Città Alta (Bergamo)

In Bergamo Alta (upper town) there are two main centres of the urban design.

The first being Piazza Vecchia with its Contarini fountain, the Palazzo della Ragione, Palazzo del Podestà, Palazzo Nuovo and the Torre Civica. Piazza Vecchia is, and has been considered, the main attraction of the city of Bergamo, a fine example of Renaissance architecture. 

The second hub of the Città Alta is Piazza del Duomo, where it is possible to find numerous places of worship, including the Cathedral of Sant’Alessandro, the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore and the Colleoni Chapel. Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore is undoubtedly considered the most important place of worship in Bergamo.

The origin of this “Votive Chapel of the City” is rather unusual and dates back to 1133. In fact, it is said that at the time Bergamo, and its surrounding area was struck by a severe drought, which was followed with famine and plague. The entire population begged the Virgin Mary to lay a hand on the devastated area, and since then the city has seen its fortunes rise.

In addition to these two main landmarks, there are numerous other monuments such as the Piazza del Mercato delle Scarpe, which formerly connected the roads leading from Milan to Venice, and the 52-metre-high tower Torre del Gombito, which stands at the intersection of the cardo and decumanus maximus of the Roman city.

Almost all the buildings and squares of the Città Alta (upper town) are the result of Venetian rule, as well as the city walls, also known as the Muraine.

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