Bergamo is a northern Italian treasure. Dating from 49 BC, it is a real masterpiece of history, culture, music and landscape, with a medieval heart on top of a hill surrounded by the majestic Venetian Walls a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Perched on the hillside and held up by the great walls, four gates open to the city beyond. Città Alta welcomes people in its folds with artisan ateliers, hidden courtyards, arcades, and long shadows. Through the narrow medieval alleys and up to the ancient Torre Civica, whose 100 tolls have signalled 10 PM for more than 360 years over Piazza Vecchia, Palazzo Della Ragione, and Palazzo Nuovo. Marcello Piacentini’s 1920’s architecture shines in Città Bassa and the Modern and Contemporary Art Gallery, GAMeC, boasts pieces from the Spagani, Manzù, and Stucchi collections. Across the street, Botticelli, Raffaello, and Tiziano adorn the walls at the Accademia Carrara within a stunning Neoclassical building.
On a warm summer evening in June, mixing both past and present, the Donizetti Night (Bergamo is the birthplace of Donizetti, one of the world’s five greatest opera composers) brings music to the streets among the alleys, cloisters, and monuments. Celebrate the composer born in 1797 and don’t forget to trace the life of this XIX Century musician starting from his native house in Upper Bergamo, admiring his mementoes at the Museo Donizettiano, at his grave in the Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica and at the city theatre, which was named after him: every season Donizetti’s greatest successes are performed and praised right here. While the arts flourish, so do the sciences, with Bergamo Scienza. The first weeks of October welcome the autumn foliage under the great walls, transforming urban spaces into an open-air scientific laboratory.
Bergamo is a dynamic and bustling city even in the evening: most people enjoy an “aperitivo” before having dinner in one of its many restaurants and tourists particularly like to follow it up by trying a “casoncelli” pasta dish, the most famous local food. 9 PDO cheeses, cold cuts, excellent wines and many traditional recipes, are just a few examples from the rich gastronomic offer of Bergamo and its territory.
Visit Bergamo to explore the food, the culture and the nature of the province, where rivers, valleys, flatland and mountains create the perfect background for the Upper Town’s unique skyline.