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Bergamo and Surroundings
City of thousands and thousands flavors, in the heart of Lombardy and North of Italy
Bergamo is a small provincial city just 50 Km from Milan. It is located in the heart of Lombardy and North of Italy.
Sightseeing the city you have the impression to walk along the streets of two different cities physically separated by the Venetian walls (heritage site). The first one, Bergamo Alta, upon the second one, Bergamo Bassa.
Similar to Rome, Bergamo Alta (the upper town or old town) was built on the top of 7 hills: colle aperto, colle S. Giovanni, colle S. Salvatore, colle Rosate, colle Gromo, colle S. Eufemia, colle S. Michele al pozzo Bianco. It is the most ancient and historic part of the city, entirely surrounded by the Venetian walls made in the 16th century during the Venetian domain and since 2017 recognized as human heritage site and therefore protected by UNESCO.
Along these walls there are just 4 entrances: gate San Giacomo, the most characteristic gate, gate Sant'Agostino, gate Sant'Alessandro and gate San Lorenzo (also called Garibaldi). It is possible to walk along the walls entirely and admire the view on the lower or enter in the old village in medieval style, walking along a myriad of streets. The historic centre is crossed by via Bartolomeo Colleoni (called by the locals "corsarola"). Thanks to that street it's possible to reach the major point of interest. Piazza Vecchia (in english "old square"), heart of Bergamo Alta, with its characteristic fountain, the cathedral of Sant'Alessandro (patron of the city), the church Santa Maria Maggiore and the most ancient library of the city, Angelo Mai. It is possible to reach the "Rocca", bastion used now in order to celebrate the italian unification (Risorgimento) and the victims of the 2 world wars. At the end of Via colleoni you can reach Piazza Cittadella (in english "citadel square"), with the museum of Natural Science. Walking across gate Sant'Alessandro it is possible to reach by walk or by funicular the highest point of the city: colle San Vigilio, where there is the homonym medieval castle.
From lower town it is possible to reach the upper town thanks to a series of step ladders, located in a lot of points of the city, and then walking across the venetian walls by using one of the 4 gates, or it is ossible to use the funicular.
Bergamo Bassa (the lower town or new town) is located on the plain, at the foot of the 7 hills. It is the part of the city developed more recently and therefore it has a 19th century style. In Bergamo Bassa there are less points of interest, but a major concentration of events, like the fair of chocolate, of ethnic products, the carnival parade, film festival (Bergamo Film meeting), etc.
From Piazza Pontida it is possible to walk along the two most important pedestrian streets of Bergamo: via XX Settembre ( in english "street 20th september") and the Sentierone (in english "the big pathway"). The first one, just after Piazza pontida, is the street of shopping. The second one, just after via XX Settembre, is the true centre of the new town. Along the Sentierone there are the City Hall, Porta Nuova (in english "new gate") with the Propilei (neoclassic monuments), the characteristic arcades and the most prestigious theater of the city, Teatro Donizzetti. The Sentierone is cut in half by two of the most important roads of the city: Via Roma that from Porta Nuova leads to the upper town and Viale Papa Giovanni XXIII, that from Porta Nuova leads to the train station.
In the last years thanks to his airpot Orio al Serio, 3rd form importance in Italy, the tourism in Bergamo has grown esponentially, mostly the foreign one. You can reach Bergamo easily, not just by plane. You can reach the city very easily also by land since it is well connected by the highway A4 and with the public transport, by train and bus.
From Bergamo it's possible to reach easily other locations of interest, as cities like Milan, Brescia, Verona, Venice, but also lakes like lake Iseo, lake Como, lake Garda or the mountains of Bergamo and Lombardy.
Very close to Bergamo there are also other locations less known but very beautiful, like for example San Pellegrino Terme. It is a little village in liberty style, famous in the 1900-1930 for its luxurious Grand Hotel, now closed and in renovation, the casino and the spa, now both used as palatial, modern and classic spa. The village is important for producing the famous all over the world mineral water San Pellegrino, too.
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