Bergamo is a city and comune in Lombardy, Italy, about 40 kilometres northeast of Milan.
The town has two centres: "Città alta" (upper city), a hilltop medieval town, surrounded by 17th-century cyclopic defensive walls, and the "Città bassa" (lower city). The two parts of the town are connected by funicular/cable car, roads, and footh-paths, immediately adjacent to the funicular station.
The upper city, surrounded by Venetian walls built in the 17th century, forms the historic centre of Bergamo. This has numerous places of interest including:
- Piazza Vecchia (old square)
- Palazzo della Ragione. This was the seat of the administration of the city in the age of the communes. Currently it houses a selection of paintings from the Accademia Carrara.
- Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore (Saint Mary Major). Built on the site of a previous religious edifice of the 7th century and modified over the centuries. Noteworthy are the frescoes by Giovanbattista Tiepolo and the tomb of Gaetano Donizzetti.
- Cappella Colleoni (Colleoni chapel), annexed to Santa Maria Maggiore, is a masterwork of Renaissance architecture. It contains the tomb of the condottiere Bartolomeo Colleoni.
- Bergamo Cathedral (Duomo). Built in the late 17th century with later modifications.
- Rocca (Castle). It was begun in 1331 on the hill of Sant'Eufemia by the vicar of John of Bohemia, and later completed by Azzone Visconti. The Venetians built a large tower in the Rocca, as well as a line of walls (Mura Veneziane) 6,200 metres long.
- Museo Civico Archeologico (Archaeological Civic Museum), Museo di Scienze Naturali Enrico Caffi (Caffi Natural Science Museum), Orto Botanico “Lorenzo Rota” (botanical garden).
Città alta and its surroundings are part of the Parco dei Colli di Bergamo.
The lower city is the modern centre of Bergamo. Via 20 Settembre is the most famous street in the city center, symbol of the shopping district.
In Città bassa there are some places of cultural interest as Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Grazie and Chiesa di Sant'Alessandro, saint patron of Bergamo.
Of artistic importance in Città bassa are:
- Teatro Donizzetti. The teather takes its name from the Italian composer Gaetano Donizzetti, born in Bergamo. Nowadays the theater hosts the Opera and the Drama season.
- Pinacoteca dell'Accademia Carrara (picture museum of Carrara academy), is currently closed for restoration and a selection of its paintings is exhibited in the Palazzo della Ragione in Città Alta.
- Galleria d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea (gallery of modern and contemporary art), known as GAMeC.