Bergamo province, with its capital city of the same name, is largely unknown to foreign tourists but a much-loved capital of art, music and medieval history in Lombardy. The Venetian walls surrounding the city date back to 1561 and are a UNESCO World Heritage Site!
A Medieval Masterpiece
Actually, the city itself dates far further back, to 223 BC. It’s divided into two: Città Alta (Upper City) and Città Bassa (Lower City) – the medieval and modern districts. Catch the funicular to travel between the two. Start on the Piazza Vecchio in Città Alta, close to the city’s famous museums. The Accademia Carrara boasts works by the likes of Botticelli, Bellini, Raphael and Moroni. Visit the Teatro Donizetti (1780) in Città Bassa, named after the famous opera composer, who was born in Bergamo. Then there’s the unique, marble-clad Capella Colioni (a stunning 15-century chapel), and the Romanesque Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore, both of which are breathtaking. Don’t forget to stroll the Sentierone promenade like the locals do!
La Grande Bergamo
La Grande Bergamo (Greater Bergamo) is comprised of 34 surrounding villages, each one more lovable than the next. In fact. the province is enclosed in the stunning Parco dei Colli (Park of the Hills), which offers numerous itinerant trails. In this bucolic paradise you’ll find the San Pellegrino Terme, where the famous bottled water hails from. Additionally, the medieval town of Clusone boasts a clock from 1583, which still works! The area is also famous for its castles. Visit the 11th-century Castello Visconteo, Pagazzano which still has its original moat!
Bergamo Off the Beaten Track
The birthplace of stracciatella
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Head to the La Marianna gelateria in Bergamo to sample the most quintessentially Italian gelato flavour of all – stracciatella! La Marianna’s original owner may have invented this creamy vanilla gelato with chocolate shavings in 1961.
Where? Largo Colle Aperto 4, 24129