Bergamo Local Customs

  • Nativity scene from a Bergamo church.
    Nativity scene from a Bergamo church.
    by IreneMcKay
  • Christmas decorations, Bergamo.
    Christmas decorations, Bergamo.
    by IreneMcKay
  • "Bianco"
    by Roadquill

Most Recent Local Customs in Bergamo

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    Little details

    by irisbe Written Jun 12, 2005

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    Little details on the roofs

    The Bergamask must have an eye for little details!
    When I was gazing around on my first day of walking through the city, it was not only the charming colours and red roofs that caught my eyes, but also how they paid attention to even little details as the chimneys.
    I think this house had one of the most beautiful and many that I had laid my eyes on.

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    Family visits to the Basilica

    by irisbe Updated Jun 12, 2005

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    family visits to the church

    As in many catholic countries it is not uncommon to take your kids to the church or in this case the Basilica for a visit.

    One of the most favourite things to do, as I can remember from my own childhood as well, is when you are allowed to burn a candle.

    No different with the kids on the picture who visited and were very eager to lit theirs and make a little prayer or wish.

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    School trips

    by irisbe Updated Jun 12, 2005

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    school trips

    Especially on Whitsunday, in Belgian a catholic holiday, I expected everything to be closed in Italy as well.
    But that was not the case. What I did notices where many groups of school kids visiting the city with their teachers. Bergamo seemed to be one of the favourite destinations for these school trips that were not only just for fun, but also to learn about the city. The kids had paper and pen with them and listening and taking notes when their teacher was pointing to a building or statue and give them explications.

    I wonder which one of these kids might decide to go into tourism and will become a guide some day in this beautiful city `-)

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    Public drink places? Porta de Pinta

    by irisbe Updated May 18, 2005

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    water fountains

    If you walk down the Via Porta Dipinta (on my last day I walked up this street with 15 kilo’s of luggage on my back!) you will pass this large arch fountain.
    It looks like there once was a door. In fact there was before it was frescoed during the Renaissance times. It used to be a “porta” through the medieval walls.
    The name Via Porta Dipinta derives from it.

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    Arlecchino

    by barrikello Written Feb 1, 2005

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    arlecchino

    Arlecchino is one of the most popular masks of the Comedy of Art. He was born in Bergamo (in the Brembo valley, at Oneta) and soon moved to Venice. He was poor and wore a dress made of colourful cloths stitched together. Arlecchino is naive and simpleton but cunning, embodying the countryside illiterate.

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    Bergamo flour for the 'polenta' dish

    by barrikello Written Oct 8, 2004

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    flour for polenta

    You say 'Bergamo' and the Italians think of 'polenta', the grinded corn flour boiled in water and cooked for more than one hour in special copper pans.
    And, to get the real polenta alla bergamasca, you need the special flour obtained by grinding the local corn with special stone mills and at low temperatures. The flour can be white or yellow (most common): remember that the polenta made with yellow flour is suitable for meat and cheeses while the white one is perfect for matching the fish.

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    Salame della Bergamasca

    by barrikello Written Oct 8, 2004

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    salame di Bergamo

    Our salame ('salami' is just plural of salame in italian) has a special flavour and it's softer if compared to the other types around Italy. That's due to the fact that it's made of fresh pork meat. Its special flavour is given by the addition of black pepper, red wine, spices and fresh grinded garlic.

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    'Strachitund' cheese

    by barrikello Written Oct 7, 2004

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    strachitund cheese

    This cheese is a local production from the Brembo Valley (the left of the two main valleys that converge in Bergamo). It's taken from the cow's milk. It's quite pricey because few farmers still know how to make it. That's due to the fact that the Strachitund is made of two different milks - the one taken and prepared in the evening and the morning one. This cheese is made of stripes pressed together.

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    Valcalepio wine and Moscato di Scanzo

    by barrikello Written Oct 1, 2004

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    valcalepio wine

    That's the wonderful wine producted in the Bergamo province despite the area does not have a huge fame compared to others in Italy.
    This wine has three varieties: red, white and the uncomparable Moscato Passito di Scanzo. The latter is the symbol of the Bergamo enology - famous for its sweetness, tasting of pepper, cinnamon and rose - it finds its perfect match with sweets like almond biscuits. Only few thousands of bottle are produced every year and its price varies between 20 and more than 100 Euros.

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    Polenta e osei

    by lichinga Updated Feb 17, 2004

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    I have some doubts this is really a "local custom", it smells like a "tourist trap".... anyway, the final result is not that bad, so I prefere to consider it is a newly-introduced "local custom".

    Polenta e osei literally means "yellow maize meal with little birds". It's the name of a traditional dish, that was consumed in Northern Italy tens of years ago and now it's almost disappeared. Even if it may appear so rude, there's a reason for "polenta e osei", the main explanation is that people used to have so rare protein intake that even little birds caught by chance, or chased, proved to be useful. If you ever tries eating a small bird, you would know how time consuming it is: not so much as eating a crab, but quite close.

    In Bergamo some funny people decided that "polenta e osei" could have been reproduced in a sweet-like form. So, you will find "polenta e osei" in any pastry shop, but never in restaurants. Of course, it has nothing to share, but for the shape, with the traditional recipe! Worth trying: if you manage to bear with the little chocolate-made bird corpse triumphantly topping the small yellow cake.

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    the birthplace of Gaetano Donizetti (composer)

    by call_me_rhia Written Sep 17, 2002

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    Domenico Gaetano Maria Donizetti

    Domenico Gaetano Maria Donizetti, a world reknown composer of Italian opera, was born on 29 November 1797 in Bergamo, which was then part of the Cisalpine Republic. When he died, on 8 April 1848, he died as an Austrian citizen, as Bergamo then belonged to Austria. In the course of his life he wrote about 60 operas, most of which characterized Italian Romaticism. His masterpiece is supposed to be Lucia di Lammermoor (1835).
    The house where he was born is at Via Borgo Canale, 14. Viewing is by appointment, so you need to call ahead.

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    Nice people! They...

    by Bergamo2000 Written Aug 25, 2002

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    Nice people! They (bergamaschi) are very fond of their land and traditions and tourists from abroad can note this. Bergamaschi love tourists if tourists love and respect Bergamo! Tipping at restaurant is ... a rule if you think of coming back again!
    Unfortunately Bergamo is'nt an international town so Bergamaschi speak only a little other languages.

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    Highlife ahoy!The higher you...

    by oja Written Aug 25, 2002

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    Highlife ahoy!

    The higher you live, the higher your costs. As you puff/gasp/pleasantly trek up the hill you'll surely notice the living standard rising along with it. YES, I'd LOVE to have a holiday house with a view too, but in Bergamo these things just cost a tad too much.

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    Most of the province’s...

    by MVMT Updated Aug 24, 2002

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    Most of the province’s cultural events take place in the city. Concerts staged in the Donizetti Theatre and painting exhibitions in the Accademia Carrara, among Italy’s best art galleries, are major events. The city also has theatre and concert seasons, including the Donizetti Festival held each September, and a series of Baroque music concerts presented in its churches (generally held each October). Other events are:
    - Feast of Sant’Antonio Abate, which includes the blessing of carts and farming tools (17 January)
    - Bergamo’s summer festival ‘Estate vivi la tua città’ (June–September)
    - Trade show (October–November)
    - Antique market (third Sunday of every month)
    - The holiday of the city’s patron saint which includes a huge produce and livestock market (26 August)

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    Clean up after your dog

    by pieter_jan_v Written Dec 10, 2012

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    CLEAN UP
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    I saw a lot of dogs at Bergamo. Dogs are being held by all kind of people and the animals are part of the everyday Bergamo life. To keep the city clean it's mandatory to clean up after your dog.

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Bergamo Local Customs

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