Bergamo ItalyBergamo is approximately 40km northeast of Milan and nestles in the foothills of the Alps. The city dates back to 49BC when it was an important Roman town. It consequently has a rich history and a wonderful collection of architecture stretching back over the centuries. Bergamo is described as a casket holding art, nature and cultural treasures. It is certainly in a beautiful natural setting and is home to a collection of ancient monuments and beautiful works of art which are well worth visiting.
Bergamo is divided into the Città Alta, the upper city, and the newer Città bassa or lower city. The two are linked by roads, footpaths and a funicular tram.
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The upper city is set within 17th century Venetian walls which run from the Rocca or Castle. This is the true historic district of Bergamo. The ancient citadel was built in the 14th century and the Palazzo della Ragione is even older. This ancient palace was erected in the 12th century and restored some 400 years later by Pietro Isabello. Look for the lion of St Mark over the mullioned window on the façade. There is an 18th century sundial in the atrium too. The Palazzo has an interesting collection of paintings which are well worth viewing.
For those who are interested in old churches, the 12th century Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore has a fine interior. The tomb of Gaetano Donizetti, the famous Italian composer, lies here and the church has a wonderful crucifix. The dome is decorated with exquisite frescoes by Giovannbattista Tiepolo. More frescoes and paintings can be seen in the San Michele al Pozzo Bianco. The Duomo is also a fine Cathedral in the centre of the ancient city. As you explore the ancient cobbled streets you may see the Battistero which is a beautiful octagonal building dating back to 1340.
The lower city is the more modern side of Bergamo with many fine residences, shops and administrative buildings.
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