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.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Hotel Excelsior San Marco Bergamo

Enjoy wonderful views of Bergamo’s Citta Alta from this high quality hotel

Entrance to the Excelsior San Marco 
The handy position of the Hotel Excelsior San Marco makes it a good choice for a short break in Bergamo.
The four star hotel in Piazza Repubblica is close to the station for the funicular railway that carries passengers from the Citta Bassa (lower town) up to the Citta Alta (upper town).
It is also near stops for the number 1 bus service that runs between the Citta Alta, the railway station in the Citta Bassa and Bergamo’s Il Caravaggio International Airport.
But it is the unique views from the windows that make a stay at this hotel a really magical experience.
Guests can linger over the generous buffet breakfast served in the first floor restaurant while enjoying a bird’s eye view of Bergamo ’s 450-year-old city walls, the towers and cupolas of the Citta Alta and the mountains in the distance. 
View of historic upper town in the skyline
The Hotel Excelsior San Marco is set back from the main street, Via Vittorio Emanuele II, at a comfortable distance from the traffic.
There are 155 rooms, either standard, superior, deluxe or suites, all with satellite television and minibar. There is wi-fi internet and a computer room free for the use of guests. The bar is handily located on the ground floor and there are comfortable settees to relax on in the spacious reception area.
Editor’s note: “I enjoyed a wonderful stay at the Excelsior San Marco in the autumn. Whether early in the morning when the walled city was softened by mist, or late at night when Porta San Giacomo displayed the colours of the tricolore, there was always a marvellous view from the window of my room on the sixth floor.
“I found it convenient that the hotel has three lifts so that there was never any time wasted waiting for one to arrive. The staff were all very helpful, recommending and booking a restaurant one night, and also ordering taxis for me during my enjoyable stay.”
For more information to check prices and to book a room at the Hotel Excelsior San Marco go to our hotel bookings partner Hotels.com and Expedia UK.

Why stay at Hotel Excelsior San Marco in Bergamo
The Excelsior San Marco is a smart, high quality hotel in an excellent location in Bergamo .
The hotel has wonderful views of the Citta Alta, which is only a short distance away, but is also handily placed for accessing the many amenities of the Citta Bassa.
Guests have the benefit of the smart bars, restaurants and shops o the doorstep in Piazza Repubblica, but the attractions of Via Sentierone and Porta Nuova in the elegant centre of the Citta Bassa are within a short walk of the hotel.
What to see near Hotel Excelsior San Marco
Funicular station in the lower town
The hotel is close to the station for the funicular railway that carries passengers up to the Citta Alta every few minutes.
When you come out into Piazza Mercato delle Scarpe at the end of your journey you feel as though you are stepping back in time.
Walk up the narrow Via Gombito, thought to have existed during the Roman era, which is lined with shops and bars occupying the ground floors of medieval houses, including the Tourist Information Office in the 12th century Torre di Gombito.
Via Gombito lead to Piazza Vecchia, the beautiful square at the heart of the Citta Alta, which is dominated by the 12th century Palazzo della Ragione ( Palace of Reason ), at the southern end. An interesting architectural feature is the covered staircase at the side, built to enable visitors to access the salone superiore (main top floor room) of the palazzo from ground floor level.
Next to it, the big bell tower, il Campanone, dates back to at least the 12th century. On the west side is the 14th century palace that used to be the residence of the Venetian rulers of Bergamo. The Palazzo del Podesta Veneto (the Palace of the Mayor of Venice) now houses the University of Bergamo ’s Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literature.
A beautiful building at the northern end is the white marble Biblioteca Civica (Angelo Mai Civic Library), also referred to as Palazzo Nuovo.
An elegant feature in the centre is the fountain decorated with white marble lions, donated to the city by Venetian Podesta, Alvise Contarini, in 1780.
If you walk through the archways of Palazzo della Ragione you will find yourself in Piazzetta del Duomo, where in addition to il Duomo you will see the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, the Cappella Colleoni, and il Battistero.
Next to the south portal of Santa Maria Maggiore in Via Arena is il Tempietto di Santa Croce, a tiny church that dates back to the year 1000.
Further along Via Arena is the Palazzo della Misericordia Maggiore, which houses a museum dedicated to the life of opera 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.
From the top of Via Colleoni you can go through the historic Piazza Mascheroni and the strongly fortified Piazza Cittadella to reach Colle Aperto (open hill) from where buses depart for the Citta Bassa.
Restaurant Recommendation: Il Sole
On the corner of Piazza Vecchia and Via Colleoni, is the excellent restaurant, Il Sole.
Although it looks small from the outside, there are plenty of tables in two large rooms, furnished in traditional style with oil paintings and antique cookery implements on display. There is also a large garden for sunny lunches and dining outside on warm evenings.
It is a great place to try some of the traditional Bergamo dishes, or a pizza that has been cooked in a wood-fired oven.
Il Sole has an extensive wine list or you could order a jug of the inexpensive, but delicious house wine.
Editor’s note: “I return to Il Sole time after time as the food is reasonably priced and I find it to be consistently good.” The restaurant is closed on Thursdays.
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 red wine with vegetables and herbs).
A window display of Valcalepio wines
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.
There are some fascinating, small shops in Via Colleoni and Via Gombito in the Citta Alta.
In the Citta Bassa there are big name shops in 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 actually named after an important event in Italy’s history.
It was on 20 September 1870 that Italian troops under Victor Emanuel 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 Emanuel 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 Emanuel took up residence in the Quirinale Palace and Italy was declared officially united.
These days shoppers celebrate the anniversary by visiting the top establishments that grace the elegant street such as Calvin Klein, Stefanel, Benetton, Max Mara, Luisa Spagnoli, Marina Rinaldi and Sisley.

Book a room at the Hotel Excelsior San Marco, Bergamo with Expedia UK or Hotels.com


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