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Bergamo and Padua: Best Atmosphere for Aimless Strolling? 3-night-Split

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May 23rd, 2016, 10:05 AM
  #1
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Bergamo and Padua: Best Atmosphere for Aimless Strolling? 3-night-Split

Looking for guidance on how best to split 3 nights between these cities (2/1 or 1/2) to match our interests.

Which is to wander, sit outside (eating, drinking, people watching), window shop, food markets, evening passeggiata, in pedestrian-friendly lively locales. This is a third trip to Italy.

Full itinerary: 14 nights @ Late September
• Bellagio (2)
• Bergamo- City Alta (1 or 2?)
• Verona (3) - Daytrip: Mantova
• Bologna (4) - Daytrip options: Ravenna, Parma, Ferrara
• Padua (1 or 2?)
• Venice (3) – 2nd Visit.

This is the trip I am trying to design:
• Lively towns with strolling, eating, shopping opportunities.
• Little need for “sights.” Our best times/memories are strolling and observing.
• With respect to shopping, we like nice stores (no interest in high-end designer clothing): kitchen, household, food, handbags, shoes. We love to look, but rarely buy since we travel so light.

Last trip advice that helped build the above itinerary from a trip I didn't take until now:

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...t-shopping.cfm
davispeets is online now  
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May 23rd, 2016, 06:53 PM
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Last summer we spent three nights in both Padua and Bergamo and really enjoyed ourselves.

Padua: Stayed at the funky and neat Hotel Verde in the old town. They have a 2 sided elevator-the other two sides are the concrete shaft you see as you move up or down. The staff was friendly and first rate. We were there in late July and especially enjoyed the night piazza activity. Each night the main piazzas in the old section were crowded with tables and diners just practicing , "Il dolce far' niente." We saw the usual sights were interesting, as well.

Bergamo: Here we stayed at the upscale Hotel Petronilla also in the old section. The sofa in our room was shaped like a baseball glove. Everything in this property was immaculate and the staff was really accommodating. We browsed La Citta Alta during the day and spent the evenings wandering the old area surrounding our hotel. The gelatoria La Romana was the best in the city-outstanding.

Buon viaggio,
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May 23rd, 2016, 10:45 PM
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I'd give Bergamo about half a day.

Padua on the other hand could be a trip on its own, locally you have some great visits, the canal full of Palladium villas, the Euganian hills, the spas, the odd lovely funerial display, the local walled cities. Over the years I've spent 4 or 5 nights near there and never been bored. Oh and hire a bike.

If you google walled cities italy, you will be amazed what is around this area.

I might cut back on Venice as it is your third visit. Verona, only 2 nights will do.
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May 24th, 2016, 01:33 AM
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Because I prefer to not change hotels too often, I'd choose either Bergamo or Padua OR have two nights in Bergamo and visit Padua from Venice or Venice from Padua (you can catch a late train home at the end of the day). They are so close, it hardly seems worth moving hotels. I loved Bergamo and had planned to visit Padua on my last trip to Italy but ran out of time - next time.
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May 24th, 2016, 04:44 PM
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While changing hotels every night can be a pain, it does allow you to experience towns after the day trippers have gone. While neither Padua or Bergamo are as overwhelmed with day trippers as places like Venice, they do have a different atmosphere in the evening, and for that reason I think it would probably be worthwhile to spend at least one night in each.

They are two of my favorite towns. But since Padua is a bit larger it probably makes more sense to give it the two nights. But I really don't think you can go wrong either way.

Here's my photos of Padua - http://www.pbase.com/annforcier/padua

And Bergamo - http://www.pbase.com/annforcier/bergamo
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May 24th, 2016, 07:14 PM
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Thanks all. I appreciate the various view points.

Isabel I live for your trip-photos. I use them often to dream.
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May 24th, 2016, 07:18 PM
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Rbciao47 - Hotel Petronilla in Bergamo has amazing booking.com reviews - I did make a reservation.

But, I also have a B&B in city alta reserved as I decide.

I was under the impression that the upper city was the place to stay in Bergamo.
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May 24th, 2016, 07:29 PM
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Bilboburger - love the bike tip. I have such fond memories renting bikes in Lucca.
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May 24th, 2016, 07:33 PM
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Bergamo upper town is lovely. Didn't really see enough of the lower town to comment, other than to say that it is very generally more modern. Bergamo could be described as having three levels really.

I understand wanting to experience a city at night. But trains run until around midnight and unless you're a nightbird, that's enough for me. If moving hotels again is not a problem, then just go for it.
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May 24th, 2016, 07:43 PM
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Moving is not a problem - just one carry on bag each. After several trips, it seems we are not very good at following through on day trips.
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May 25th, 2016, 04:18 PM
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davispeets - Thanks for the nice comment. I hope you have a good time in both Bergamo and Padua. I'm trying to come up with a 'short list' of places we might want to spend a month or more once we are able to go to Europe for an extended period of time, and both Bergamo and Padua are on the list. Bologna, Verona and Ferrara - other places on your itinerary - are also on my list.
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May 25th, 2016, 06:25 PM
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Lovely photos, Isabel.
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