Bergamo, Italy: A day in Milan’s picturesque neighbour

Those who land at Milan Bergamo airport and immediately head 50km west to the Lombard capital miss out on a historic city that is ideal for a day’s sightseeing. This was my first visit to Italy, but Bergamo seemed to be a postcard Italian town, with its tight, cobbled streets and picturesque views over orange Venetian rooftops and the beginnings of the Alps. The city is divided between the old, walled Citta Alta and the more modern lower city. I stayed at a hostel in the north and spent the day gradually making my way south (and downhill) towards the railway station before taking the train to Milan.

The view of the Citta Alta (upper city) from the Ostello di Bergamo in the north of the city

The badge of Atalanta BC, Bergamo’s football team

The club finished 4th in Serie A (Italy’s top flight) last year

Outside the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia, which was built in 1926 and holds 26,500

The main entrance of the Accademia Carrara art gallery

The gallery was established in 1794 by the aristocrat Giacomo Carrara

The gallery is unique in Italy for being made up entirely of private bequests

A couple looking at Van Dyck’s ‘Lamentation over a Dead Christ’ (1650-1670)

Francesco Hayez’s ‘Caterina Cornaro Deposed from the Throne of Cyprus’ (1842)

The view north towards the Alps from the Citta Alta

The highermost part of the Citta Alta from the Civic Tower (Campanone)

Facing east towards the Torre del Gombito from the Civic Tower

The public library on the Piazza Vecchia from the Civic Tower

The view of the lower city from Saint Vigilio

The funicular railway approaching Saint Vigilio

A typical backstreet in the upper city

Tourists at the 16th-century Porta San Giacomo, made of rosewood marble 

Zipwiring near the Venetian walls of the Citta Alta

The lower city in the background is the modern and commercial centre of Bergamo

When in Italy…

Bergamo railway station

The train to Milan

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