Polenta e osei is a typical cake of Bergamo. It is the sweet version of polenta (mashed corn) with small birds.
This good dessert is made with sponge cake, chocolate and hazelnuts creams, butter and some rum. It is covered with a layer of yellow marzipan and sprinkled with yellow cristallized sugar. The small birds that you see on top of this cake are made with marzipan covered with chocolate.
Polenta e osei is sold in various confectionery shops and bakeries in Bergamo.
Piazza Duomo is a small square at the back of piazza Vecchia. It is surrounded by some religious buildings as the Cathedral (duomo), dedicated to Saint Alessandro. It was built on a pre existing church probably constructed in the VI century. The Cathedral was rebuilt in 1449; at the end of 1600 and in the 1800. Near this church there is the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. It was built in 1137 as a vow to the Virgin after the plague in 1135 on the site of a church dating around VIII century. The interior was modified between the 16th and the 17th centuries in Baroque style. It contains the tomb of the composer Donizetti, a Baroque confession chair (1704-1705), several Florentine and Flemish tapestries made in the 1500-1600. Joined to the Basilica there is the Cappella Colleoni. This mausoleum was ordered to be built by Bartolomeo Colleoni for himself and his daughter Medea between 1472 and1476. The sacristy of the basilica was demolished to build this chapel. Bartolomeo Colleoni was a soldier and leader who fought for Venice to maintain the Venetian stronghold on the city.
Opposite the Cathedral you can see the Baptistery. It is an octagonal building dating from 1340. Originally it was located inside the Basilica of S. Maria Maggiore.
Torre Civica (the civic tower) is also called the "Campanone" because it has a very large bell inside. Large bell could be translated as "campanone". This sounds 180 times at 10 p. m. every evening to signal the old curfew when the gates of Bergamo were about to close. This tower was probably built between the XI and the XII centuries.
You can climb this tower to the top if you like. I haven't done it. Maybe next time...
Favorite thing: Sentierone is the promenade lined with trees in the Lower Town, near the Donizetti Theater. Here you can find some old cafe and wonderful boutique, but also stands and stalls concerning Bergamo events. If you want to stroll and go shopping in Bergamo, you should go there!
Museo Civico di Scienze Naturali “Enrico Caffi” is a very large museum with lots of findings related to the nature. Here you can see stuffed animals of every kinds and from every parts of the world. There is also a section with fossils, and an ethnographic section with things taken mostly from Africa and America.
Various activities are organized for kids at this museum.
The natural science museum is located inside the Cittadella which is what remains of a fortress built by the Visconti family.
The IAT, the local Bergamo Tourist Office is located at the lower city opposite the train station:
Viale Papa Giovanni XXIII 57
There is a second branch at the upper city ay:
Via Gombito 13
Daily: 9AM - 0.30PM; 2PM - 5PM
In Città Alta is the only blacksmith in town. He still makes the traditional gates and gratings and other iron artefacts for the local house renovations.
His workshop is located at the Mercato del Fieno.
Favorite thing: Bergamo is loaded with parks and green space areas. Considering the demand for space in a crowded inner city this is quite nice. We found the areas above and below the walls to Citta Alta very nice to relax and exercise in.
Commissioned by Alpine Bergamo - Associazione Nazionale Alpini - the MONUMENTO ALL "ALPINO was inaugurated March 18, 1962 and is a tribute to honor the comrades who had sacrificed for the country during the two great wars.
In the middle of the large arches is an impressive bronze sculpture of the Alpine climbing.
The Monument can be seen along Via Papa Giovanni XXIII, and is near the Tourist Information Center.
So there I was sitting on the terrace at Bar Flora, a beer in one hand, a cigarette in the other, surrounded by VT drinking buddies and having a very pleasant pre-dinner get together. Then out of the corner of my eye I noticed these two women and fell instantly in lust.
One hears about, reads about and sees photos of supposedly classy Italian women but these two more than surpassed all my preconceptions. Understatedly chic, naturally beautiful and look at their expressions and gestures - well I put my beer down, extinguished my cigarette, quickly tidied my mane and dashed off down the street. But they were gone by then - maybe I shouldn't have drunk the beer before I put it down...nor finished the cigarette before I extinguished it...maybe...maybe....
Bergamo's university, Universita degli Studi di Bergamo, is a relatively recent addition to the city's attractions. This was founded in 1968 with a single faculty - the Institute of Foreign Languages and Literatures.
Since then the university has grown to six faculties and during this growth period has inhabited several of the city's interesting historical buildings.
I just happened to wander into this one during an aimless stroll and was sufficiently intrigued as to what it was all about that I've been sitting for the last hour or so researching it.
Having found the university's website I'll leave that to continue its history and just comment that pictured is the Faculty of Educational Studies, housed in a former monastery - nice cloisters and great views!!
Fondest memory: Here's the website - http://www.unibg.it/struttura/en_struttura.asp?cerca=en_storiateneo
These are a kind of ravioli (stuffed pasta) filled with with a mixture of bread crumbs, egg, cheese, ground beef, salami or sausage, spinach, raisins, amaretto biscuits, pear and garlic. These are served with melted butter flavoured with sage leaves and sprinkled with grated Grana Padano cheese and chopped cooked bacon. This first course is believed to have originated in the countryside outside Bergamo where they were created as a way of using up left overs.
You find Casoncelli, also called "casunsei" in many restaurants in Bergamo.
There are four GATES OF BERGAMO all located in Citta' Alta.
Porta San Giacomo
Built in 1592
Part of the original Venetian Walls
Porta Sant Allesandro
Leads from Citta Alta to Borgo Canale and San Vigilio.
Built in the 16th century in memory of the Saint Alexander
Bears the emblem of the Venetian Lion of St. Mark
Porta Sant Agostino
Saint Augustine's Gate
Porta San Lorenzo
Also known as Porta Garibaldi
Erected in 1627
During my stay in Bergamo, there was a festival on which was also a national holiday.
For one of our VT group photos, we met in Piazza Vecchia. There were lots of stalls, people advertising their products, a stage with preformers, music, dancing, and an artist creating a wonderful piece of art.
I just thought I'd share it!
Upper Bergamo is surrounded by around six kilometers of walls. These already existed at Roman times. They were rebuilt during the Middle Ages. From 1561 to 1588 these were reconstructed by the Venetians. They demolished 250 buildings to build them.
You can enjoy a 360 degree landscape of the lower area of the city from the walls.
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