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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

—  Comune  —
Comune di Bergamo
Bergamo's well-recognizable cityscape

Coat of arms
Bergamo is located in Italy
Location of Bergamo in Italy
Coordinates: 45°42′N 9°40′E / 45.7°N 9.667°E / 45.7; 9.667Coordinates: 45°42′N 9°40′E / 45.7°N 9.667°E / 45.7; 9.667
Country Italy
Region Lombardy
Province Bergamo (BG)
 - Mayor Franco Tentorio (The People of Freedom)
 - Total 38.7 km2 (14.9 sq mi)
Elevation 249 m (817 ft)
Population (31 December 2006)
 - Total 117,072
 Density 3,025.1/km2 (7,835/sq mi)
 - Demonym Bergamaschi
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 24100
Dialing code 035
Patron saint Saint Alexander
Saint day 26 August
Website Official website

Bergamo About this sound listen (Bèrghem in Eastern Lombard and Bergum in Western Lombard , antiquated:Wälsch-Bergen in German) is a town and comune in Lombardy, Italy, about 40 km northeast of Milan. The comune is home to approximately 117,000 inhabitants. It is served by the Orio al Serio Airport, which also serves the Province of Bergamo, and to a lesser extent the metropolitan area of Milan. The foothills of the Alps begin immediately north of the town.




Early years

Bergamo occupies the site of the ancient town of Bergomum, founded as a settlement of the Celtic tribe of Cenomani. In 49 BC it became a Roman municipality, containing circa 10,000 inhabitants at its peak. An important hub on the military road between Friuli and Raetia, it was destroyed by Attila in the 5th century.

Middle Ages

Bergamo in the year 1450.

From the 6th century Bergamo was the seat of one of the most important Lombard duchies of northern Italy, together with Brescia, Trento and Cividale del Friuli: its first Lombard duke was Wallaris. After the conquest of the Lombard Kingdom by Charlemagne, it became the seat of a county under one Auteramus (died 816).

From the 11th century onwards Bergamo was an independent commune, taking part in the Lombard League which defeated Frederick I Barbarossa in 1165. Caught in the bitter fights between Guelphs and Ghibellines, led in the city by the Colleoni and the Suardi respectively, from 1264 Bergamo was intermittently under the rule of Milan. In 1331 it gave itself to John of Bohemia, but later the Visconti of Milan reconquered it.

Rinascimento and modern Era

After a short conquest by the Malatesta in 1407, in 1428 it fell under the control of the Venetian Republic, remaining part of it until 1797. Notably, the Venetians fortified the higher portion of the town (see Main sights section).

XIX and XX century

In 1815, it was assigned to Austrian Empire. Giuseppe Garibaldi freed it in 1859 during the Second Italian War of Independence, when Bergamo became part of the Kingdom of Italy. During the 20th century Bergamo become one the most industrialized cities in Italy. Bergamo is also one of the few Italian cities that did not suffer major destruction during World War II.


Climate data for Bergamo
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 5.5
Average low °C (°F) -1.9
Precipitation mm (inches) 71.1
Source: Intellicast[1] 2009-09-22


Bergamo has a prominent place in music history. The large Romanesque church of Santa Maria Maggiore, begun in 1137, had a continuous and well-documented tradition of music teaching and singing for more than eight hundred years. When the town was under Venetian control, the musical style of the Venetians was imported as well; in particular, a large instrumental ensemble grew up to support the choral singing. Composers such as Gasparo Alberti produced music with polyphony using two organs, brass and viols, a style usually associated with Venice, but which flourished in the fine acoustic environment of Santa Maria Maggiore.

The city lent its name to a style of folk dance known as bergamask peculiar to the peoples of that region. Known as bergomasci and renowned for their buffoonery, the fool Bottom in Shakespeare's A Midsummer's Night's Dream refers to their Bergomask dance. This unconventional form gave Debussy a vehicle for the dissonances and irregular intervals of his "Suite bergamasque."

Prominent musicians born in Bergamo include Gaetano Donizetti, Pietro Locatelli, Antonio Lolli, Gianluigi Trovesi, and Gianandrea Gavazzeni. Alessandro Grandi, one of the most progressive composers of the early 17th century after Monteverdi, was maestro di cappella there until his death in the plague of 1630; Tarquinio Merula, an even more progressive composer, and one of the founders of the early sonata, took over his post.

Notable natives

Bergamo was the hometown and last resting place of Enrico Rastelli, a highly technical and world famous juggler who lived in the town and, in 1931, died there at the early age of 34. There is a life-sized statue to Rastelli within his mausoleum. A number of painters were active in the town as well; among these were Giovanni Paolo Cavagna, Francesco Zucco, and Enea Salmeggia, each of whom painted works for the church of Santa Maria Maggiore.

Main sights

Cappella Colleoni.
Small street (via della Noca) leading to Città alta.
Piazza Vecchia during winter.

The town has two centres: "Città alta" (upper city), a hilltop medieval town, surrounded by 17th century cyclopic defensive walls, and the "Città bassa" (lower city). The two parts of the town are connected by funicular/cable car, roads, and foot-paths (the most convenient being immediately adjacent to the funicular station). Parking spaces are very limited in the upper city.[citation needed]

Città alta

The upper city, surrounded by Venetian walls built in the 17th century, forms the historic centre of Bergamo.

Città Alta is an extremely expensive place to live in, with properties being sold for a minimum of 2,000,000 euro.

This has numerous places of interest including:

The modern città bassa.

Città bassa

The Biblioteca Angelo Mai on the Piazza Vecchia.
The Venetian Tower in the Rocca.

The lower city is the modern centre of Bergamo. At the end of the nineteenth century Città Bassa was composed of Borghi, the residential houses built along the main road that linked Bergamo with the other cities of Lombardy. The main bourgs were Borgo Palazzo along the road to Brescia, Borgo San Leonardo along the road to Milan and Borgo Santa Caterina along the road to Valle Seriana. The city rapidly expanded during the twentieth century. In the first decades, the municipality erected major buildings like the new courthouse and various administrative offices in the lower part of Bergamo in order to create a new center of the city. After World War II and during the so called miracolo economico (economic boom) many residential buildings were constructed in the lower part of the city which are now divided into several neighborhoods such as Longuelo, Colognola, Malpensata and Boccaleone among many others. The shopping district developed shortly after, now commonly known as the street the shops are located on Via 20 Settembre.

Of artistic importance in Città Bassa are:

  • Pinacoteca dell'Accademia Carrara (picture museum of Carrara academy) This is currently closed for restoration and a selection of its paintings is exhibited in the Palazzo Ragione in Città Alta.
  • Galleria d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea (gallery of modern and contemporary art), known as GAMEC.


In 2007, there were 115,781 people residing in Bergamo (in which the greater area has more than 300 000 inhabitants), located in the province of Bergamo, Lombardia, of whom 46.7% were male and 53.3% were female. Minors (children ages 18 and younger) totalled 16.32 percent of the population compared to pensioners who number 23.67 percent. This compares with the Italian average of 18.06 percent (minors) and 19.94 percent (pensioners). The average age of Bergamo residents is 45 compared to the Italian average of 42. In the five years between 2002 and 2007, the population of Bergamo grew by 1.92 percent, while Italy as a whole grew by 3.85 percent[2]. The current birth rate of Bergamo is 8.72 births per 1,000 inhabitants compared to the Italian average of 9.45 births.

As of 2006, 90.47% of the population was Italian. The largest immigrant group comes from other European nations (the largest being Albania, and Romania): 3.15%, Americas (mostly from Cochabamba,Bolivia): 2.37%, sub-saharan Africa: 1.41%, and North Africa: 1.23%. Currently one-fifth of the babies born in Bergamo has at least one foreign parent. The city is predominantly Roman Catholic and also host the see of a Diocese of Bergamo, but due to immigration now has some Orthodox Christian, Muslim, and Protestant adherents.


As capital and main town of its province, Bergamo hosts the public administration offices of provincial interest. In the past, many factories were in the commune territory, mainly for electrical components, industrial mechanics and publishing businesses, but have then moved outward. In the town three large corporations are still based: Italcementi, Brembo and UBI Banca.


Bishop's seminary

International relations: Twin towns

Bergamo is twinned [3] with:

Bergamo set a relationship of decentralized cooperation with the municipality of Kakanj, Bosnia-Herzegovina, in the late 1990s. Procedures for town twinning were set up in 1997 but never completed.

See also



External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Bergamo [1] is a scenic town in Italy's Lombardy region.


Bergamo is a pretty town of some 120,000 people nestling in the foothills of the Alps. Widely acclaimed as a city of rare beauty, Bergamo is famous for its wealth of artistic treasures and enchanting medieval atmosphere. It is a real life tale of two cities: “Città Bassa”, the busy and modern lower city, and "Città Alta", the upper city with its rich heritage of art and history.

Get in

By plane

Bergamo is the location of the Orio al Serio International Airport (BGY) (Phone number: +39035326323), an airport oriented around low-cost airlines. ATB no.1 bus to the city are € 1.70 per trip. There is a ticket machine at the bus stop. You can find schedules and route maps on the site of the local mass transit authority.

Cabs will take about 15mins but are quite expensive given the length of the journey - cost around €15 (€21 after 21:00 in the evening)

Note that buses can be both unreliable and not punctual. You'd better take the no.1 city bus 30 or 45 minutes before the time you actually have to be at the airport.

By train

Milan is about 30-40 minutes away by train. There is no train station at the airport in Bergamo. The 1-airport bus to Bergamo city, taking around 30 minutes, leaves you just in front of the train station. From Bergamo city regular trains to Milan, Lecco and Brescia, on to Verona and Venice. You can check schedules and fares on the website of the Italian Railways. There is no left luggage office at the train station, only at the airport. If you are at the airport and your destination is Milan or Venice, just take one of the regular coaches. However be warned that the autostrada connecting Bergamo and Milan carries a lot of trucks and gets easily congested - do not therefore rely on the 'stated' journey time especially on weekdays. An alternative is to take the bus into Bergamo (see above) and take the train, which is cheaper and quicker.

By bus

Regular buses to Milan. You can check schedules and fares on the website of Autostradale. The trip takes approximately one hour, depending on traffic conditions. The bus stop in Bergamo is located near the train station and there is a counter where inquiries can be made.

Get around

The town is not large, and most of the sights can be seen comfortably on foot. To get from the Città Bassa up to the Città Alta can be quite tiring on foot, though, due to the steep and winding streets, but there is a funicolare (a kind of tram) linking the two parts of the town. You can see a map of bus routes, schedules and fares on the website of the local mass transit authority (in Italian). The ticket that you purchase for the funicular is valid for 75 minutes and you can reuse the same ticket for travel on the bus as well as the funicular to San Vigilio. Walking from the train station to the Città Alta funicular station is pleasant and takes about 20-30 minutes. You can also walk from Città Alta to San Vigilio instead of taking the funicular, which will afford you great views of the surrounding areas, as well as the quaint narrow streets and houses along the way.

  • The Piazza Vecchia - the heart of the old town, displaying a mix of medieval and Renaissance architecture
  • The church of Santa Maria Maggiore
  • The Colleoni Chapel (Cappella Colleoni)
  • The Rocca - a walled stronghold which houses a museum
  • The Archeology Museum (Museo Archeologico)
  • The Science Museum (Museo Civico di Scienze)
  • The Donizetti Museum (Museo Donizettiano), Via Arena 9. Devoted to one of Bergamo's most famous sons, the composer Gaetano Donizetti
  • The Accademia Carrara, one of Northern Italy's most important collections of medieval, Renaissance and Baroque paintings.
  • GAMeC, the city's gallery of modern and contemporary art, which usually hosts several interesting exhibitions.
  • Ride the funicolare from the Città Bassa up to the Città Alta. Easier than walking, and the views on the way up are spectacular.
  • Visit San Vigilio - a small hilltop village that can be reached on foot or by a second funicolare from Città Alta. It offers walks with spectacular views, and a ruined castle. Entry into the castle is free, and is part of a public park. Climb all the way to the top of the castle for more views.
  • Walk down the quiet narrow streets of the old town.
  • Walk along the city walls for views across Lombardy.
  • Visit one of the several church and art galleries.
  • Stroll in one of the pedestrian streets and enjoy shops and cafes.


For snacks, a drink or simply the great view, Cafe Funicolare in the city Alta Funicolare station. For lunch or an evening meal try Da Franco Ristorante Pizzeria Via Colleoni 8 Bergamo Alta Telefono 035238565 - closed Mondays or Da Mimmo - closed Tuesdays - both more than just a Pizzeria. Also worth a look is Il Sole, on the corner of Piazza Vecchia and Via Colleoni. La Bruschetta, in the Citta Bassa, just off Porta Nuova is a good value restaurant/pizzeria in the cellar of a building and worth a mention. Also in the Citta Bassa area "La Ciotola" is a good restaurant/pizzeria near the Mercure hotel.

For great ice cream try La Siesta on Via Sant'Alessandro.

  • Il Circolino, (right around the back of the Biblioteca Angelo Maj). Locals here play bocce and drink lanterna (a huge drink made of white wine and campari rosso). * In the Citta Bassa Bobino (piazza della Liberta) is a cool bar/restaurant with a long wine & cocktail list (including Champagne), open from 7.00am - 02.00am daily, except Sundays.  edit
  • Hotel Donizetti [2]Via Aldo Moro 28,Lallio,24040 BG. Donizetti Hotel is located near Bergamo, and access to the motorway linking Milan and surroundings

There are a number of good hotels in the new town (Citta Bassa) - many on Viale Papa Giovanni XXIII (The main street from the station to the funicolare)

  • Mercure Palazzo Dolce ****
  • Best Western Capello d'Oro **** (14.6.09 - I'm writing whilst sitting in the lobby of this hotel. Am staying here for 3 nights. Impressed with the cleanliness and facilities, can definitely recommend it. Paula Brown)
  • Excelsior San Marco Hotel ****


There are other options. Try

Get out

Other places of interest around Bergamo

  • The Bergamo area is in the foothills of the Alps, and has a handful of ski resorts within a one-hour drive. Notable is the Brembana Valley which contains the resorts of Foppolo, Carona and San Simone.
  • Lake Iseo, one of the smallest and less touristy among the Northern Italian lakes.
  • Crespi d'Adda is a planned industrial city between Bergamo and Milan. It has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List
  • Como (one of the main cities at the shores of beautiful Lake Como is also accessible by train, but requires almost traveling back to Milan (you change at a train station before Milan, though). It is worth visiting from Bergamo and vice versa however, as it is about an hour's journey all in.
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

BERGAMO (anc. Bergomum), a city and episcopal see of Lombardy, Italy, capital of the province of Bergamo, situated at the foot of the Alps, at the junction of the Brembo and Serio, 331 m. N.E. of Milan by rail, and 26 m. direct. Pop. (1901) town, 25,425; commune, 46,861. The town consists of two distinct parts, the older Città Alta, upon a hill 1200 ft. above sea-level, strongly fortified by the Venetians, and the new town (Citta Bassa) below, the two being connected by a funicular railway. The most interesting building of the former is the fine Romanesque church of S. Maria Maggiore, founded in 1137 and completed in 1355, with a baroque interior and some interesting works of art. Adjoining it to the north is the Cappella Colleoni, with a richly sculptured polychrome façade, and a modernized interior, containing the fine tombs of Bartolommeo Colleoni (c. 1400-1475), a native of Bergamo, and his daughter Medea. The work was executed in 1470-1476 by Giovanni Antonio Amadeo, who was also employed at the Certosa di Pavia. The market-place (now Piazza Garibaldi) contains the Gothic Palazzo Vecchio or Broletto; close by are the cathedral (1614) and a small baptistery of 1340, rebuilt in 1898. The lower town contains an important picture-gallery, consisting of three collections of works of north Italian masters, one of which was bequeathed in 1891 by the art critic Giovanni Morelli. Bergamo has fine modern buildings and numerous silk and cotton factories. It also has a considerable cattle market, though its yearly Fiera di S. Alessandro (the patron saint) has lost some of its importance. Railways radiate from it to Lecco, Ponte della Selva, Usmate (for Monza or Seregno), Treviglio (on the main line from Milan to Verona and Venice) and (via Rovato) to Brescia, and steam tramways to Treviglio, Sarnico and Soncino.

The ancient Bergomum was the centre of the tribe of the Orobii; it became, after their subjection to Rome, a Roman municipality with a considerable territory, and after its destruction by Attila, became the capital of a Lombard duchy. From 1264 to 1428 it was under Milan, but then became Venetian, and remained so until 1797. Remains of the Roman city are not visible above ground, but various discoveries made are recorded by G. Mantovani in Not. Sca y ., 1890, 25. (T. As.)

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



Wikipedia has an article on:


Proper noun


  1. Province of Lombardy, Italy.
  2. Town and capital of Bergamo.


  • Bulgarian: Бергамо (1,2)
  • French: Bergame (1, 2)
  • Italian: Bergamo (1), Bergamo (2) f.



Italian Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia it

Proper noun

Bergamo f.

  1. Bergamo (province)
  2. Bergamo (town)

Derived terms


Simple English

View of Bergamo.

Bergamo is a city in northern Italy. Bergamo is in the Lombardy Region, with a population of 117.887 inhabitants.


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