The rural village of Gromo, orange flag of Touring Club, hosts Santa Claus home: it’s near Bergamo and it’s a delicious place for children to visit during the Christmas time. The little village itself is a good reason to go to this place. Gromo means ” rock lump”, indicating a little bump rising from the landscape, related to the crucial position it occupies, high over the Serio river .
Gromo is a very little village formed by little stone houses, very narrow and uphill streets with a lot of little craft workshops.
What impressed us was the centre of the village: Dante Square, a little circle and scenic square, rich of historical buildings such as the castle Castello Ginami, that hosts Santa Claus home, the palace Palazzo Milesi that, with its beautiful lodge, today Town Hall, hosts a reproduction of Gromo, the tourist office and two free museums opened during the weekend:
- The Museum of the sidearms and of the parchments
- The naturalistic Ecomuseum.
Next to the castle is San Gregorio church, while in front of it is the fountain with the swan that attarcts all children. In this little square you’ll also find a bakery, two bars and a restaurant.
But now the awaited attraction for children:
Santa Claus home in Gromo
It’s inside the castle Castello Ginami and the path runs through a semicircular way: at the entrance you’ll be welcome by an elf who will leave a medal to the children on which they’ll write their names. Immediately on the left is the room where children can write their letters to Sanata Claus.
Farther, always on the left, is a very beautiful Santa Claus in the flesh with a very full beard: it’s possible to take photo with him in a completely Christmas scenery.
In the end you’ll go into the Santa Claus’ secret rooms: they’re only a few, but very magical, very elegant and sumptuous! All are richly decorated and completely furnished: from the Santa’s bathroom with the foam coming out from the bath, to the set table for the feasts; from his bedroom with the fireplace, to the hall full of gifts! The atmosphere is totally in Christmas spirit and children are really happy!
Before going into, there’s a nice elf who tries to entertain people in the queue with soap bubbles and coloured balloons, and a piper who graces our spirits.
Everything super but…here what we liked less
- The price isn’t cheap for what they offer: 5 Euro would have been enough, in my opinion, or at least children until 10 (not only until 3) should pay the half! Rooms, as already said, are amazing but children don’t receive anything as a memory of the day, except for the photo with Santa Claus!
- The organization at the entrance isn’t well managed: once got into, we stopped in a fixed point for at least half an hour!
- Inside the secret rooms, they should limit the number of people, at least to take some photo without hundred heads that cover your lens!
- They should put a bodyguard inside the rooms to avoid children’s bad behaviours, like for example to jump on Santa’s bed, as their parents don’t take action, unfortunately! As usual in Italy the concept of respect isn’t so clear!
At the exit of the path, for those who want, it’s possible to go towards Villa Magdalena (they’ll give you all info), in the high part of the town through an uphill road. Here you’ll find creative laboratories with th elfs together with a warm tea, face paintings inside a tent, the animals of the farm and there’s the possibility, if you have a little child, to ride a little pony.
From this area you’ll have a special panoramic view all over the village of Gromo!
SOME TIPS FOR YOU
- The very first tip I feel to give you is to arrive in the morning, at least at 11 to find a car park. When you’ll arrive to Gromo, you’ll see an uphill road on your left to the historical centre. I suggest you not to take that road by car: we left it behind the Blue Cross, on the back side of a palace. There aren’t many places, that’s why it’s better to arrive early! Then we walked along the uphill road for about 500 mt., before going into the village.
- To have lunch it’s difficult: try to eat not later than 12.15 because there are only few places where you can eat. The only baker in the little square closes during lunch time. We found something to eat in the little bar next to the restaurant “Posta al Castello”: every place was full! In general, if you want to have lunch at the restaurant, you should book before!
At the feet of the village, where we left our car, near the Blue Cross, there’s a cafe where you can also eat something like filled and warm sandwiches or toasts.
Or going up on foot, before entering the village, you’ll find a restaurant pizzeria on your right ” La locanda del Cacciatore”; booking is required.
Another restaurant pizzeria is “Posta al Castello”, also here booking is better.
Bars and informal places: ” Bar del Centro” and the one next to the restaurant “Posta al Castello”, where we also ate.
- It’s possible to use the stroller along the streets of the village, but you have to park it before entering Santa Claus house, just next to the building.
- Santa Claus home: also in this case I suggest you to get in line not later than 14. At that time we saw the queue arriving until the fountain, but an hour later it became much longer.
Cost: 8 Euro per person; free under 3. No need to book.
It’s open every weekend, and also on the 24th and 26th of December included, from 14 to 18.
- At about 5 minutes walking from the centre of Gromo, a gem to visit is the church Chiesa di San Giacomo.
HOW TO REACH GROMO
The distance is 90 km. The village is reachable through the motorway A4; EXIT: Seriate. Continue to Val Seriana following Albano, Ponte Nossa, Parre until Gromo.
The distance is 80 km. Reachable taking direction Bergamo and then follow Nembro, Ponte Nossa, Parre until Gromo.
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THE MEANING OF TRAVEL FOR ME
In the last years I follow what Dalai Lama says:” At least once a year go to a place you’ve never been before”.
After years of sufferings and sacrifices, I’ve decided that life is too short and too unpredictable to continue waiting to do what I like and what makes me happy.
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