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Bergamo is a scenic town in Italy's Lombardy region.
Bergamo is a pretty town of some 120,000 people nestling in the foothills of the Alps. Widely acclaimed as a city of rare beauty, Bergamo is famous for its wealth of artistic treasures and enchanting medieval atmosphere. It is a real life tale of two cities: Città Bassa, the busy and modern lower city, and Città Alta, the upper city with its rich heritage of art and history.
Bergamo is the location of the Orio al Serio International Airport (BGY). ATB no.1 bus to the city are €3 per trip, €5.00 for 24h ticket and €7.00 for a 3 days ticket.
Cabs will take about 15min but are quite expensive given the length of the journey - cost around €15.
The town is not large, and most of the sights can be seen comfortably on foot. To get from the Città Bassa up to the Città Alta can be quite tiring on foot, though, due to the steep and winding streets, but there is a funicolare linking the two parts of the town.
What to see in Bergamo
The Piazza Vecchia - the heart of the old town, displaying a mix of medieval and Renaissance architecture. Piazza Vecchia is the genuine heart of the city. Its beauty and the balanced proportion of volumes and lines that make it unforgettable are not the result of the genius of some architect, but are due to its shaping by generations of Bergamask people, in a succession of art and history.
The church of Santa Maria Maggiore. With its rich historical and artistic heritage the Basilica is the most important building in the city, and it was once held in such esteem that it was known as the “Chapel of the city”.
The Colleoni Chapel is a real gem which, although erected in rather a cramped location, delights and charms with its refined interplay of polychrome marble and façade decorations. With references to his life and personal features, the visitor is invited to discover the glory of Bartolomeo Colleoni.
The Campanone. It takes only thirty seconds to admire one of the most unusual views in Bergamo. This is in fact the time that the new lift in the Civic Tower in Piazza Vecchia, in the heart of Upper Bergamo, takes to complete the thirty-metre ride to the top.
The Baptistery The building has very old origins and was erected in 1340 inside the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, which at the time was a baptismal church. Beautiful fourteenth-century statues depicting the Virtues can be found in narrow niches on the sides of the octagonal building; inside there are exquisite marble basreliefs portraying episodes from the life of Jesus, and the baptismal font. Open only for baptisms.
The Cittadella The Cittadella is what remains of a fortification built by the Visconti family when they imposed the rule on Bergamo.
Donizetti Theatre this theatre was named after the great composer on the occasion of celebrations commemorating the centenary of his birth in 1897. A romantic monument to Donizetti, surrounded by a pond and small garden, can be found alongside the theatre. The Donizetti Theatre hosts prestigious events such as the Bergamo Jazz Festival, the Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli International Piano Festival of Bergamo and the Gaetano Donizetti Music Festival of Bergamo.
Teatro Sociale in the spring of 2009, two centuries after its inauguration in 1808, the Teatro Sociale reopened to the public with a rich calendar of shows and performances by great artists after exemplary restoration work was carried out.
The Archeology Museum (Museo Archeologico)
The Science Museum (Museo Civico di Scienze)
The Donizetti Museum (Museo Donizettiano), Via Arena 9. Devoted to one of Bergamo's most famous sons, the composer Gaetano Donizetti. As a result of the opening of a new section of the museum devoted to musical instruments, the Museo Donizettiano now occupies two rooms of the fourteenth to sixteenth century building, property of the Misericordia Maggiore, known as “Palazzo della Misericordia”.
The Accademia Carrara, one of Northern Italy's most important collections of medieval, Renaissance and Baroque paintings.