Located in the Lombardy region, Bergamo is an off-the-beaten-path travel destination known for its culturally rich Italian experiences. It may not be the first place that comes to mind when people think of Italy, but its welcoming vibe and medieval atmosphere should be enough to make you want to visit and explore this charming and romantic city. Decide on a neighborhood after reading our guide on where to stay in Bergamo. Once you’re done admiring its stunning architectural gems and historic buildings, take the time to discover the richness of its nature.
The key feature of the province of Bergamo is its majestic mountainous terrain dominated by the Bergamo Alps, which offers incredible wildlife and a range of hiking trails. Also known as Orobie Alps or Bergamasque Alps, the Bergamo Alps are 80 kilometers long (49.7miles). They are made of valleys, including Camonica valley on the western borders, forests, woods, peaks, and ridges with picturesque villages, farms, pastures, and mountain refuges located between summits. They serve as a heritage for the Bergamo province and have always been part of the people’s culture and history.
Today, many walking and hiking trails in Bergamo will take travelers to the peaks of the mountain range. Some are easy hikes, while others are reserved only for experienced hikers and climbers. So if you’re ready for a heart-pumping adventure, go on a hiking trip and explore more of this part of the region. But before you start your journey, take advantage of a luggage storage solution in Bergamo to have a secure and convenient place to store your extra bags and unnecessary gear.
Our Top Hiking Trail Picks in Bergamo
Bergamo Citta Alta Loop
Bergamo Citta Alta Loop is one of the impressive networks of hiking trails in Parco dei Colli di Bergamo (Bergamo Hills Regional Park), a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts in the city. It is the park’s easiest walking route, which follows along the famous fortress wall around the old city.
If you’re interested in stretching your legs instead of hiking for long hours, the Bergamo Citta Alta Loop is the one for you. The trail is three kilometers (1.8 miles) long with a 130-meter climb. It is open year-round and can be completed within about 45 minutes. It may not be challenging for serious hikers looking for longer and steeper climbs. Still, it’s a great trail for beginners or those who enjoy walking with a slight incline. This is a fabulous free activity in Bergamo that won't tire you out. Why not start your day here?
Canto Alto is a favorite Bergamo hike that will take you from an urban setting to awe-inspiring nature. It’s located within the Bergamo Alps but reachable from the city center, offering breathtaking panoramic views over the surrounding area. It isn’t too much of a climb, so its peak can be accessed easily. It’s ideal for casual hikers looking for a less challenging hiking experience in the wilderness.
Make sure you visit on a clear day to enjoy the scenery fully. If you come in spring, expect to find a carpet of gorgeous daffodils. You might even spot a roe deer or two if you’re lucky. But no matter what time of the year you visit, you’re guaranteed magnificent views from the mountain peak.
There are several hiking trails that will lead you to the summit. You can start from Poscante in the north or Sorisole in the south, the most popular track among hikers, about four kilometers long. But if you want to start from the easiest route, take the trail from Monte di Nese. It’s only about three kilometers from the summit with a 350 meter incline.
One of the historic hiking trails in Bergamo you might want to try is Via Priula. It was created in the 16th century by a Venetian merchant, Alvise Priuli, to connect Venice with other areas to deliver goods without being seized en route. Before its construction, the Venetian republic, which was the ruler of Bergamo province, would need to go around the mountain chain of the Bergamo Alps through the Lake Como in the territory of Milan.
Some parts of the trail are easy, while others may be best for expert hikers. Tackling the entire trail will take two to three days, depending on your fitness level, but you’ll be rewarded with unexpected views. You’ll have a glimpse of the area’s history and find hidden gems and works of art. The route will also cross the Passo San Marco, a high mountain pass at an elevation of nearly 2,000 meters.
Sentiero del Viandante
You can take advantage of guided trekking or explore the Sentiero del Viandante on your own. This ancient route dates back to the Roman period, allowing travelers to discover the artistic and natural beauty of different areas and admire the history and marvelous views over the mountains and the lake.
The overall length of the path is around 68 kilometers, divided into stages. The first stage starts in Abbadia Lariana and ends in Lierna. Along the way, you’ll pass the church of San Bartolomeo and the San Giorgio church in Mandello del Lario. You’ll enter the woods and enjoy the stunning view of Lake Como before arriving at Lierna.
The longest is the final stage, which kicks off from Piantedo to Morbegno. Along the way, you’ll find interesting landmarks and religious monuments. The trail is well marked, and you can divide the route in any way or tackle it in the opposite direction. It’s up to you to complete the whole journey from the beginning to the end of the excursion. Of course, you can always do one or two stages at a time and then return to the starting point by train.
If you’re up for a major expedition and a multi-day adventure, try the Orobie Trail. It’s one of the long-distance hiking trails through the Bergamo Alps that connects numerous mountain huts in the province of Bergamo. It encompasses two big routes: the Western Orobie trail, extending through Brembana Valley, and the Eastern Orobie Trail. It’s the more popular route that leads through Seriana Valley for a few stops that will lead you to the province’s most fascinating nature.
Watch out for mountain goats and marmots. If you come during the summer season, you’ll also be rewarded with pristine vegetation and beautiful wildflowers. The average elevation of the hiking trails is approximate 2,000 miles, but intermediate hikers shouldn’t struggle to tackle the paths. The hike is long, but it’s pretty simple unless you go during winter when it’s covered in snow.
Surrounded by lush vegetation and magnificent mountains, Lake Iseo is a natural wonder between Brescia and Bergamo. It’s one of Lombardy's most charming lakes, where visitors and hikers can enjoy a beautiful landscape and an incredibly tranquil atmosphere.
The hills surrounding the lake offer an impressive network of hiking trails for everyone of every skill level. Hike toward the church of San Defendente through a rocky nature trail and take in the extraordinary lake view. Or simply walk the paths along its shore to appreciate its clear, calm waters.
In the middle of the lake, you’ll find another attraction, Monte Isola, which is Europe’s largest lake island. It also has numerous hiking trails that branch off from the slope of the mountain, suitable for hikers of all levels. Each track will take you to some historical destinations and stunning views.
Located in the municipality of Valbondione, in Bergamo Province, Serio Waterfall is the country’s tallest waterfall. It features a plunge of about 315 meters, making it one of Europe’s biggest waterfalls with a significant volume.
Three paths lead to the waterfall; each will take about an hour and a half to reach your destination. Trail numbers 332 and 305 provide an easy path for hikers, whereas trail number 306 is more challenging and available during the daytime only. Sure, a day hike allows better view and visibility. But you don’t want to miss the night openings when the cascading waterfall is highlighted by powerful spotlights for a more magical experience.
Bergamo City Walls
Bergamo museum lovers will like this recommendation. It may not necessarily be a hiking trail, but Bergamo would never be the same without the impressive Bergamo City Walls. Also referred to as Venetian Walls, the city walls feature over 6 kilometers of track, perfect for long walks and enjoying the beautiful sunset. You can also hike along the city walls on foot or a cable car, which is another favorite city attraction. The first cable car connects the lower part of the city to its upper part. The second one will take you from the old town (easily accessed by Bergamo Train Station) to an area that’s further and higher into the Bergamo hills. Other cable cars will also take visitors to some exciting parts of the province.
Over 250 buildings were destroyed to build the walls, including eight religious properties, such as the Dominican convent of Santo Stefano and the Sant’Alessandro Cathedral. The walls consist of fourteen bastions, two platforms, a hundred cannons, two armories, and four gates. It also has a few underground structures, including tunnels, passages, and sallies. So before you take on those challenging hiking trails in the province, take the time to enjoy a leisure walk along the city walls.
Easy Hikes in Bergamo
Many hiking trails in Bergamo are suitable for any fitness level. But if you’re looking for a short path feasible in under an hour, the Bergamo Citta Alta Loop is a walking route to start. It’s one of the main hiking trails in Bergamo Hills Regional Park, along with the Road of the Benedictine Monasteries. It’s the longest path on the western side of the park that goes around Roccolone Hill through a few monasteries in the Valmarina and Astino valleys.
You can also start by walking along the Venetian walls and enjoy a scenic exploration. The difficulty level is low, the route has very little elevation change, and there are no steep inclines or hills with little loose gravel.
Intermediate Hikes in Bergamo
Grab a Bergamo brunch and plan your trek. There are different types of accessible trails near the city center that offer access to numerous famous sights and natural attractions. Various parks and lakes also provide well-marked hiking trails in scenic settings that will test your cardio and get your blood pumping.
Check out Canto Alto, one of the top hikes in the country. There is more than one way to get to the peak, and you’ll find clear signs to guide your excursion. If you get there in the afternoon, wait for the glorious sunset or watch the twinkling lights in the evening. It’s worth all the effort and hard work once you reach the top of the mountain and witness the unparalleled views.
Difficult Hikes in Bergamo
If you’re ready to tackle tougher terrains and longer trails, why don’t you try the historic hiking trails in Bergamo? There are various notable routes throughout the province that are of great cultural and historical significance and can satisfy your wanderlust. Via Priula is one of them, offering a 36-kilometer hiking trail you can complete in two to three days, depending on your pace and skills.
Orobie Trail is another strenuous hike with steep climbs, rugged roads, and long routes. It’s ideal for experienced hikers looking for an extra challenge. If you plan to complete the multi-day trail, make sure you’re in top physical condition to maximize the experience.
Bergamo Hiking Trails
Whether you’re looking for a more technical and challenging terrain or just want to exercise and boost your cardio endurance, Bergamo offers a range of hiking trails for bushwalkers and hikers of all levels. Perhaps, you simply want to take your time and enjoy the scenery or learn more about the city’s beautiful history.
In that case, you’ll love exploring its nature trails and day hikes that will lead you to popular mountains and interesting destinations. From small local parks to nature reserves, its vast hiking areas will never leave you disappointed. They will deliver every climber, hiker, and outdoor enthusiast an unmatched hiking experience.