When my sister came to stay: Part One Bergamo.



Contemplating life over Bergamo (or pretending at least)

August.

I'm sure you must have heard, but this is Italy's holiday month and by month, I do actually mean they take a WHOLE month off. Shops shut, restaurants pull down the shutters and the only sign of movement is the slow roll of tumbleweed passing through the deserted streets.

Ok so this may be a slight exaggeration, but only slight because almost everything does shut as the Italians head for the hills...and the beach and the lakes.

Oh Italians, you and your carefree ways.

Maybe that's why the economy is suffering?

Anyway, as I am now a (honourary) Italian and working woman, I also got to partake in the August festivities. Unfortunately for me (but much more sensible) the company where I am interning was just closed for the one week, but a week of holiday in the middle of August without having to ask...I'm not complaining!

And what better way to spend it than inviting my sister to stay...and then popping off to Rome together at the weekend to visit my nonna.

So Monday morning came and I have to say (as much as I like my Placement) it was very nice to wake up and not have to go to work.

Although...it wasn't quite the relaxing start to the holiday I had imagined.
My stupid phone (HTC- don't ever get one!) decided it didn't want me to wake me up so I ended up with half an hour to get ready before I was meant to go out the door.

*note to self, next time things don't work go buy one that does because then you won't be late for work!

But I wasn't going to let that ruin my day. I grabbed a banana and headed off to Bergamo to meet my sister- the first  familiar face after almost two months!
Me and the sis back when I was in Bath
I spotted her flowery suitcase across the road from the station and we were re-united at last! It was lovely, but strange at the same time to have her by my side in Italy. Lovely because I missed her and we had sooo much to catch up on; new boyfriend, new job, plans for the future (a lot can happen in two months!). But it was also strange because here she was...someone from "back home" in a place which was so far removed  from my friends and family: my old, familiar life.

I guess it's a bit like when you have friends from back home come and visit you at Uni for the first time.

Or maybe that's just me..I don't know.

Whilst we were catching up on two months worth of gossip, we took a trip up to Bergamo Citta Alta. I'd wanted to visit this place for a while, after being told by everyone how beautiful the medieval city above the modern Bergamo was. And if I was going all that way to Bergamo to meet my sister I thought we might as well make a day of it.

I had done my research (and for once it was right).  We would put her suitcases in the luggage deposit just across from the station (4 euros for the whole day isn't bad) and get the bus up to the old city.

I had been promised spectacular views and I wasn't disappointed.


Cue my sister for the ENTIRE day going on about how beautiful/amazing/so pretty it was.

I'm so glad it was sunny that day, as contrary to belief Italy is not all blue skies and nice weather. It's actually rained a lot up here in the North, probably even more than England! So all my dreams of being lovely and enviously brown have been dashed - my sister had a better tan than me! But then she again she can tan at one day at the beach.

Moving on from my lamenting of the lack of Sun....

The thing with buses is you don't really know where the stops are and we had no idea where to get off because in our excitement of finally being together, we had forgotten to stop by the tourist info and get a map. So we ended up getting off half way up the hill to the actual town but it was nice because we got to enjoy the view and it was good exercise for all the food we would eat later. It was also a chance to take lots of pictures and get snap happy we did!




When we finally reached the top (it's not that far really) we ambled around, following signs that looked they might lead to somewhere (we still had no clue where we were going).




Our senses took us down cute little streets filled with sweet little shops, that although obviously touristy, were still nice to have a browse.



Naturally I had to buy something.

I wasn't really sure what these were, I was mainly attracted by the packaging

We found our way into a small piazza (that's how you know you've hit the centre in Italy) passing by the most yummy looking shop.

Just look at those meringues! 
The pizzas were calling to us through the window and we just couldn't resist. Even though we had already eaten lunch, we came back out with this baby.

But we were sharing!

We rested our weary legs on the steps of a nearby church and sat enjoying our delicious pizza whilst basking in the sun.

Even though I had just eaten this gorgeous slice of Pizza it was still  hard to resist the pull of the pastries in the shop windows. There were so many yummy looking things, I just wanted to eat it all!

At one point, we passed by the kitchen of a bakery and I stood transfixed by the sugary creations and the heavenly smell. My sister had to tear me away.
I have definitely developed an obsession with the bounties of the pasticceria since I've been in Italy.

And this was how we spent the afternoon, ambling down higgedly piggedly streets and peering longingly into windows like little children with big, wide, excited eyes.



The town really is very small, and although very lovely I wouldn't say there was that much to do. We hadn't embarked on any cultural endeavors (my sister is the kind of person who prefers shopping) so after a couple of hours of wandering, made our way back down the hill...but this time in a cable car! To be honest the car was pretty packed so I couldn't see that well (being short also didn't help) but it was fun!

The cable car doesn't go all the way down so we hopped off and walked the way back down, back to the hustle and bustle of the everyday Bergamo, leaving the pocket of peacefulness and tranquility that was the Citta Alta behind.


If you ever happen to be flying with Ryan Air (not me I'm an easy jet gal) into Bergamo, I really would recommend a trip here- the Citta Alta part. I don't know about the rest of Bergamo, but thats where everyone heads and it's easy to see why.

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