Where did the big idea for the project come from?
M: The idea came from Raffaella. She wanted to advertise her shop and she looked for something like a nice website or a nice guide that talks about...
R: ...shopping, tourism...
M:…something about the shops and the commercial activities that there are in Bergamo, but she couldn't find nothing.
M: Every guide that speaks about Bergamo, if you look for shopping, they send you to Orio Center or maybe in Via XX Settembre. There is nothing that talks about the beautiful shops and places to eat that there are in Bergamo, there is nothing that talks about that. And we walk alot around the city and we discover all these places.
R: We wanted to do something nice for the city and for us.
So basically you saw that there was a niche, there was something missing and that's kind of how it came about?
M: Yes and we wanted to do something that talks about the real city because especially a tourist, when coming to Bergamo, they just go to the Upper Town, Città Alta, that is beautiful. Nothing to say about it, it's beautiful, you have to go there. But there are also other borghi, I don't know how to say in English, for example Borgo Santa Caterina, Borgo Palazzo, Via Pignolo, Borgo San Leonardo...the city is divided historically in these borghi and the tourists miss that most of the time.
R: We tried to do something that we like to discover in other cities when we go around.
Did you look at any other guides that maybe other cities had? Like do other cities have something similar?
R: I've never seen something quite like [Bergamo City Kiwi], there are guides that talk about big cities with particular places like ours, different, not big chains, not big shops or big restaurants. Just the kiwi shop. We talk about kiwi shop and you can find them in other guides, in the big city, but I never saw something that's only about them [kiwi shops].
There are no restaurants, for the moment. A tourist or citizen also, that walks around the city to do shopping and stops for something to eat [these are places that are included in the Bergamo City Kiwi guide as opposed to restaurants]. In our kiwi shop, that are all of the same kind.
Right, so for now there is no restaurant category, it's more 'snacky' places.
M: Or wine bars, aperitivo [places].
But you think you will do restaurants? It would be a huge undertaking.
M: I wish, it's very difficult.
R: Because you have to try to test them.
M: It's hard, I would love to. I would love to select a maximum of ten restaurants that represents not the best restaurants of Bergamo, because everybody knows the, but the one that represents our vision of the project. Being the kiwi idea.
So who came up with kiwi, what is kiwi?
M: Kiwi is our logo that is the bird, not the fruit.
R: We are living with this kiwi, we can take pictures in the shop.
Oh that's him, oh ok, you have a little cardboard guy!
M: The kiwi is a rare animal who lives in New Zealand and like our shops, is something that has to be preserved and that we don't want to be extinguished. It's something small, it's not an eagle, but it's a kiwi, it's beautiful...
R: It's particular!
M: The animal is not really beautiful, but the logo is beautiful. We love it, it has alot to offer but it's in danger [referring to kiwi shops] because all the big shops, the big chains, can put it at risk. That's the point.
Did you think of the logo before you thought of the idea or was it the other way around?
M: The other way around. At the beginning we had like, very common names like Bergamo Sotto La Mura, but we were bored so we decided to pick something very strange so that people say, kiwi...why?
I like it! Fantastic! We already talked about what the main goal was, who was your main audience?
M: It's very recent so we don't have an audience yet really, we are collecting them on FB and we are investing in advertising.
So what would your target audience be? Who would you hope to use it?
M: There are two groups...the citizens from one side because it is a guide for the citizens of Bergamo, there are lots of places to discover that nobody knows. So if you wanted to go for a glass of wine or if you want to buy a dress, maybe you can look at this and find new places that you didn't know. And for the tourists of course, that come to Bergamo. For everyone. From ages 20 to 60! Men, women!
How did you go about compiling who you wanted to include in the list?
M: We walked around the whole city! We entered the shops and asked. When we explained to them the project, almost everybody was enthusiastic so we had no problems to gather the shops.
How long did it take to compile everything?
M: We started March the past year, since then. Not everyday, but almost.
It always evolves, so there is a News section so when a kiwi shop has something interesting to say- we go there, we take a picture, we write an article and we publish the news.
Also under the Curiosity section, it's also in evolution, there is a part about the stairways of the city- to go from Bergamo Bassa to Bergamo Alta, we have an interactive map with all the stairs and the description and all the water sources where you can find fountains.
You're going to make an app?
M: We would like to. We are looking for sponsors. We want to do the app. Probably we'll do it in the next two months.
What's the best way people can use the website?
M: We have areas, that is borghi in Italian (lists them). You can navigate inside them and in each, you have all the shops. Each shop has a page with pictures and description and info, and how to reach [them]. You can also navigate by categories. One shop can be in more than one category. There is also a map.
What’s your favorite discovery in Bergamo up until now?
M: One is Chiccus, I love it. It’s a winery and prosciutteria! It’s wonderful, we didn’t know it before.
Do you have any tips for tourists who are exploring the city (besides looking at your website!)?
M: They should for sure not just go to the Upper Town but also discover the borghi, the center is also beautiful. Also Borgo Santa Caterina is very beautiful…I don’t know what to say, just discover the city!
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tel:+39 333 316 52 31
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