Città Alta, Bergamo
The symbol of Bergamo is the big bell tower that we call 'Campanone' (Big bell).
If you happen to be in Città Alta at ten o'clock pm you won't miss the Campanone striking 100 times as it did since the Medieval period. At that time its striking meant that the doors of the walls were closing and that the inhabitants had to hurry to enter the walled town before the bells stroke the last time.
Nowadays it doesn't have any particular meaning but it still strikes 100 times as it did in the past as to remind this tradition.
The skyline of Bergamo old city is really dominated by the many towers and bells.
Every where you see you can spot at least a couple of them.
I wonder how it would sound if they all would sound together?
Favorite thing: I was in Bergamo June 2007. I was only there for one night, it as a stop for a flight heading to Paris. I stayed at the International Youth Hostel. There is only one in Bergamo and it is great. Very, Very clean and nestled in the mountain. I went up to Citta Alta and it was beautiful, unfortunaly the weather wasn't! It was grey with heavy rains but you could still see the beauty. Sorry I don't have any names of hotels, but Bergamo is a bella city ... to be visited.
I visited Alta on a Sunday and there was a Farmer's Market which also included some crafts made by hand. I assume that this takes place every Sunday. You will see it on the left near the top of the long shopping street (past the tower).
There was also two wine makers there offering a taste of their wine, and one oil producer.
The cheese producers had many choices, and they also offered free tasting so that you can buy a type you prefer.
Fondest memory: Please see my video of the rug maker. This is a special talent that is always interesting to watch.
Bergamo Alta is the main attraction for tourists, and well-heeled Milan folk who'd escape that bustling city on weekends. Local museums and architectural delights are complemented by events like Bergamo's International Jazz Festival, and the Mercantico -- an antique market held every third Sunday of the month.
Fondest memory: First a Gallic settlement, then Roman, after the Barbarian invasions, it became a free municipality in the Lombard League (12th century) before submitting to the Visconti Signoria, and from 1428 to 1796 formed part of the Venetian Republic. In this period the town, surrounded by walls, underwent coinsiderable economic expansion. After the brief Napoleonic Cisalpine Republic (1797-1814), it became part of Lombard-Venetia until freed by Garibaldi's soldiers in 1859.
Bergamo is the birthplace of Gaetano Donizetti (musician, 1797-1848),Costantino Beltrami (explorer, 1779-1856), Andrea Previtali (artist, 1470-1528), Gerolamo Tiraboschi (man of letters, 17311794), Bartolomeo Colleoni (military leader, 1400-1475).
Bergamo - Sotto il Monte - is the birthplace of Pope John XXIII -- a.k.a. Papa Giovanni, 1881-1963.
Visit Citta' Alta
Citta' Alta means upper town and it's the oldest part of Bergamo, build mainly during the Middle Age.
The core of Citta' alta is Piazza Vecchia, see it in the picture below.
There are lot of restaurants in this square: they're nice and you can enjoy cool typical dishes but they're quite expensive.
Going from Piazza vecchia to the Cathedral.
Slowly walk to 'citta' alta'; the hi part of the city is wonderful itself but if you reach it walking it's more than that :-). Go to the rallway station and then ask for the pedestrian path ...
In the picture another (longer than from the rallway) path to 'citta' alta': from via S. Alessandro.
The main thing that each traveller must visit is the High Town. It is the ancient part of the city and historicians say that there were people living there even before the arrival of the Roma conquerors.
Most part of the old buildings that you'll see were built after the 15th Century.
Three are the monuments tha cannot be missed: the Old Square (Piazza Vecchia), the Walls (Mura) that were built by the Venice Republic, and the complex of the Dome and the Cathedral, behind the Square.
You've must seen the old city,its really nice and silent.Its ideal to walk around the walls of the old city and have a beer in one of the bars.
Fondest memory: The Food!!!And the snowboarding,its only a 40min drive to glacier area.
Favorite thing: Strolling through one of the beautiful narrow streets in the upper town of Bergamo - a pleasant way to spend our last hours in Italy before going to the airport.
Favorite thing: The old city is walled with narrow streets and very little traffic, it's a great place to spend a quiet couple of days.