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Bergamo, Italy

by WCC on June 4, 2012

in Europe

Bergamo is a town in the Italian region of Lombardy and capital of the province of Bergamo. Bergamo is located about 50 kilometers northeast of Milan, picturesquely situated at the foot of the Alps on the border of the Po Valley and has 119 551 inhabitants (as of 31 December 2010). The old upper town (Città Alta) is located 380 m above sea level. M. on a hill, which is one of the last foothills of the Alps, before they pass into the fertile Po Valley. Under the new town (Città Bassa, and Città Borghi) and some suburbs extend around the hill town, both in the plane and on adjacent hills.

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The old town, now completely under monument stands, runs like an amphitheater up on a hill and is complete with a five-kilometer-long city wall surround. The present walls date from the 16th Century and include several bastions. In the center of town is the Piazza Vecchia, with most of the main buildings of the old city: the medieval town hall Palazzo Vecchio (della Ragione) with the city tower, behind the cathedral (originally built by Ant Filarete, completely remodeled in the 17th century) with dome, the church of Santa Maria Maggiore, a beautiful Romanesque building (from 1173) with the monuments and graves of the musician Gaetano Donizetti and Johann Simon Mayr, and it built magnificent Cappella Colleoni, with the tombs of General Bartolomeo Colleoni and his daughter Medea.

In the eastern part of Upper Bergamo are the charming little church of S. Michele al Pozzo Bianco, famous for the frescoes of Lorenzo Lotto and now often used as a wedding chapel and the church of the Augustinian convent (Ex Chiesa di S. Agostino), the only Gothic church architecture in the Città Alta. From the old castle on the hill of San Vigilio northwest of the Old Town can enjoy an extensive panoramic view. Lie in the lower town, the Accademia Carrara, a collection of paintings including works by Botticelli, Rubens, Raphael, Pisanello and others, and the so-called Fiera, a large stone building with 540 booths and a large hall in every corner, in which year the famous Bartholomew Fair is held. The two parts of the city by the Via Vittorio Emanuele, and since 1887 by the funicular railway to the Città Alta connected.

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