, such as Benetton, Gucci and Sisley, as well as cosmetics shops and leather goods shops in the centre of Treviso.




Thursday, April 4, 2019

Hotel Victoria Bassano del Grappa


The modern and elegant Hotel Victoria in Bassano del Grappa
The modern and elegant Hotel Victoria in Bassano del Grappa

Elegant hotel handy for famous bridge and historic centre 


A short walk from Bassano del Grappa’s famous wooden bridge designed by Palladio, the Hotel Victoria offers guests traditional style and comfort and has friendly, helpful staff.

This elegant, three star hotel in Viale Armando Diaz has large rooms decorated and furnished in Italian style with every amenity you would expect.

The rooms have en suite bathrooms, telephone, satellite TV, reliable wifi, refrigerator bar and air conditioning. The beds are comfortable and there is plenty of wardrobe and drawer space.

The rooms at the Victoria are furnished in classical Italian style
The rooms at the Victoria are furnished in classical Italian style
A generous buffet breakfast is served till 10am each day in the smart breakfast room on the lower ground floor.

The hotel also has a large car park for the use of guests.

Editor’s note: “The lovely views from the windows of the hotel are of the foothills of the Alps just beyond Bassano del Grappa. I had a very peaceful and relaxing stay at this immaculate hotel.”

Why stay at the Hotel Victoria? 


The Hotel Victoria is close to the Ponte Vecchio, also known as Ponte degli Alpini, designed by the architect Andrea Palladio in 1568 that spans the River Brenta and takes you into the historic heart of Bassano del Grappa.


Bassano's ancient wooden bridge was designed by Andrea Palladio in the 16th century
Bassano's ancient wooden bridge was designed by
Andrea Palladio in the 16th century
What to see and do

Bassano del Grappa has become famous for producing the alcoholic drink, Grappa, which is drunk by Italians as a digestivo or liqueur. The drink derives its name from the graspa, or remnants, of the grapes that are left over after wine making, while the town is named after Monte Grappa, a mountain of the Venetian Prealps.

There are bars and shops where you can taste the different varieties of Grappa, or buy some as a souvenir to take home, including several on either side of the Ponte Vecchio.

The Museo degli Alpini, at the end of the bridge nearest the historic centre of the town, was founded with just a few items in 1948 after the first post-war national assembly of the Alpini, the Italian Army's elite mountain troops, but it has grown over the years, as objects from both world wars have been donated.

The 141ft Torre Civica is hard to miss
The 141ft Torre Civica is hard to miss
Once you have crossed the bridge you will soon catch sight of the enormous 43m (141ft) Torre Civica, which was once a look-out tower for the 12th century inner walls, but now serves as a clock tower.

In Piazza Garibaldi, one of the biggest squares, is the 14th century Church of San Francesco , which has a tranquil cloister housing the Museo Civica, the town’s museum. The museum has the biggest collection of works by local artist Jacopo dal Ponte, who was also known as Jacopo Bassano.

In the next square, Piazza Libertà, there is a 17th century sculpture of San Bassiano, the town’s patron saint, and a market is held there every Thursday.

In the highest part of the city you can visit the remains of the 12th century Castello Ezzelino. Within its walls is the Duomo - the Cathedral of Santa Maria in Colle - which dates back to the 11th century.

Nearby, the beautiful, peaceful Viale dei Martiri has lovely mountain views and provides a poignant memorial to 31 young partisans who were executed there by the Germans in September 1944. Many of them were hung from the trees that line the road and today each tree bears the name of the soldier who was murdered there and many display a photograph of the young victim.


White asparagus is a speciality of the area
White asparagus is a speciality of the area
Restaurant recommendation

To sample local specialities visit Antico Ristorante Cardellino, just a short walk from Palladio’s covered wooden bridge over the River Brenta. Located in Via Bellavitis, this traditional restaurant, which first opened in 1861, offers local dishes inspired by the ingredients in season. Among the specialities are il roastbeef all’inglese, baccalà alla vicentina and dishes featuring the locally-grown white asparagus. The restaurant is closed on Thursdays.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

NH Bergamo

Smart hotel is right in the centre of the Città Bassa


The smart and modern NH Bergamo
The smart and modern NH Bergamo
The immaculate and comfortable NH Bergamo is in a great location in Bergamo’s lower town, the Città Bassa.

This modern hotel in Via Paleocapa is close to the railway station and the stops for buses going to the upper town, the Città Alta, or to Bergamo Caravaggio airport.

It is handy for the best shops and restaurants in the lower town, but within walking distance of the funicular railway that ferries passengers up to the historic Città Alta.

The smart, well-designed hotel has 88 comfortable guest rooms, all with TV, mini bar and free Wi-Fi.

An excellent buffet breakfast is served daily on the ground floor of the hotel and there is a 24-hour bar service.

Editor’s note: ‘I enjoyed a comfortable, peaceful stay at the NH Bergamo. The room was quiet and I was able to sleep soundly, even though I was in the centre of the lower town and close to the main street.’

Why stay at the NH Bergamo?

The NH Bergamo is in a good position, right in the centre of Bergamo’s Città Bassa, but it is also handy for both the buses and the funicular railway up to Bergamo’s historic Città Alta.

It is within walking distance of the main sights in the Città Bassa.and all the shops, bars and restaurants.

The hotel is close to the stops for the bus service that runs to the airport and is also handy for the railway station and the regular train services to Milan, Brescia, Lecco and Cremona. From the nearby bus station there are coaches to resorts on Lago d’Iseo and the countryside north of Bergamo.

Bergamo's beautiful Piazza Vecchia
Bergamo's beautiful Piazza Vecchia
What to see in Bergamo

Bergamo is a fascinating historic city with two distinct centres. The Città Alta is a beautiful walled city with buildings that date back to medieval times but there are plenty of shops, bars and restaurants to make it comfortable for visitors today.

At the heart of the upper town is Piazza Vecchia, which was remodelled during the Renaissance and has been hailed by architects and writers as the most beautiful square in Italy.

It is surrounded by old palaces and has a 12th century bell tower that still strikes 100 times at ten pm each night to mark the ancient curfew.

With bars on two corners and prestigious restaurants along two sides, Piazza Vecchia is the perfect place to stop for something to eat and drink.

You can walk through the archways under Palazzo della Ragione to Piazza Duomo where you will see the Duomo, the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, the Colleoni Chapel and the Battistero - all of them architectural gems.

Streets of shops and restaurants lead off Piazza Vecchia to other squares with fountains, beautiful buildings, old churches and museums.

The elegant Città Bassa grew up on the plain below and still has buildings that date back to the 15th century.

More imposing and elaborate architecture was added in the 19th and early 20th centuries and it is now a vibrant city with a wealth of shops, bars and restaurants. There are also palaces, churches, art galleries and museums to visit as well as a theatre and other venues providing concerts and entertainment.

The elegant Via Sentierone
The elegant Via Sentierone 
Via Sentierone, a short walk from NH Bergamo, is a popular place for la passeggiata. The Sentierone, which means broad path, links Piazza Vittorio Veneto with Via Torquato Tasso, a road that leads into the oldest part of the Città Bassa.

The Donizetti theatre, named after the opera composer, is on the corner of Via Sentierone, and close by, the Donizetti monument, set back from Via Sentierone in Piazza Cavour, was erected in 1897 to commemorate the first anniversary of the birth of the composer in Bergamo.


Directions: From the airport, you can either take a reasonably priced taxi, or buy a ticket for the No 1 bus that passes the railway station before turning along Viale Papa Giovanni XXIII in the direction of the Città Alta. The hotel is in Via Palocapa, on the left, which is across the road and a short distance from the bus stop outside the beautiful church of Santa Maria delle Grazie. The church is a good landmark, on the corner of Viale Papa Giovanni XXIII and Porta Nuova, with its 19th century green cupola topped with a golden statue.

Restaurant recommendation:

La Ciotola is a short walk away from NH Bergamo in Viale Papa Giovanni XXIII in the centre of the Città Bassa. La Ciotola, which means ‘the bowl’, offers many Bergamo specialities, including the local pasta dish, casoncelli,gnocchi with fennel in a cream sauce and risotto with truffles in red wine. There are fish and chicken dishes and a long pizza list, or you could try the local favourite of veal with mushrooms and polenta. 

Local specialities:
Try casoncelli alla bergamasca (Bergamo’s own version of stuffed pasta), polenta taragna (polenta with Taleggio cheese) and stinco al forno (pork shank braised in wine with vegetables and herbs).

Local wines:
White: Try Valcalepio Bianco, a light dry wine with a delicate fragrance, produced in the small valley between Bergamo and Lago d’Iseo.
Red: Valcalepio Rosso is dry and soft with an intense scent. It is placed on sale every year after 1 November following six months’ refinement in wooden casks. It goes well with red meat, game and polenta and local cheeses, such as taleggio.

The Bergamo speciality casoncelli
The Bergamo speciality casoncelli
Shopping

One of the main thoroughfares in the Città Bassa in Bergamo is Via XX Settembre, which leads from Piazza Vittorio Veneto in the centre to Largo Nicolo Rezzara at the lower end of Via Sant’Alessandro.

Dubbed ‘the shopping street’ by the Bergamaschi because of the wealth of smart shops that line both sides, Via XX Settembre is named after an important event in Italy’s history. It was on 20 September 1870 that Italian troops under Victor Emmanuel II finally entered Rome and completed the unification of Italy.

Rome had remained under French control even after the first Italian parliament had proclaimed Victor Emmanuel King of Italy, despite repeated events by nationalists to liberate it. But after the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian war, Napoleon III withdrew his troops. Italian soldiers seized their chance, and, after a brief bombardment were able to enter Rome through a breach in the walls at Porta Pia.

Victor Emmanuel took up residence in the Quirinale Palace and Italy was declared officially united.

These days shoppers celebrate the anniversary by visiting the establishments gracing the elegant street such as Calvin Klein, Stefanel, Benetton, Max Mara, Luisa Spagnoli, Marina Rinaldi and Sisley.


Book a room at the NH Bergamo with Hotels.com or Expedia