Lombardy region of Italy does capture many of our attention as it has some exceptional cities, towns and attractions. One such place which has a fascinating history and culture is Bergamo as it’s clustered with medieval atmosphere and at the same time it even gives a glimpse of the modern life since it’s divided into two parts called Citta Bassa and Citta Alta.
Some of the must-see places here are:-
Citta Alta (Upper Town) – This part of the city is surrounded by beautiful buildings, restaurants and its a lively place to begin your day in Bergamo. Since this is in the old part of the city you can either walk up here or take a funicular. Things to see around here is the tower house known as Torre di Gombito, churches of San Michele al Pozzi Bianco and San’t Andrea. Piazza Vecchia square is also a must-see as its the heart of the centre and has some remarkable structures surrounding it, like the city hall (Palazzo Della), the municipal library (Palazzo Nuovo) and plenty of restaurants and cafes.
Basilica of St. Mary Major – Just a few steps away from Piazza Vecchia is the popular basilica which contains some great architectural gems. Also known as Santa Maria Maggiore there is an interesting story attached to it which happened to be during a pandemic and the people of Bergamo asked the Virgin Mary to help them and instead, they would build a church in her honour so that’s how the construction of this Basilica began.
Citta Bassa (Lower Town) – The heart of the lower town is the square of Piazza Matteotti. Just like the upper town this neighbourhood as well as plenty of things to see and do. Some things to check around of this part of the town are Teatro Gaetano Donizetti, Torre Dei Caduti, and Chiostro di Santa Maria.
Rocca Di Bergamo – Visit this castle in the old town which was built in the 14th Century but now has been turned into a museum which tells the history of Bergamo. Visit the tower too from where you can see as far Milan’s skyline, the views are spectacular so don’t miss this fortress. This makes an ideal place to see the sunset or the sunrise.
Piazza Duomo – Just adjacent to Piazza Vecchia is Piazza Duomo and it houses the popular Colleoni Chapel. This place is a must-see as its one of the main attractions of the city. Build in the 15th century it has a church as well as a mausoleum and has some incredible artworks too. Prior to Piazza Vecchia, this used to be the main square of the city.
Venetian Walls – This 6km long stretch of Venetian walls is a UNESCO World Heritage and around it are numerous benches too, so if you feel tired to walk all at once you can always take breaks. These walls are one of the main highlights of the city. To make these walls a reality a vast number of buildings and religious sites were destructed but this was all for the purposes of protecting the city from a siege.
Via XX Settembre – Go for some shopping in the new town as it has great varieties of luxury stores, and boutiques. You can even stop by some of the cafes around the street. This street makes for a great shopping destination and you can even buy souvenirs along the street. For many travellers, this is an ideal area to stay in as there are a couple of interesting historical sites around.
If you just have a day in hand Bergamo is a perfect city as you can tick off quite a few attractions in a few hours. Some of the other things to check out depending on your interest are Museum of Natural Science and Archaeology, Botanical Garden (Orto Botanico di Bergamo), Accademia Carrara ( Art Galleria), and Pallazzo Della Ragione (Palace of Reason).