Bergamo is a very beautiful Italian city, with medieval hilltop old town. A town in Lombardy, Italy, situated 48 km northeast of Milan, at the foot of the Aps.
The city is divided in two parts : Bergamo Alta, the beautiful walled hilltop medieval city, and Bergamo Bassa, the lower city, built mainly at the beginning of the 20th century. We didn’t have much time, so we focused on the old town. We were very Lucky to find a parking place in the old town, because the old center is not allowed to cars. You can also park at the lower city, and take the cable railway from downtown to upper town.
The city was founded by the Ligurians, then the Etruscans turned the city into a fortress, but i twas taken by the Gauls, who renamed it in Berghem (« city on the mountain »). The Romans built the first walls around the city. Bergamo was a free town during the Middle Ages, and then was dominated by the Venetians since 1428 : that’s why one can see so many lion statues, sign of the power of Venice.
The heart of the old town is 15th century Piazza Vecchia (« old square »), with it’s lovely fountain decorated with lion statues. It leads to the Piazza del Duomo : the cathedral of Santa Maria Majore dates from the 12th century and has a beautiful octagonal dome.
Next is the Colleoni Chapel, built by the famous Condottiere Bartolomeo Colleoni, to be the monument of his puissant even in the grave. Wandering in the paved Streets of Bergamo is very pleasant : There are many traditional bakeries (forno) with local delicious cakes made with corn flour. We stopped at a little restaurant with a covered terrace, eat delicious jam with polenta (Italian corn semola) , pasta filled with herbs and cheese, and drink a glass of local wine ! That was a great pleasure !