Monday, March 4, 2024
Leonardo Da Vinci

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    Bergamo a medieval city full of treasures

    Bergamo is one of the most beautiful towns in Lombardy. It has a truly remarkable artistic and cultural heritage, as well as a culinary tradition to envy many other cities.
    I would say that in Bergamo nothing is missing, I would gladly live there 🙂

    Bergamo city Italy
    The view of the Upper Bergamo

    It stands on seven hills like Rome and is divided into two levels: Bergamo Alta and Bergamo Bassa (literally Upper and Lower Bergamo).
    It is a city of cobbled passages lined with walls, sometimes steep and narrow, that in the past were used mainly by farmers but also by the inhabitants to get faster from one point to the other without having to travel all the way.

    High Bergamo
    Upper Bergamo

    In a day you can see all the most important attractions of the city, from Milan you can easily reach it by train: it takes just under an hour and the ticket price is less than 6€.

    From Bergamo train station we can take the bus line 1A, get off at Funicolare Stazione Inferiore and then with the same ticket the funicular will take us to Upper Bergamo.
    Our journey begins 😉

    Funicular at Bergamo
    Funicular at Bergamo

    Once arrived at the top from Piazza Mercato delle Scarpe we walk towards Piazza Vecchia which for centuries has been the center of the political power of the city, a harmonious and perfect ensemble of architectures. You will not know where to look, so many are the beautiful things that this square offers.


    Piazza Vecchia - Upper Bergamo
    Piazza Vecchia – Upper Bergamo

    At the center of the square stands the Contarini fountain, a typical example of Baroque fountain. The sphinxes, chained together, surround the bowl with water. The fountain was donated to the city in 1780 by the Mayor Contarini on the occasion of his resignation.
    Today the fountain has only an aesthetic function but was originally built as a source of water for domestic use.

    Contarini fountain - Upper Bergamo
    Contarini fountain – Upper Bergamo

    Among the other buildings there are the Palazzo della Ragione and the Civic Tower called the Campanone.


    Note that outside the building under the colonnade you can see the arrow of the sundial, built more than 200 years ago, which still today accurately indicates the time and date of the day.

    Sundial Palazzo della Ragione - Upper Bergamo
    Sundial Palazzo della Ragione – Upper Bergamo

    Every night at 22 o’clock from the tower depart 100 chimes in memory of the ancient curfew.

    View of Torre del Campanone - Upper Bergamo
    View of Torre del Campanone – Upper Bergamo

    I recommend you visit the palace and climb to the top of the tower: from its 43 meters high it offers an unparalleled view of everything below, the Castle of San Vigilio and the surroundings of Bergamo. On clear days you can see the skyline of Milan and the Alps!

    Passing the porch from Piazza della Ragione you reach Piazza del Duomo where other masterpieces await. So, first the Duomo, then the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore (a real baroque triumph!) and finally the Colleoni Chapel. The latter was commissioned by Bartolomeo Colleoni and today is the most majestic building in the city, full of works and masterpieces. The facade of the Colleoni Chapel is one of the greatest examples of the Renaissance: the colored marbles alternate in unique geometries and decorations, in which it is easy to lose sight.

    The inhabitants of Bergamo claim that touching the heraldic symbol of Colleoni (the representation of 3 testicles that you can see on the gate in front of the chapel), brings good luck. Done! 🙂

    Colleoni testicles
    Colleoni testicles

    And finally take a walk in the alleys in the surroundings full of historic shops and good street food.

    Where to eat in Upper Bergamo

    Make sure you do not miss the opportunity to taste the traditional dishes of Bergamo in the characteristic restaurant Trattoria Parietti. The quality of the dishes is excellent, the menu varied and the prices popular. It is frequented by both tourists and locals. Here you can enjoy real homemade pasta, polenta, meat dishes and traditional cheeses, good wine and desserts. The main dish of Bergamo – a special type of ravioli called “Casoncelli alla Bergamasca” – here is prepared perfectly.
    Trattoria Parietti is just a 15-minute walk from the city centre.
    I recommend you book a table in advance.
    Telephone Number: +39 035 221072

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