ITINERARIES AND UNUSUAL THINGS

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Bergamo Alta
and Bergamo Bassa

Bergamo Alta: what to see and how to get there

To reach Bergamo Alta: bus line 1A or funicular Città Alta-Stazione inferiore, 5 minutes walk from Palazzo Santo Spirito.

Piazza Vecchia

Considered one of the most beautiful squares in Europe, Piazza Vecchia is the heart of the Upper Town. Divided from Piazza Duomo by the portico of the Palazzo della Ragione, this charming area of the city with its retro charm contains in its perimeter some of the most appreciated sculptural and architectural masterpieces of Bergamo: the Campanone, the civic tower of the city; the Palazzo della Ragione, the oldest existing town hall in Lombardy; the Palazzo del Podestà and the Angelo Mai Library, with its 600 ancient volumes.

Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore

Sontuosa, opulenta, ben curata, e proprio a pochi passi dal Duomo bergamasco. La Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, i cui lavori iniziarono nel 1137, presenta alcune peculiarità gotiche al suo esterno, come i bellissimi leoni vicino alle porte laterali. All'interno spiccano gli appariscenti arazzi delle navate laterali e della zona del coro, risalenti al XVI secolo. La Basilica è priva di una porta d'ingresso sulla facciata centrale, ma vi si accede da quattro splendide porte di accesso laterali.

Cappella Colleoni

Built between 1470 and 1476 by Giovanni Antonio Amadeo, it is one of the most beautiful examples of Renaissance architecture in Italy. It is dedicated to Saints Bartholomew, Mark and John the Baptist, and rises to the right of the facade of the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. It houses the remains of Bartolomeo Colleoni, captain of fortune who worked mainly in the service of Venice and who before his death wanted to build this chapel as a tomb. Inside, the sarcophagus is adorned with an equestrian statue of the leader in gilded wood. The frescoes of the plumes, lunettes and dome bear the signature of Giambattista Tiepolo.

Duomo

Next to the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, stands out in all its magnificence the Cathedral of Sant'Alessandro, the Cathedral of Bergamo. The ethereal facade in neoclassical style is decidedly detached from the surrounding context, immediately capturing the gaze of the visitor who approaches it. Inside it offers a rich collection of tapestries and paintings, as well as the charming Chapel of the Crucifix. Under the building were discovered architectural layers of different eras that testify to the existence of a place of worship already in the early Christian era.

Palazzo della Ragione

It is the oldest town hall in Italy. It was built following the Peace of Constance (1183) between the Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa and the cities of the Lombard League, just in the period when the first Italian municipalities were carving out a growing autonomy by equipping themselves with the first administrative structures. The building was rebuilt several times, and was even used as a court during the Venetian rule. Today’s appearance is the result of changes dating back to 1540. In addition to the view of the outside, the Palace is also worth a visit inside, which houses the sundial made by Abbot Giovanni Albricci in 1798, the Sala delle Capriate, with a striking view of Piazza Vecchia and the Museo degli Affreschi, with over 100 frescoes - including some signed by Bramante - which in the past adorned the facade of the nearby Palazzo del Podestà.

Palazzo del Podestà e Campanone

Built in the twelfth century by the Suardi-Colleoni family, today the Palazzo del Podestà is the seat of the Museum of the sixteenth century, a multimedia and interactive exhibition area dedicated to the history of the city. Next to it stands the Campanone, the ancient civic tower, 53 meters high. Its summit, reachable by elevator or climbing 230 steps, offers spectacular views of the city. In the beginning it was part of the house of the family, and it was only 37.7 meters high. Only later it was taken over by the municipality that made it the seat of the municipal prisons. Finally in 1500 it was modified to reach 53 meters today.

Mura Venete (cinta muraria) note anche come Mura Veneziane

Built in the sixteenth century by the Republic of Venice with the aim of defending the city from enemy attacks, they entirely enclose the Upper City. They extend for a length of 5 kilometers, and today they offer the opportunity for an unmissable walk through history, with a breathtaking view that can reach Milan from the Lower Town. Binoculars are installed along the route to admire the horizon.

Torre del Gombito

In the città Alta, in addition to the Campanone, Torre del Gombito is also worth a mention: 52 meters high, it rises right at the intersection between the cardo and the maximum decumanus of the Roman city (via S. Lorenzo / via Mario Lupo and via Gombito). Just behind the tower, there is an old wash house, built in the late '800 and remained in use until the '50s.

Orto Botanico “Lorenzo Rota”

It is a small naturalistic laboratory in which exotic and native plants coexist. There are about 50 thousand samples of the flora of Bergamo, kept in the herbarium. It is located on the Open Hill of Città Alta, and can only be reached on foot by a ladder of 141 steps from Colle Aperto. In a space of 2,400 square meters it hosts over 1200 types of plants, most of which are located in microhabitats that reproduce natural environments. From here you can also admire a unique panorama that sweeps over the roofs and monuments of the Upper Town and the foothills of the Bergamo Prealps.

Rocca di Bergamo

Taking the ascent of via Rocca you reach the Colle di Sant'Eufemia, dominated by the Rocca di Bergamo, a fortress of fourteenth-century origin that has been modified and reinforced several times to resist the incursions of enemy armies. Tradition has it that here stood the Capitol, among the most important buildings of Roman Bergamo. The route to get there follows the lines of the old Decumano and offers the pleasure of a nice walk through windows, bars, restaurants and old buildings.

The Cappa

Palazzo Santo Spirito ****s
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Lower Bergamo: what to see

Sentierone From Palazzo Santo Spirito: 5 minutes walk

It is one of the most famous avenues of Bergamo, among the most famous points of the Lower Town. Located at the top of the "shopping triangle" consisting of Via XX Settembre, Via Sant'Alessandro and Via Sant'Orsola, it finds its ideal access point through Porta Nuova, recognizable by its unmistakable Propilei, two neoclassical colonnades that once housed the guards in charge of collecting the duty for entry into the city. Leaving the Propylaea behind, the Sentierone crosses about halfway. Walking along it to the right you will find the Piacentiniano Centre, the "Gaetano Donizetti" theatre, Piazza Dante and many other monuments, until you reach the church of Saints Bartolomeo and Stefano. The area is very impressive during the Christmas period.

Museo Civico di Scienze Naturali “E. Caffi” From Palazzo Santo Spirito: 5 minutes walk

An unmissable stop especially for children. It offers the opportunity to live interactive and sensory experiences, touching with your hands every object in the structure: from the collection of animals preserved with taxidermy technique to the various fossils of different species. The structure is divided into different areas of scientific knowledge, from mineralogy to archaeology. Among the most famous pieces on display, the two adult mammoths and puppy perfectly rebuilt and placed to welcome the entrance. It is also advisable to visit the botanical garden a few steps from the museum, home to various Lombard and exotic floristic species.

Casa-museo Donizetti From Palazzo Santo Spirito: 5 minutes walk

Bergamo was the birthplace of the famous composer Gaetano Domenico Maria Donizetti (1797 - 1848), who was one of the greatest opera players of the Italian nineteenth century. The Donizetti Museum allows visitors to learn more about the life and works of the master, welcoming them among the notes of his most famous works, and allowing them to observe documents, photos and testimonies about the life and work of the musician.

Accademia Carrara From Palazzo Santo Spirito: 7 minutes walk

Founded in 1794 by Count Giacomo Carrara, it is considered the museum of Italian collecting par excellence, as well as one of the most refined collections of European art. Inside there are 1,793 paintings from the Renaissance to the end of 1800, but also sculptures and prints. Among the prominent names are Mantegna, Pinturicchio, Bellini, Raffaello and others. Among the jewels in the collection, the Madonna with Child by Mantegna and that by Titian, or the San Sebastiano by Raffaello. It takes at least a couple of hours to fully visit the Academy and fully enjoy the wonders inside.

GAMeC (Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea) From Palazzo Santo Spirito: 7 minutes walk

The gamec is not a simple museum, but is recognized more than anything else as a multifaceted space in which to create events designed to satisfy different audiences, for ages and interests. At the base of the promoted activities we find the experimentation of contemporary languages and multidisciplinarity. It is located right in front of the Accademia Carrara, inside a complex that dates back to 1400, originally used as a monastery. Inside, in an environment of about 1,500 square meters, you can admire the masterpieces of contemporary art, present in every form, with collective exhibitions of international artists and temporary solo exhibitions.

Piazza Matteotti From Palazzo Santo Spirito: 7 minutes walk

If the fulcrum of the Upper Town is Piazza Vecchia, its counterpart in the most modern and "worldly" Lower Bergamo is Piazza Matteotti. Cultural attractions, shopping and nightlife: the square is mainly the meeting point for young people, but also a reference place for families and tourists. Its perimeter offers many points of interest, such as Porta Nuova, the Monument to the Partisan and the Tower of the Fallen.

Via XX Settembre From Palazzo Santo Spirito: 10 minutes walk

Via XX Settembre is the main shopping street in Bergamo, as well as the most popular meeting point of the Lower Town. Here there is the largest number of shops for fashion and leisure, and places where you can taste typical dishes or enjoy a rich aperitif. On the street overlook elegant and elegant buildings, which make the walk even more pleasant, making it an experience to be enjoyed step by step, at any time of the day.

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What to see in Bergamo

Bergamo and surroundings: what to see

Parco dei Colli
By car: 20 minutes from Palazzo Santo Spirito

An unusual way to get to know the green heart of Bergamo is to explore the protected area of the Parco dei Colli, between steps and paths that cross woods and terraces that offer unexpected views.

Collina della Maresana
By car: 15 minutes from Palazzo Santo SpiritoWalking: 90 minutes from Palazzo Santo Spirito

La Maresana is a 540-metre-long hill located in the protected area of the Parco dei Colli di Bergamo, just beyond the city limits. Between shady paths and gentle slopes, you can also walk through the path that starts from the Monterosso district and leads to green and equipped areas where you can enjoy a picnic or a moment of recreation in nature.

Monastero di Astino
By car: 15 minutes from Palazzo Santo Spirito

Another corner of Bergamo immersed in an oasis of peace and greenery is the former Astino Monastery, in the heart of the homonymous valley at the foot of the Upper Town on the west side. After years of neglect and neglect, it was recovered and reopened in 2015. It hosts several events and cultural events.

Parco delle Orobie
By car: 60 minutes from Palazzo Santo Spirito

For a trip out of town where you can combine excursions in unspoilt places and visits to ancient villages far from mass tourism, the perfect place is the Parco delle Orobie Bergamasche. About an hour’s drive from the center, it offers everything you need to be captured by the charm of the Brembana Valley.

Villaggio industriale di Crespi D’Adda
By car: 20 minutes from Palazzo Santo Spirito

UNESCO World Heritage Site, the industrial village of Crespi d'Adda is a "company town" built between the '800 and '900 next to the historic textile factory of the Crespi family, among the pioneers of Italian industry. The village was realized with the aim of creating a perfect social balance between work and personal needs of employees and their families, with all the services necessary for community life such as hospital, church, school, theater, shops and clothing. It is still inhabited by the descendants of the working families of that time.

Hotel Palazzo Santo Spirito

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In Bergamo the first 4* Superior Hotel obtained directly in the history of the city. From an ancient convent of 1300, a unique place that speaks to the five senses. And goes straight to the heart.

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