The Citta Alta of Bergamo blew me away! Come here and you will be transported back in time to a beautiful medieval town. Stay at the Hotel Piazza Vecchia and enjoy--for the most part--modern conveniences, a comfortable bed, a great shower, and a good breakfast (apparently improved since some negative reviews of past years) all in the very heart of the Citta Alta. What more could one want? Well, one could want air conditioning on a hot day that actually works. We stayed in room 12, a top level room that cost 180 euros with payment required in advance of arrival. There was an air conditioning control that at first appeared to work. But I could never get it to set below 25C, or 77 degrees F. When I inquired I was told that the A/C was adjustable, but only between 25C and 32C. "You cannot change it because it is set by the computer," I was told. Give me a break!!! I was certainly happy to know that I could opt for setting the A/C at 90F! And just who sets the computer other than management? Fortunately, late in the day of the one day we were there, storms in the distance blew some cooler breezes, so we opened the door to the balcony and the small window that looked out to the mountains and were able to cool the room down for a while. But when we went to sleep, we closed the door and the window since we had heard so many stories and about mosquitoes and other insects in Italy coming into rooms at night. And by next morning the temperature in the room was again 77 degrees.
The other problem with this hotel is arriving by car. The hotel is located on one of the main streets in the Citta Alta. The street is the width of a car and a bicycle side by side; so when you stop your car you have tied up traffic rather effectively, much to the consternation of the residents and anyone else traveling through. While you tie up traffic with your car parked in this main thoroughfare, you can check in and make sure your prepaid room is acceptable to you. Then return to your car and continue down the street to see if you can park in the first square you come to. Since check-in times are in mid-afternoon, the chances of finding parking there are not very good. So then you can try the next square, which is somewhat larger but has signs prohibiting parking in several places. With the help of a policeman, however, we were able to find a place at last. This is fine until you check out. If you try to wheel your bags over the cobblestone streets all the way to the car park, your wheels will be ruined before you get there. So you will need to bring your car back to the hotel. But the streets are one-way, so you will need to circle around the town and try and find your way back to the hotel. Not easy. But doable. And I guess it is all worth it since the town is so special, so evocative of a former time.
Staying at this hotel allows you to enjoy the Citta Alta at its best times--late evening and early morning, when the throngs have left. I recommend dining outside at the Taverna del Colleoni dell' Angelo on the Piazza Vecchia in the quiet of the evening to enjoy a great meal.
How does one rate a hotel like this? The location's pluses and minuses are inherent in the make-up of this truly medieval town. While arriving by car can be quite a problem, that problem is the price you must be willing to pay for this experience. The A/C nonsense is another story. If you decide to come in colder months than June, this will not be an issue. And if you decide to come in warmer months, I would hope that whoever sets the computer would allow temperatures below 77 degrees. But I cannot guarantee that. And it is a shame that you will have to ask.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Thinking for who is looking for a place where spend an unforgettable stay, the Hotel Piazza Vecchia is located in a historical home of the XIV century, manor of Bartolomeo Colleoni, important leader of the time of the Serenissima. The Hotel Piazza Vecchia was thought and wanted by the Vismara family, that will reserve you a warm and professional welcome acquired in 100 years of experience in the hospitality field, and they will try to make your journey unforgettable. The copies of the masterpieces of Impressionists like Van Gogh, Gauguin and of our local painter Trento Longaretti, painted by the owner Tiziana De Franceschi, enrich the common areas and the rooms. The HotelPiazza Vecchia is the ideal spot for lovers of music and art who can find galleries, museums and events of international scope in the immediate vicinity. The breakfast room is available for small meetings and buffets ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Piazza Vecchia Bergamo
- Piazza Vecchia Hotel