If you love picnics, here are the unmissable locations in Bergamo and the surroundings and where you can get everything you need (absolutely everything)!
Bergamo is a land that ranges from plains to Alpine peaks, passing by lakes and hills, and when the weather is good, it’s worthwhile to experience each of these landscapes.
So, we decided to help you choose where to start by telling you 5 different ways to experience our territory in the open air and maybe even have a nice picnic: take note!
You have discovered that Bergamo is a city surrounded by greenery and you want to have a nice picnic, but you didn’t pack one? It’s very easy to remedy: in the heart of the upper town, beyond monuments and historic buildings, you will find Vineria Cozzi, which will provide you with everything you need to sit in a nice quiet place and refresh. You can reach it by funicular or by bus, or by walking up the various staircases that lead you there.
In the city
The Vineria Cozzi picnic basket contains specialties from Bergamo such as salamelle, taleggio cheese, goat cheese, as well as bread, water and dessert.
The premium variant, called Pic-niking, is even richer with lasagna, risotto, gnocchi, tartare, pork loin and polenta: for sure, you won’t go hungry! For children, there is a reduced version of the basket, with bread and ham and water. And it doesn’t end here! In addition to food, you will find a tablecloth, napkins and blanket, all fabric!
Once you have purchased your favourite basket, you need to look for a nearby place to enjoy it. The choice is vast: from the grassed area at Fara park near Porta di Sant’Agostino, to the Venetian Walls, UNESCO heritage that runs along the avenue leading up to the Upper Town, from Colle Aperto to the Rocca Park, a former military stronghold with cannons still in sight.
In the plain
The Bergamo plain is the perfect place for a picnic surrounded by greenery! To reach it, why not rent a bike and take advantage of the beautiful cycle paths running through it? Here we recommend Il Podere Montizzolo in Caravaggio, an enchanting place in the middle of the countryside, which offers quite a few surprises.
This farmhouse has belonged to the Merigo family since 1948, resisting the passage of time and changing lifestyles. The evolution of Podere Montizzolo has today led it to be a microcosm with many spaces and opportunities: the shop is now a meeting point to taste and learn about the farm products from Podere and those of other companies. It is also the ideal place to buy great food for a picnic! But then, to cook and eat it?
Go to Campo Allegro, a large lawn adjacent to the farmhouse, already equipped with grills, tables, umbrellas, a play area, football and volleyball fields and a bar.
And, if you want to make your visit a bit more interesting, in the neighbourhood you’ll find the Caravaggio Sanctuary, a very important and frequented religious place of worship.
On the lake
In Monasterolo del Castello, on Lake Endine in the Cavallina Valley, is a small green treasure trove surrounded by meadows, reeds and parks; here you’ll find Biali Park: 15,000 square metres of greenery!
Ideal if you have children who want to run freely, it also has a picnic area with barbecues, a bar, a large sunbathing area, toilets and showers, a children’s pool and a pier. It is located along the pedestrian path that connects the old town to the mouth of the Cherio: you can reach it by renting a car and leaving it in the large parking lot located nearby.
And after a picnic, you can visit Monasterolo’s many beauties: the castle, which gives its name to the village, is of medieval origin with a garden considered one of the most beautiful in northern Italy. You can get there by following the promenade that runs along the lake and then continue along the Cherio River.
Not far from the Biali Park, stands the church of San Salvatore and the stations of the cross, with mosaics designed by the artist Trento Longaretti: this too deserves a visit!
In the Hills
Sotto il Monte is the birthplace of St. John XXIII, here you’ll find the places where the good Pope grew up, where you can still walk on paths in the middle of the meadows. One of these leads you to Cà Maitino, where you’ll find the Ristoro Alpino restaurant, the perfect place for a picnic in the countryside.
Before climbing up here, you must visit the Sanctuary of San Giovanni XXIII, with the Parish Church and the Chapel of Peace, with an altar made out of nothing less than an early Christian sarcophagus that the Emperor Constantine had built in Rome in honour of Saint Peter.
Here you’ll also find the Garden of Peace, where you can read quotes by John XXIII dotted along the path that lead to the centre, where stands the statue of the Pope, inspired by the historical quote that he pronounced in 1962: “Returning home, you will find your children. Give them a caress and tell them: This is the caress of the Pope”.
But to reach Ristoro Alpino? Leaving the parish church, continue along Viale Pacem in Terris until Cà Maitino; from here, follow for the Papa Giovanni Museum and then take the Via degli Alpini mule track to Colle San Giovanni. Here there is the Tower of San Giovanni, originally from the year one thousand and now, inside, it houses the Ristoro Alpino restaurant, ready to welcome visitors. Outside, you can take advantage of the tables and benches for your picnics; if you don’t have food with you, the restaurant offers excellent dishes based on typical products.
In the mountains
And for a picnic in the mountains? Rent a car and drive to the heart of the Imagna Valley, to Sant’Omobono Terme.
Here you will find the Agriturismo & Scuderia della Valle, a magical place where horses, llamas, alpacas, raptors, goats and cattle coexist in peace. Yes, you read correctly: llamas and alpacas! And they are not just to be admired! They can be taken for a walk along the valley, as they are very docile and sociable. This is the perfect scenario for a nice picnic: you can bring your own food from home, or buy a basket full of delicious typical products directly at the farm.
Between trekking in nature and regenerating breaks with local specialties, a visit to the Scuderia della Valle is really an excellent way to experience the mountain in a different way!