You needn’t be passionate about art to appreciate the historical, artistic and architectural value contained in the Bergamo area and province. Our tour begins in the lower city, then moves to the upper city and finally extends to the historic villages of the province.
If the weather isn’t agreeable, you can lunch at the Vineria which offers a tempting menu and a wine-cellar with over 300 labels.
Once you have taken refreshment, you can stroll through the narrow streets imbued with a magical atmosphere, where every view seems to reveal a romantic story. In beautiful Piazza Vecchia, with its white marble fountain, you will find the Civic Tower, also known as the Campanone (Big Bell Tower), accessible on foot and offering a truly breathtaking view over the entire city of lower Bergamo.
Do not miss Piazza del Duomo, onto which looks the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, an austere Romanesque-Lombard building that houses magnificent Baroque decorations, the Cathedral dedicated to Saint Alexander, patron of the city, the Colleoni Chapel and the Baptistery.
Before ending your tour of Upper Bergamo, we recommend a short stop to admire the Sociale Theatre, designed by architect Leopoldo Pollack, an elegant and inviting setting featuring finely decorated wooden theatre boxes and fascinating interwoven beams for a ceiling. This theatre, like the Donizetti, can also be visited internally upon reservation on days when there are no events.
Once you have left the Academy you can enjoy a stroll along what is known as Sentierone, the heart of the lower city’s social life, and stop at the Balzer pastry shop and café, a historic business, where you can enjoy a good coffee and a pastry. You won’t regret it!
Just steps away you will find the theatre named after the famous composer Donizetti which, inaugurated in 1897, today hosts a renowned opera and ballet season, but a very popular dramatic season as well.
Admiring it you will notice traces left by the different rules that followed over the centuries.
Do not miss the Rocca Viscontea (stronghold): the large and deep moat that surrounded it, filled in at the beginning of the 1800s, and the four corner towers connected by the castle wall-walk, reveal the defensive and military function for which this architectural complex was created, which was to be used as a dwelling only later, as ordered by the Venetian podestàs. Over the centuries, the Rocca underwent various transformations including that which took place at the hands of the lords of Milan from which the name Viscontea is derived.
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