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Bergamo - A Town on Several Levels.

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A church in the lower town. - Bergamo

A church in the lower town. - Bergamo

Bergamo.

I had never heard of Bergamo until I posted a question about places to visit from Milan on VT. I believe there have been VT meets there. Both of us loved Bergamo. Our day trip gave us time to view the upper town fairly well, but as it was winter and got dark and cold at around 5pm, we did not really have time to see the lower town. It is somewhere I would happily revisit and maybe even use as a future holiday base.

Looking towards the upper town from the lower town - Bergamo

Looking towards the upper town from the lower town - Bergamo

We got to Bergamo by train from Milan Central Station. The journey took around an hour. We then walked from the train station through the main street of the lower town to the funicular. We took the funicular to the upper town and had a good look around. Highlights were of course the spectacular Cathedral Square, the adjacent Piazza Vecchia, the fortress with its stunning views and San Vigilio with equally stunning views, but just generally walking around was wonderful, too. We found Bergamo to be a very friendly place. The girl in the tourist office was extremely helpful and pleasant. We had dinner in the Irish pub near the funicular station in the upper town and the waitress was also absolutely lovely. Meeting such pleasant people contributed to a great day. Just a shame it turned icy cold and started pouring as we were getting ready to leave! One good thing about going in winter though was there were some pretty Christmas decorations and a Christmas market.

View over the upper town. - Bergamo

View over the upper town. - Bergamo

Piazza Vecchia.

This beautiful square in the centre of Bergamo has a lovely fountain in the centre. This is decorated with white marble lions donated to the city by Alvise Contarini in 1780. On the north side there is a library building which used to be the town hall. This was being restored and was hidden under tarpaulin during our visit. On the south side is the lovely Palazzo de la Ragione ­- Palace of Reason. This was originally built in 1199, though the current building dates from the sixteenth century. The palace's central balcony is surmounted by the Lion of Saint Mark. This was a symbol of Venetian dominance. Nearby is the big bell tower, il Campanone, which dates back to at least the 12th century. On the west side of the square is the 14th century palace that used to be the residence of the Venetian rulers of Bergamo -­ The Palazzo del Podesta Veneto. This is now home to the University of Bergamo’s Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literature. This square is absolutely beautiful and a must see. Directions: in Città Alta (in the upper part)

The fountain and the Palazzo de la Ragione. - Bergamo

The fountain and the Palazzo de la Ragione. - Bergamo

The bell tower. - Bergamo

The bell tower. - Bergamo

Lion sculptures on the south portico. - Bergamo

Lion sculptures on the south portico. - Bergamo

Piazza Del Duomo - Duomo ­ Cattedrale di Sant'Alessandro.

Walk through the arches of the Palace of Reason and you enter the Piazza del Duomo­ Cathedral Square. On this square you will find the cathedral, the baptistry, the Church of Saint­ Mary Major and the Colleoni Chapel. Bergamo's lovely cathedral dates from the eighteenth century. The baptistry has columns and statues representing the Virtues. This building is a reconstruction of a building by Giovanni da Campione, which was located at the back of Santa Mary Major Church. This was demolished in 1660 then later rebuilt in 1898 at its present site. St Mary Major Church dates from the twelfth century, though the North and South porches were added by Giovanni da Campione in the fourteenth century. The highlight of this square is the Colleoni Chapel. The architect of the Certosa di Pavia, Amadeo, also built this chapel between 1470 and 1476, as a mausoleum for the condottiere Bartolomeo Colleoni. The chapel's main structure is next to the North Porch of St Mary Major church. The building's façade is covered with multi­coloured marble and decorated with sculptures. Directions: in the Città Alta (in the upper part)

The baptistry - Bergamo

The baptistry - Bergamo

The cathedral. - Bergamo

The cathedral. - Bergamo

Colleoni Chapel. - Bergamo

Colleoni Chapel. - Bergamo

Santa Maria Maggiore (Church of St Mary Major)

Santa Maria Maggiore's basilica dates from the twelfth century, the North and South porches were added by Giovanni da Campione in the fourteenth century. Next to the south portal of Santa Maria Maggiore in Via Arena is il Tempietto di Santa Croce, a tiny church dating back to the year 1000.

Lion sculpture outside St Mary Major Church. - Bergamo

Lion sculpture outside St Mary Major Church. - Bergamo

il Tempietto di Santa Croce. - Bergamo

il Tempietto di Santa Croce. - Bergamo

Rocca Fortress.

The origins of this fortress can probably be traced back to Roman times. Historically the fortress has been occupied by the Longobards, the Franks, the Venetians and the Austrians. In 1848 patriots from Bergamo surrounded and laid siege to the Austrians barricaded in the Rocca Fortress and drove them from the city. The fortress itself is pleasant enough, but the real draw is the wonderful views you have over both the old and new towns from here.

Rocca Fortress - Bergamo

Rocca Fortress - Bergamo

Rocca Fortress - Bergamo

Rocca Fortress - Bergamo

View over the lower town. - Bergamo

View over the lower town. - Bergamo

Castel San Vigilio.

From the upper town we took a scenic and enjoyable funicular ride to San Vigilio with its castle remains and beautiful views. I mentioned before that people in Bergamo were lovely. The funicular driver was also very very pleasant and friendly. There were some restaurants here, too.

San Vigilio Village - Bergamo

San Vigilio Village - Bergamo

San Vigilio Village - Bergamo

San Vigilio Village - Bergamo

San Vigilio Village - Bergamo

San Vigilio Village - Bergamo

San Vigilio Village - Bergamo

San Vigilio Village - Bergamo

Walk, walk and walk.

Like many beautiful places Bergamo also lends itself to the aimless wander. I would have happily done much more wandering if time had permitted. Here are some photos of our wanderings.

Bergamo cat. - Bergamo

Bergamo cat. - Bergamo

Bergamo. - Bergamo

Bergamo. - Bergamo

Bergamo. - Bergamo

Bergamo. - Bergamo

Bergamo. - Bergamo

Bergamo. - Bergamo

Bergamo. - Bergamo

Bergamo. - Bergamo

Upper Town street. - Bergamo

Upper Town street. - Bergamo

Christmas.

I am so not a Christmas person. Every year I read my primary class 'A Christmas Carol' and every year I feel I could easily out-scrooge Scrooge. It's not that I am mean. It's just that I hate the commercialism associated with Christmas, giving and receiving stuff no one wants, eating and drinking till you feel sick, writing cards people throw straight in the bin. However, I am a religious person and I have found three things I like: fairy lights on trees. I've never had any but I love watching them flicker on and off. Advent calendars with hidden pictures not sweets. When I was in primary school myself we used to sit frozen like statues in the hope we would be picked to open one of the calendar windows. My turn revealed a glowing candle. And the third thing is nativity scenes. Both Italy and Spain did great nativity scenes in their churches.

Christmas

Christmas

Christmas

Christmas

The Toucan Irish Bar: "Friendly place with good food and drink"

This bar/ restaurant is neat the funicular station in the upper town. That is the funicular that runs from the lower to the upper town. We stopped here for dinner. We drank German beer. Let's mix a few cultures, why not? I had delicious salmon filled ravioli in a spicy sauce; my husband had a burger. The waitress could not have been more pleasant and the atmosphere here was relaxed and pleasant. Address: Via Gaetano Donizetti, 25/A,, Bergamo, 24129 Bergamo BG, Italy

Friendly place with good food and drink

Friendly place with good food and drink

Posted by irenevt 06:03 Archived in Italy

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Comments

It's a beautiful city, isn't it?
Indeed, the 2012 VT Euromeet took place in Bergamo. That's why there are so many Bergamo connoisseurs around.

by Kathrin_E

Hi Kathrin, yes it was lovely. I feel you can't really go wrong with Italy; it all seems to be lovely. Thank you for visiting.

by irenevt

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