Go beyond this city’s Venetian walls to see a preserved medieval town and check out the impressive art museums in the lower district.
Bergamo is a historic city with a marvelous Upper Town district in the foothills of the Alps. It offers stunning views of the surrounding Lombardy terrain and an insight into the medieval Venetian influence. Travel through time via the popular funicular that runs between the upper and lower districts.
Walk along the narrow alleys of the Citta Alta (Upper Town) district, within the 16th-century Venetian walls. Visit the impressive Rocca stronghold for 360-degree views incorporating the historic center. Admire the 12th-century Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore that separates the Piazza del Duomo from the Piazza Vecchia.
The Piazza Vecchia is a square where you can see an unspoiled tapestry of Renaissance architecture, with such gems as the Palazzo del Podestà and the Palazzo della Ragione. Enter the impressive Palazzo Nuovo to browse the 16th-century books and manuscripts of the Biblioteca Angelo Mai library. Learn about the city’s intense relationship with music at the Donizetti Museum.
For a change of pace and time period, delve into the modern, lively Lower Town district. Explore the art scene around the Piazza Giacomo Carrara. Here you’ll find the GAMeC modern art gallery opposite the Carrara Academy Gallery, which contains an array of fine arts pieces. Stroll through the residential neighborhoods of this modern part of the city.
A little north of the Upper Town district lies the hilltop Bergamo Botanical Garden. Cross charming streams via wooden bridges and snap photos of the vista that extends as far as the Alps and Milan on clear days.
Bergamo is in the northern part of the Lombardy region in northern Italy. Arrive at Orio al Serio International Airport and ride a bus to the city to get here in about 20 minutes. You can also take a train from Milan, 30 miles (48 kilometers) southwest. Use buses and the cable railway to get around the city.
Come to Bergamo to experience a flourishing art scene and a spectacular historic center behind its Venetian walls.