When autumn comes, I lose myself in the contemplation of pictures of red and golden maple leaves in East Canada and Japan, dreaming to be there. But foliage can be admired also in Italy, on our hills. I’ve seen amazing autumn colours in Como and in South Tyrol, where the woods and valleys look like a painting in this season. But since it’s essential to be able to find beauty also in the places we know very well, I took a day off and took a walk in Bergamo to watch the local foliage. It was a sunny, unusually warm day, and you would have said it was still summer if it was not for the red and yellow leaves. Up and down the hill, from Bergamo Bassa to the Upper Town, I’ve takes some photos and enjoyed the view of the hills caressed by the golden light.
ALONG THE ROAD TO SAN VIGILIO
Bergamo is a city of paths and steps. It’s easy to be active if you live here, because there’s always a path to climb if you want to. You really have to lock yourself in your room not to do some sport (and it’s free!). It’s Monday, and the Upper Town is surprisingly quiet. The ivy covering the walls looks like a red and gold mantle. Cats nap by the entrance doors. A man is raking the leaves in his garden. A girl runs with a dog on a leash. Two old ladies, merry and fit, walk fast and chat. Finally, there’s me, trying to make photos with my cellphone, wishing I had a real camera. I walk slowly uphill, until I get to San Vigilio castle. Then I sit on a low wall to enjoy the view, breathing in the autumn air.
PATHS AND STAIRS
One of my favourite paths is the one leading up to San Vigilio. In the Upper Town, the funicular to San Vigilio is a good starting point for a quiet walk or even a good run. Along via Castello, you can reach the square at the base of the fortress. from which you can see the valley below. Along via San Vigilio, you can walk all the way round Monte Bastia and enjoy some beautiful views. From the Church of San Vigilio, on top of the hill, there’s a steep flight of steps leading to Via Sudorno, which takes you back to the Upper Town. It is known as “Salita dello Scorlazzone” and it’s one of Bergamo’s most picturesque sites.
CHERRY BOMB, THE VEGAN BURGER IN THE HEART OF BERGAMO
In 2015 a brand new vegan burger shop opened in Milan, with a very evocative name: Flower Burger. A young entrepreneur, Matteo Toto, had the idea of creating a place where both healthy food lovers and fast food lovers could find something they liked. Later, Flower Burger opened also in Rome, Monza, Turin, Bergamo, Palermo and Rotterdam. They give you a flower card which allows you to get a free burger after ten visits, and this is a very good excuse to have lunch there. Besides, the vegan burgers are really good: even those who are not vegan, or vegan-friendly, will enjoy them.
The bread is soft and surprisingly light. It comes in different versions: multigrain, with tumeric and even cherry and grapefruit. The menu includes some classic vegan burgers, such as cecio burger and cheesy burger (made with chickpeas and veggie cheese), tofungo (with mushrooms and tofu), flower burger and seasonal new entries. But my favourite, for now, is Cherry Bomb, a lentil and rice burger in a pink bun. The lively, coloured space and the tasty ingredients make Flower Burger a must for a quick and healthy lunch.
There’s just one more place I need to go before leaving: Master Fruit. This is another pleasant surprise, a juice bar in via XX Settembre, a commercial street in the heart of Bergamo. They make fresh smoothies and juices, salads, sandwiches and rice & salmon or tuna bowls. When it’s cold, you can grab a cup of coffee, a cappuccino or a delicious slice of cake.