The Top Things To Do And See In Bergamo's Città Alta

Carlotta Bosi

Resembling one of those characteristic landscapes you can easily find in Tuscany, the Città Alta part of Bergamo came to life during the Renaissance, remodeled on the pre-existing medieval borough and featuring many interesting sights that make it definitely worth the trip. See the top things to do while you’re in the area.

Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore, Rooftops, Bergamo

1. Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore

Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore

Situated right beside the Cathedral in Piazza del Duomo, this basilica is stunning, built to huge and breathtaking proportions. Santa Maria Maggiore looks severe on the outside, built during the Middle Ages in a Romantic style, but funnily enough, it displays grandiosity in the inside, redecorated in the Baroque style after its completion.

Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, piazzadel Duomo, Bergamo, Italy

Santa Maria Maggiore, Cappella Colleoni | © Alex/FlickrSanta Maria Maggiore, Cappella Colleoni | © Alex/Flickr

2. Cappella Colleoni

Cappella Colleoni

Quite in contrast with the adjacent Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, Cappella Colleoni was built during the Renaissance, designed by the sculptor and architect Giovanni Antonio Amadeo, who also built the magnificent Certosa di Pavia. It was commissioned by Bartolomeo Colleoni, who conceived it as his own mausoleum. The marble sculptures and decorations inside are a real treasure to behold.

Cappella Colleoni, piazza del Duomo,Bergamo, Italy

3. Museo Donizettiano


Museo Donizettiano

The Museo Donizettiano was established in 1906 with the purpose of preserving the memory of the Bergamo-born composer Gaetano Donizetti, author of The Elixir of Love. The museum is divided in sections based on the composer’s life and it tells the story of his works. Aside from the narrative, the setting is also interesting, featuring Neo-classical decoration aplenty.

Museo Donizettiano, via Arena 9, Bergamo,Italy

The Biblioteca Angelo Mai on the Piazza Vecchia The Biblioteca Angelo Mai on the Piazza Vecchia | © Andrew and Annemarie/Flickr

4. Spend time in Piazza Vecchia

Spend time in Piazza Vecchia

The symmetry and design of the Piazza Vecchia in the heart of Bergamo’s old town resembles the Capitol Square in Rome. It’s a must for anyone visiting the city, because it’s the pulsing heart of the Città Alta. For a little fee, it’s possible to climb up to the bell tower in the square and take a look around, surveying the city’s roofs and a landscape that is nothing short of breathtaking.

Piazza Vecchia, Bergamo, Italy

5. Museo di Scienze Naturali

Museo di Scienze Naturali

The Natural History Museum of Bergamo was established in 1871, but only since 1918 has it been open to the public, and in 1960 it changed its setting, moving to his current home on Palazzo Visconteo. The museum is divided into four sections: zoology, entomology, palaeontology and geology, with over a million in its collection, from plants to fossils to recreations of dinosaur skeletons.

Museo di Scienze Naturali, piazza Cittadella 10, Bergamo, Italy

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