Four hours in Bergamo.

18 Bergamo

On the second day of our holiday at Lake Como we went on a day trip to the City Of Bergamo. First we had to get a ferry across the lake from Villa Carlotta to Varenna where we boarded a coach for our journey to Bergamo.

The drive along the eastern arm of the lake, the Lago di Lecco was interesting. It is quieter than the Como arm and passed through a couple of small industrial towns. Mandello dei Lario famous for motorcycle manufacture and the former silk town of Abbadia Lariana.

We arrived in Bergamo at 11.45am. The city of Bergamo is divided into two parts – the Citta Alta (the upper city) and the Citta Bassa (the lower city). The Citta Alta is protected by formidable walls and there are only five gates. We were driven up to the Porta San Alessandro just inside the upper city walls. We headed off along the Via Colleoni towards the heart of the city and the Piazza Vecchia.

837 Piazza Vecchia

The Piazza Vecchia was built by the Venetians in the 15th century as the centrepiece of the city. On the left is the Palazzo Nuovo with its marble colonnade. Building started in the early 17th century but was only finished in the e3arly 20th century. It was once the Town Hall but it now houses the Biblioteca Angelo Mai, one of Italy’s finest libraries.

17 Statue in Piazza Vecchia

In the centre of the square is a water fountain surrounded by statues. The cool drinking water proved very popular on this very hot day.

We had a couple of hours free time before meeting up with a local guide for a tour of the city. We decided to walk down the Via Gombito, Like the Via Colleoni this narrow cobbled street is lined with restaurants and patisseries. Delightful smells were coming from the doorways, my mouth was beginning to water. At the Piazza Mercato Delle Scarpe we turned left to climb up to the Parco Delle Remembrance. Here amongst the laid out paths were relics from WW II.

846 Tank


I wandered off to the city walls to gaze down on the lower city and the plain. Turning round I could look out over the rooftops of Citta Alta.

31 Rooftop View


By the time were got back to the centre it was  one o’clock and time for a bite to eat. A slice of freshly baked pizza and an apricot tart was just what we needed.

866 Statues in Piazza Vecchia

                                                 Statues in the Piazza Vecchia

15 Torre Civica

                                            The Civic Tower.

At 1.45pm we met up with Simone, our local guide at the Piazza Vecchia. She told us more about the history of the buildings before leading us through the archway to the Piazza del Duomo.

To our left was the cathedral but the centrepiece was the magnificent Cappella Colleoni.

833 Colleoni Chapel

The Colleoni Chapel was built by the sculptor and architect Giovani Antonio Amadeo by 1476 for the tomb of Bartolomeo Colleoni and his daughter Madea. The interior is marvellous but no photography is allowed and this rule is rigorously enforced.

47 Coat of Arms

Outside on the railings are the Coat of Arms of the Colleoni family. Out guide gave us two very different accounts of the origin of the design. I could not possibly repeat them here. But, she did say “Touch them if you dare “.

Next door to the left is the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore with its entrance guarded by a pair of  Gothic stone lions.

P1180867868 Gothic Lion

Building of this church began in 1137 and the Lombard-Romanesque architecture also houses Gothic frescoes, wooden inlays and Flemish tapestries.

75 Ornate ceiling71 Church Interior

87 Tapestry

At the other end of the square is the Baptistery, built in 1340 for the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore but later moved to its current location.

35 The Baptistery

                               The Baptistery

Nearby was the washhouse built at the end of the 1800’s . It provided the upper town with clean running water which was absent from the houses. It also provided a focal point for people to meet up for a chat.

859 The Wash house

All to soon it was time to leave and head back to our coach. Four hours had been sufficient time to visit the main attractions but not long enough to visit the museums and galleries. That would need four days.

We were due to travel back along the motorway which in theory should have been quicker but we had not allowed for the rush hour and the Italian driving.

Back at our hotel in Cadenabbia we just had time to change before heading to the restaurant for another four course meal. It had been an enjoyable but tiring day.

About crosbyman66

My aim is to create a photo diary of my walks and my travels. I have two main hobbies, walking and photography and these complement each other. I am a senior citizen, what used to be called an old age pensioner, but I don't feel old. Since retirement I have had more time to pursue my hobbies and the opportunity to travel more. My philosophy now is - Do what you can, while you can. My other interests are fine wines and keeping fit. These may not complement each other but keep me happy.
This entry was posted in Italian Lakes, Photography, Travel. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Four hours in Bergamo.

  1. Ostendnomad says:

    nice cityscapes. Cheers Stef

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