One night in Bergamo, Italy
September 15, 2016
After spending two months on Lake Como earlier this summer in May and June, I decided to return to my favorite place in the world for the month of September. Of course, I had to throw in a little trip to a neighboring city I had been wanting to visit since last year, Bergamo.
Just a 30-min train ride north of Milan, where I had spent the first half of the day interviewing for a job, is Bergamo. I stayed in Città Alta (the Upper Town) where the tiny streets are surrounded by the historic Venetian walls and the medieval renaissance and baroque architecture transport you back in time. Città Alta, which overlooks the younger town below, is filled with art and Italian fashion boutiques as one would expect being so close to Milan.
I stayed at a small family run hotel, Agnello D’Oro, within the walls of Città Alta. Located off the main street, it was perfect for strolling the narrow streets until 1am versus having to return back to the lower town. The night I arrived, there was a high fashion dinner event going in Palazzo della Ragione, next to Piazza Vecchia where I decided to have aperitifs. So, I ordered a glass of prosecco, which came with little mini sandwiches, chips, and olives–gosh I love aperitivo time–from the corner bar called Bar Flora and sat there watching stunningly dressed guests arrive in true Italian fashion.
While people watching, I met a lovely couple from Ireland, Jim and Rosemary. When I asked what brought them to Bergamo for one week, Rosemary said she just loves to travel and saw a cheap flight on Ryanair from Ireland. I loved it! She reminded me of myself–spinning the globe on Skyscanner to find a cheap flight to, literally, anywhere! I told them I was heading to Da Franco for dinner and Rosemary raved about the casoncelli di bergamo, traditional stuffed pasta (ravioli) local to the town itself. She was right! I can honestly say it was heaven in my mouth–the butter, the sage, the pancetta, all melting in your mouth. It was probably hands down the best Italian dish I have ever had.
After dinner, I walked around the upper town, peaking into the closed boutique shops marking where I wanted to go first thing in the morning. There was also a light festival so the city was still very lively. I remember sitting in Piazza Vecchia watching the colored lights illuminate the old architecture and fountain in the middle and thinking to myself how lucky and fortunate I am to be experiencing this, to be experiencing life in Italy again.
Questa è la vita.
Yes, this truly is the life–one that I am very grateful for. All of the travels I have been fortunate enough to experience and the large amount of time I have had this year to pause, relax, reflect, and rejuvenate my mind, body, soul, and spirit, I am where I am supposed to be. That is something I need to remember as I continue on this journey of finding my next step.