Town of Bergamo
The city of Bergamo is divided neatly into two parts: the Upper Town (Città Alta), historical center, built on the hills and defense walls, and the Lower City (Città Bassa), modern heart of the businesses and activities, continually evolving.
Upper Town is the historical center of Bergamo, is medieval origins and in the sixteenth century was surrounded by protective walls erected by the Venetians. Its most famous and visited part is Piazza Vecchia, which is considered one of the most beautiful squares in Italy. In Piazza Vecchia you can admire the Contarini fountain, the Palazzo della Ragione, the Library and the Torre Civica (called the Campanone). The Campanone at 22 still beats the 100 strokes that in the past called the people for the night closing of the accesses to the city. On the south side of Piazza Vecchia, outside the Palazzo della Ragione, is the Duomo, the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, the Colleoni Chapel and the Baptistery. The heart of Città Alta and preferred destination for strolling on Sundays is Via Colleoni that from Piazza Vecchia leads to Piazza della Cittadella, home to the Civic Archaeological Museum and the Museum of Natural Science. Upper Town is easily reached on foot with the stairs which start from several points of the lower city, by bus (line 1)or by cable railway, the transport that characterizes Bergamo since 1887.
The Lower City runs from the hills to the plain areas with commercial services and residential districts. The center of Bergamo Bassa is Porta Nuova, a junction characterized by the presence of two nineteenth-century buildings. In one direction Viale Papa Giovanni XXIII goes through Porta Nuova and leads from FS railway station to the Upper Town, in the other the Sentierone represents the center of the pedestrian zone and its extensions, via XX Settembre on one side and via Tasso on the other, are the main shopping streets. On Sentierone you can also admire the city theater, which bears the name of Gaetano Donizetti. Bergamo was founded on the modern road leading to the old villages and neighborhoods of the city still retains some of the old names (Borgo S. Caterina, Borgo S. Lorenzo, Borgo Palazzo, ...) craft shops and some excellent typical restaurants.
The two main valleys around Bergamo are Valle Seriana and Valle Brembana named after the homonymous rivers Serio and Brembo.
Seriana Valley has its main center in Clusone, climatic resort, also worth visiting for the famous fresco "Danse Macabre". Mountain lovers will find themselves at home at the foot of Presolana both winter and summer: beautiful ski slopes and hiking trails with all round fascinating landscape will restore any fatigue.
Valley Brembana welcomes the visitor with the charm of the Nouveau style in San Pellegrino, one of the most important health resorts in Italy. Foppolo, the highest village of Bergamo district, will welcome tourists with its ski slopes that, along with the neighboring municipalities of Carona and San Simone, come to over 120 km of tracks.
For outdoors lovers, the regional park Orobie crossing across the foothills of Bergamo province, is equipped with trails of varying difficulty, from simple ones suitable for family picnics to the long treks of several days, interspersed by with stops in the beautiful refuges managed by CAI.
Lake Iseo is certainly worth a visit (or perhaps would deserve a little cruise). Not to be missed are the two villages Lovere (extreme north of the lake) and Sarnico (far south). The first offers a beautiful marina with a renewed lakefront: it is perfect for a summer walk; the second is a beautiful medieval village waiting to be discovered with some interesting Nouveau villas.
Bergamo is truly a city made to human measure, provides a good quality of life and offers its residents and tourists a variety of events, cultural and gastronomic tours, festivals and flea markets and good opportunities for shopping.
Bergamo offers year-round art exhibitions at Accademia Carrara and at GaMeC. A rich concert and theater season at Donizetti Theatre. The well known movie festival Bergamo Film Meeting in March. The scientific event BergamoScienza between October and November. A exhibition center organizing many interesting events.
In addition to shopping in the city, Bergamo and its province offer many opportunities in the nearby malls. The most famous in size and variety of products is Orio Center, right in front of Bergamo - Orio al Serio airport.
For those who love watching sports live Bergamo offers many amusing occasions: with soccer plays of Atalanta, the town team that plays in the national soccer league "serie A", and those of AlbinoLeffe, Seriana Valley that plays in the national soccer league "serie B"; with volleyball games of Foppapedretti Bergamo and many other sports initiatives at regional and provincial levels.
But if you love sports, countless are the disciplines that you can practice: from skiing, swimming, tennis and cycling, you'll be spoiled for choice!
Visit the tourism websites of Bergamo and its province