Bergamo City of Art ...
Born and developed at thefoot of the Alps Orobiche twenty minutes from Milan. It is well served by Caravaggio Airport, ex Orio al Serio and it has about 120,000 inhabitants.The name Bérghem, settlementon the hill, dates from the second millennium BC.The city has undergonevarious influences: Roman, Venetian (the high walls that surround the city arean example, moreover, of rare beauty) Napoleonic and the Austrian ...City “Garibaldina”: many ofthe “Mille” were enrolled in Bergamo.The strategic position allow sits residents and tourists to quickly reach important destinations such as Milan, Turin, Verona, Venice, Lake Garda, Lake Iseo, Lake Maggiore, Como,Trentino, Mantua, in addition to ski resorts accessible in a flash. Bergamo is known and appreciated for its art and its characteristic urban development. It is locatedon two levels Upper Town and Lower Town; here there are places where the visitor is enchanted by the encounter with art. Millennia preserved as iftime had never passed. The Upper Town is the Old City where you can find:Piazza Vecchia, the main and beautiful square, lots of museums where there is preserved an enviable heritage, thePalazzo della Ragione (oldest in Lombardy), Torre Civica or Campanone, PiazzaDuomo, Mai Library, Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore, the Cathedral, the ColleoniChapel, the Baptistery, Gaetano Donizetti’sbirthplace, Visconti Citadel, San Vigilio Castle, the Fortress, the Tower of Gombito, Church of St. Pancrazio, St. Agatha, S. Grata, Lantro fountain andmany others.The Old Upper Town has becomethe icon of Bergamo, with its architectural jewels unique in the world, museums, art galleries, antique shops, narrow streets, quaint shops, restaurants, breathtaking views of the Lower Town where instead reigningfashion, design,entrepreneurship, sociallife, becoming one as in no other part of the globe.
Living in Bergamo is unique...
Lower Town, was born from the development of some villages located along the main roads that led down from the hills to the plain. The main villages are: BorgoCanale, Borgo San Leonardo, Borgo San Tomaso, Borgo Santa Caterina BorgoPignolo and Borgo Palazzo.
Int he early years of the twentieth century it was created the district which currently is the center of the city, designed by Marcello Piacentini, in which the institutional building lie. Adjacent to it there is the Sentierone - paved and tree-lined street considered "the drawing room of Bergamo". The main city theater named after Gaetano Donizetti overlooks the Sentierone. As well as the church of San Bartolomeo and Stefano which houses the table of Lorenzo Lotto called “Pala Martinengo”. In the Church of the Holy Spirit there is the Holy Spirit Pala by Lorenzo Lotto, showing the Madonna and Child. In via Sant'Alessandro there is the sixteenth-century Monastery of St. Benedict,still active.
In the northern part of the lower town there is the “Accademia Carrara” (foundedby Count Giacomo Carrara in 1796), home to art exhibitions. One of the last tohave had national resonance was devoted to the paintings of Lorenzo Lotto. Other museums are: the “Donizetti Museum” and the “Galleria d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea” (GAMeC). The city also hosts a municipal stadium, the basis of the local football club, Atalanta, a sports hall and a municipal swimming facility (Piscine Italcementi).
Bergamo and its districts
In addition to the city center, in the lower town there are the districts of Santa Lucia, Redona, Borgo Santa Caterina, Monterosso, Valtesse (with the ancient parish church of San Colombano, built o the ruins of Lombard monastery founded by the monks of Bobbio) , Conca Fiorita, Borgo Palazzo, Celadina, Loreto, San Tomaso, Longuelo,Malpensata, Boccaleone, Colognola, Campagnola, Grumellina and San Paolo Apostolo. Many of these were distinct fractions before the urban expansion ofthe sixties and seventies actually incorporated them into the city.
The hills on which the upper town developed invested, since ancient times, a considerable military-strategic importance for its orographic but especially as a crossroads between the eastern part of the Po valley and central Europe. By the sixth century Bergamo was the center of one of the most important Lombard duchies. After the Carolingian conquest, 774, Bergamo became the center of a free county, continuing to keepthe military-strategic role that its location gave it. The construction of San Vigilio castle dates back from this period; located in a dominant position on the homoni moushill, played a strategic role in the military management of the city. During the last phase of tumultuous “epoca comunale”, with fratricidal struggles between the Guelphs and Ghibellines, Bergamo gave it in 1331 to John of Luxembourg, King of Bohemia. Under the rule of the King of Bohemia began the construction of the fortress whose completion was subsequently completed by the Serenissima Republic of Venice under whose rule was erected the imposing circular tower.
Bergamo Alta, known as “Upper Town”, is a medieval city, surrounded by ancient walls built in the sixteenth century, during the Venetian rule, in order to make it an impregnable fortress. Bergamo is one of the few Italian capital-city, whose old town is completely surrounded by walls, which have maintained intact their original appearance over the centuries.
Piazza Vecchia and Palazzo della Ragione
Beyond the “Palazzo della Ragione” we find St. Alexander Cathedral, the Colleoni Chapel, with the funeral monuments to the warlord Bartolomeo Colleoni and his daughter Medea, the Baptistery and Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica. Inside, there are the inlays depicting biblical scenes made of wood of various colors, whose designs are almost all work by Lorenzo Lotto, and an imposing Baroque confessional carved by Andrea Fantoni. The church houses the tomb of composer Gaetano Donizetti.
Via Colleoni, also known as Corsarola, connecting Old Town Square to Cittadella Square and it is the highest city's heart.
In “Piazza della Cittadella” we find the Civic Archaeological Museum and Natural Science Museum. Among other religious architecture, the church of San Michele al Pozzo Bianco, which houses frescoes by Lorenzo Lotto (1525).
The Upper Town, as well as hosting a botanical garden located in Via Colle Aperto, is also home of the University of Foreign Languages and Literatures whose prestige is recognized in Europe.
You can reach the Upper Town through the “scorlazzini” (stairways that connect it to differnt points to thelower part of the town), by car (even though it is forbidden during summer weekends and throughout the year on Sunday afternoon), with the funicular or by bus.
The Great Bell
Piazza Vecchia is the most known place in Bergamo Alta, with the Contarini Fountain,the Palazzo della Ragione, the Civic Tower (known as the Great Bell), which at 10:00 p.m. still shells 100 rounds - that in the past announced the closing ofthe Venetian walls gates in the night - and other buildings that surround it onall sides. Imposing, opposite the Palazzo della Ragione, the great white building of Palazzo Nuovo that houses the City Library “Angelo Mai”.