A visit to Bergamo is a journey through art between two towns, one an a hill, the other on the plain: two towns that are essentially different but linked, not only by art and history, but alsoby a dense to admire web of streets, alleys and cobbled stairways. Today one of the best places to admire Bergamo is form the terminal of Orio al Serio Aiport.
Visitors arriving by air have a first glimpse of the againsy the backdrop of the Alps. Once on the ground this view can be seen in all its beauty ad the unmistakable outline of towers, domes and belle towers of Old Bergamo is revealed. The city on the hill, thanks to its limited dimensions, can easily be visited during a pleasant walk.
The first stop will be the Upper City, not to be missed and which yuo can reach by the funicular, a short but thrilling journey: from the carriage your eyes will come to rest on the impressive city walls of Bergamo, buit by the Venetians in the 16th century and still standing today. When yuo leave the funicular station, you will be introduced into a peculiar medieval atmosphere, walk along the Gombito street and you will reach the magical surroundings of Piazza Vecchia, which has always been considered one of the most beautiful Contarini Fountain in the centre of the square.
Buildings line the two longest sides of the square, and your attention will be attracted in particular by the Palazzo della Ragione which gives the scene its final touch. Lastly, in one corner, there stands the tower of the “Campanone” wich the 100 peals of the large bell which can be heard every evening in memory of the ancient curfew.
You can see Piazza del Duomo next to the Palazzo della Ragione. The Cathedral looks on to the square, together with the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, and the Colleoni Chapel; the Baptistery choreographically closes the square. At the foot of the Upper City, you can continue your walk through the elegant shopping streets of the Lower City.
Strolling along the Sentierone, you will feel like real Bergamo inhabitants: this is where everybody comes for a short stroll, even only to admire the Teatro Donizetti and the Church of St. Bartholomew, wich holds the great altar-piece by Lorenzo Lotto.
In the heart of Borgo Pignolo, a pictusque medieval neighbourhood like Borgo Palazzo and Borgo Sant’Alessandro, you will find three extraordinary museums: the “Bernareggi” Museum of Sacred Art, the famous Carrara Art Gallery and alongside the Gallery of Modern and Contemporany Art (Gamec).