Planning a trip to Northern Italy, or more specifically, Bergamo and fancy taking in some football? Luckily, our very own resident Atalanta fan Conor Clancy takes you through a visit to the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia to see La Dea in action.
Though Atalanta are by no means one of Italy’s illustrious clubs, a trip to Bergamo to see La Dea is something I wholeheartedly recommend to not only fans of Italian football, but fans of football in general.
On my first of many football related trips to Italy I was brought to see the Nerazzurri host Lazio on what was a typically cold and rainy Bergamo morning at the foot of the Alps. During a 7am Sunday morning train from Milan I was informed that a visit to Bergamo was something every Italian football writer must experience. It should be noted that this was said not as a good thing, rather something that must be suffered through as though it were some sort of cruel induction ritual.
The Atleti Azzurri d’Italia holds just over 25,000, and generally sees between 15,000-20,000 flock toward it on match days, so availability will not be an issue. Neither will affordability, as a ticket to enjoy the game from the Curva Nord will set you back a mere €15.
If you are in the city before the day of the game you can go and purchase your tickets at the ticket office, as well as at the club’s designated Bank and vendor, Credito Bergamasco. As well as this, a trip to the Atalanta store at Orio Center should allow you to get your tickets.
They are purchasable via the usual online means but the club do advise to use their official online vendor, listicket.com.
There are a number of hotels and hostels to choose from around Bergamo, but if you want affordable comfort and amazing hospitality, then look no further than the Romeo and Juliet B&B on Via Zambonate.
Don’t let the name throw you off, it is not in Verona and though it could suit a couple seeking a break away together, it is certainly not strictly for romance seeking travellers.
The owner, Gabriele, will be waiting for you upon arrival along with his friendly dog Tyson, and is always on hand to assist you with any questions you have and has an extensive knowledge of Bergamo as well as knowing a thing or two about Atalanta and their rivalries.
Gabriele will go out of his way to help with any request you have and will always be willing to point you in the direction of things to do around the city.
Staying here will give you insight as to what it would be like to live in Bergamo, as he will give you the keys to the stereotypical Italian residence, allowing you to come and go as you please, whatever time of day or night.
I was pleasantly surprised on arrival to find the room well stocked with food, juice and coffee, and I am determined to visit again in the near future.
As far as location is concerned, you will not have any issues with the B&B as it is located just a 10 minute walk from the train station, near Porta Nuova.
Bergamo Airport (Orio al Serio) is serviced by Ryanair, so getting there in an affordable manner is easy to do with the right planning. Even without the use of the low-budget airline, sufficient planning should allow you to fly from Ireland or the United Kingdom to Bergamo for an approximate cost of €80 return.
The airport is serviced by the city’s bus service, so just hop on the number one bus from outside the airport to get yourself in to the city.
The Citta Alta is the upper part of the city and the city’s historic centre. Built in the 16th century, it is located inside Venetian walls and is beautifully Italian in the most traditional way. You can navigate around narrow cobbled streets and feel as though you are no longer in the 21st century, only to be reminded of your place in time as you will be unable to resist taking out your camera or phone to snap a picture of the scenic streets.
With the Citta Alta located above the more modern Citta Bassa, it gives you the opportunity to take in some breathtaking views. Should you want to take advantage of the best of these views, look no further than the Torre Civica, which will treat you to a bird’s-eye view of Bergamo.
Wandering aimlessly around the city can lead you to the edge of the Venetian walls, which, in turn, presents some more fantastic views of the surrounding greenery, mountains and the lower city.
You could easily spend hours sauntering around the city on a pleasant day, admiring the beautiful architecture of Bergamo Cathedral and eating some freshly made pastries or gelato in the Piazza Vecchia.
I feel obliged to recommend you take a trip to the Atalanta store to purchase some merchandise. The Orio Centre that houses the store is located by the airport and can be easily accessed by taking the No.1 buses.
If it’s a steak and wine that you fancy then look no further than La Tana in the Citta Alta, which can be found on Via San Lorenzo and is well worth seeking out. It opens for lunch and then again for dinner, but it is closed for the intervening time.
If you get hungry while exploring the area around the aforementioned Piazza Vecchia, then be sure to pay a visit to Colleoni dell’Angelo Restaurant which directly faces the Piazza and will be sure to satisfy your needs.
If it’s a pizza you desire, then stop by the rather discernibly named Pizza Alta just off Piazza Giacomo Carrara.
Travel to the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia
The stadium is located in the lower part of the city, and it is accessible by public transport.
From the train station, you can just hop on the No.6 or No.7, though the latter will leave you with a slightly longer walk up to the stadium.
From Porta Nuova, the No.9 bus will take you the short 15 minute trip to the stadium.
Alternatively, if the weather allows, you can walk. You can make it by foot in to the stadium from both above locations in just slightly over 30 minutes.
At the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia
Before heading to the stadium, be sure that you have your match ticket and passport. Without identification, you risk not being let in to the stadium. Though, from personal experience, security here is a lot more lenient than anywhere else in Italy and you might not even have your ID checked.
Compared to every other Serie A ground, a trip to Atalanta is unique in that there are no vendors or stalls selling knock-off merchandise as you stroll up to the stadium.
If your ticket is for the Curva Pisani (Nord), don’t expect to watch the game from exactly where your ticket says. As is the nature of Serie A’s curvas, you will not see a steward near you once you get inside.
Once you get through and are inside, I would advise you stand at the back of the Curva toward one of the corners from where you can enjoy the atmosphere, while actually being able to see the football as well.
Hotel: €20 – €100.
Flights: From €80 return. (Dependant on usual factors.)
Airport transfer: €3 each way.
Match ticket: €15 – €80.
Food: €15 – €20 (Pizza & Drink.)
Drinks: Coffee €2/3, Cold drinks €2, Beer €3/4.