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6 things to do in Bergamo

Actually, we would say that there are definitely more than 6 things to do in Bergamo!! There is something for everyone: families, couples, sportspeople, solo travellers, lovers of wine and good food, as well as art lovers.

Piazza Vecchia Bergamo

This famous square is located on top of the old Roman forum. The excavations carried out at the Angelo Mai civic library have brought to light the ancient thistle that ran through this area. In the eleventh century houses and hovels filled the square, but from the thirteenth century onwards the reclamation of the area began. Dilapidated dwellings were demolished and a passage-way connecting the square of San Michele all’Arco was constructed. Only in the Middle Ages did it finally become the city centre, with the construction of the Palazzo della Ragione in the twelfth century - the seat of the municipality.

The buildings that now surround the Palazzo della Ragione were erected from the fifteenth century onwards, giving the square its almost perfect, rectangular, geometric shape, and, along with the adjacent Piazza Duomo, make it the monumental heart of Bergamo. Out of many key events to take place in the square, one in particular stands out, and is documented in the Angelo Mai library. On February 19, 1511 the ‘massarolo’, a certain Angelo da Vertova, sent a request to
the administration of the municipality to host and pay for the hanging and burning of a convict named de Rocha.

In 1511 the city was then occupied by the French, and considering that hanging was a very serious sentence, it was probably politically motivated. It is likely that the gallows were erected in the square (in the documents referred to as ‘the square’, therefore implying it is the most important square in the city). The document describes in detail not only the hanging of the ropes and reinforcement of the gallows needed, but also the wooden structure that was built to cremate the body. It details the purchase of the tools and materials needed in order to make the holes in the pavement for the wooden poles that supported the roof of small larch branches which needed to take the weight of the condemned man. The interior of this structure was then filled with straw and hay to make a good fire which was kept going by the executioner with a pitchfork. The remaining ash was collected and taken to the monastery of San Francesco for burial. Everything is documented at a cost of Lire 16.3.

Casoncelli are a type of stuffed pasta in a half-moon shape filled with pork, roast veal and grana padano cheese. Along with these ingredients there might also be raisins, amaretto, minced garlic and parsley. The real surprise of casoncelli, however, lies in the seasoning. Butter in abundance, crispy bacon and sage is the secret of this dish that you will definitley not be able to resist!

The church opens on the square (Piazza Duomo) on the left side, as the main façade has no entrance, being once part of the Bishops; Palace. The four entrances to the church are all lateral.

On the northern transept, in Piazza del Duomo, a door called ‘dei Leoni rossi’ opens onto a porch by Giovanni da Campione and to the left of this, close to the apse, is the secondary entrance. Between the two doors and fixed onto the wall can be seen modern iron reproductions of medieval measuring units which were reference points for lengths at a time where there were no standard units of measurement, not just nationally, but not even locally: the Capitium Comunis Pergami (cavezzo - 2.63 m) and the Brachium (braccio - 53.1 cm) to which weavers and traders referred.

To the right of the door stands the Colleoni Chapel with the entrance staircase bordered by a wrought iron gate. And, all on its own, at the end of the square, sits the baptistery. The southern transept opens onto Piazza Rosate by another door, this one called ‘dei Leoni bianchi’ and leads onto a second porch by Giovanni da Campione, and to the left of this, we find the Porta della Fontana by Pietro Isabello.

Bergamo è una città perfetta per gli appassionati di golf, con i suoi splendidi campi da golf che si estendono per tutto il territorio. Se sei un golfista o semplicemente vuoi provare questo sport durante la tua vacanza a Bergamo, allora sei nel posto giusto.

The Accademia Carrara was founded at the end of the eighteenth century at the bequest of Count Giacomo Carrara, whose rich collection of paintings, drawings and prints makes up the heart of the current art gallery. Alongside the Gallery the Beramasque Count also established an Art School to enable students to combine study and practice with the observation of the models present in the adjacent art gallery. The management of the two institutions was entrusted to the Commissarìa, a body composed of members of the aristocracy of the city of Bergamo.

The building of the Academy, following the plans of Costantino Gallizioli, dates back to the years from 1767 to 1774. In 1804 the Commissarìa decided to enlarge the rooms and erect a new building. The architects Leopoldo Polack and Simone Elia were invited to submit projects and the latters project was chosen with a single majority vote. The building in which the museum is still located initially also housed the School, then moved to the courtyard behind between 1912 and 1914.

The Academy’s treasures have grown significantly thanks to the many generous donations and bequests which testify to an uninterrupted tradition of patronage started by the munificent gesture of Count Carrara. The museum is in fact affectionately referred to as the Museum of Collecting; This tradition was then sealed in 1958 by the inclusion of the City of Bergamo in the ownership of the institution, and so it became to all intents and purposes a civic museum. After seven years of closure due to restoration and building maintenance the Accademia Carrara reopened to the public in April 2015. Since 2016 the management of the museum has been entrusted to the Accademia Carrara Foundation.

The imposing Venetian Walls of Bergamo dating back to the sixteenth century are well preserved and have never faced bombardment. The wall has 14 bastions, 2 floors, 32 sentry boxes (of which only one has survived), 100 openings for gun ports, two powder magazines, 4 gates (Sant'Agostino, San Giacomo, undoubtedly the most beautiful and panoramic, Sant'Alessandro and San Lorenzo, the latter also known as Porta Garibaldi). Add to all this a myriad of exits and military passages whose history, in part, has been lost, such as the Porta del Pantano inferiore, dating back to the thirteenth century and which was a connection with Via Borgo Canale, while the Porta del Pantano inferiore which was the access to the upper part of the Visconti Citadel, has completely disappeared.

The ramparts give the city an appearance of an impregnable fortress, but since they were built in the second half of the sixteenth century, the arrival of the cannon makes them in fact the swan song of this type of military construction. As of July 9, 2017 the Venetian Walls have been a part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site included in the transnational serial site Venetian defence works between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries: State by Land-State by Western Sea.

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