Bergamo, Italian Capital of Culture 2023 together with Brescia, is a city waiting to be discovered, an ideal destination for a weekend away. It is called the City of the Thousand for the historic expedition under the command of Giuseppe Garibaldi, to which he contributed with a significant number of volunteers from Bergamo.
Those who want to visit Bergamo must know that its territory is divided into two parts, the Lower Town, the more modern part, and the Upper Town, the older one. The two areas are separated by the splendid Venetian Walls, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2017, which it is possible to walk along the 5 km perimeter, for a spectacular panoramic walk. On windy days it is possible to see the peaks of the Orobie Alps and even Milan on the horizon.
History, art, music, culture, nature and even gastronomy, Bergamo is the ideal destination for gourmets and especially for cheese lovers. Thanks to the excellence of the dairy production of the mountain area of the Cheese Valleys, the Orobic valleys, in 2019 it was recognized as a Unesco Creative City for gastronomy.
Visit Bergamo, here are the places not to be missed
- Carrara Academy
- The Botanical Garden
- The San Vigilio funicular
- Porta San Giacomo
- Old Square
- The dome
- New Palace
The Carrara Academy is an art academy, as well as one of the most important Italian art galleries. It is located in the center of the lower city and the visit will allow you to admire over three hundred works, including paintings and sculptures by artists of the caliber of Botticelli, Raphael, Mantegna, Pisanello, Tiepolo, Canaletto and Titian, for a journey through the history of art Italian from the Renaissance to the nineteenth century. Info: lacarrara.it.
The “Lorenzo Rota” Botanical Garden
The Botanical Garden is located in the upper part of the city and can only be reached on foot, climbing the Colle Aperto ladder with 141 steps. Once you get to the top of the path you just have to be amazed by the splendid panorama over the roofs of the city and the enchanting collection of plants.
The San Vigilio funicular
Going up to the upper city with the funicular is one of the experiences not to be missed in Bergamo. A pleasant and quick way to reach the San Vigilio hill from which to enjoy the beautiful panorama, and its castle with towers, gunports and loopholes, built over an underground network of tunnels and secret passages.
Porta San Giacomo
Reaching the upper part of the city on foot, along the Santa Lucia Vecchia stairway, and then via Sant'Alessandro, you find yourself in front of the spectacular Porta San Giacomo, characterized by splendid pinkish white marble. There are four entrance doors to the medieval village, but this is the only one that is always open to pedestrians. Along the way you have the opportunity to admire the panorama and the effort is certainly worth it!
It is the true beating heart of the Upper Town, overlooked by majestic and imposing buildings such as Palazzo della Ragione and the Civic Tower, known as "il Campanone". In the porticoed loggia of the Palazzo della Ragione there is an ancient sundial which at 12 is struck by a ray of sunshine thus indicating the time and date. Around 10pm, on the other hand, you can hear the 100 tolls of the bell ringing, in memory of the curfew of the past which reminded the inhabitants of the closure of the city gates.
At the center of the square is the beautiful Fontana Contarini from which you can quench your thirst by drinking from its mouths representing the sphinxes.
The Cathedral of Sant'Alessandro is located in the square of the same name in the Upper Town and inside it houses precious works of art including the paintings by Giovan Battista Moroni and Andrea Previtali, the Martyrdom of Saint John bishop by Giambattista Tiepolo, an altar by Carlo Ceresa, works in inlaid wood and marble by Andrea Fantoni.
Located in Piazza Vecchia, Palazzo Nuovo is home to one of the most important Italian libraries, the Civica Angelo Mai, where parchments, codices, incunabula and music of inestimable value are kept.
Taste experiences in Bergamo
Among the numerous local specialties to taste, in first place we find cheeses. The European Capital of Cheeses is the only Italian and European province that has 9 D.O.P. dairy products, 30 traditional cheeses and 3 Slow Food presidia. To discover the art of cheese-making and taste Taleggio, Bitto Dop, Formai de Mut and other specialties, you can consult the following link visitbergamo.net.
The Bergamo area is a wine production area and the journey cannot be concluded without tasting a glass of Moscato di Scanzo Docg or Valcalepio Doc, two true excellences of the area.
Curiosity: did you know that Stracciatella flavored ice cream was invented in Bergamo? Go to the "La Marianna" ice cream parlor in Colle Aperto to taste the original recipe created by Enrico Panattoni.
Among the events that attract the most tourists to the city is the BergamoScienza Festival, a scientific dissemination event full of initiatives organized in the month of October. The festival seeks to make science accessible to all by offering exhibitions, workshops, conferences and shows.
The same month (October) takes place Forme, an event dedicated to the art of Italian dairy excellence with a rich program including the spectacular market exhibition, the Cheese Labs, conferences, the museum exhibition, master classes and much more.
In September, however, the protagonist is the Moscato di Scanzo with a big party in the charming historic village of Rosciate.
These are the main local events, but many others are organized throughout the year. Check out the page dedicated to events in Bergamo so you don't miss a single one!