Bergamo Introduction Walking Tour, Bergamo

Bergamo Introduction Walking Tour (Self Guided), Bergamo

The first thing you notice about Bergamo is topography. Situated at the foothills of the Italian Alps, in the Lombardy region of northern Italy, Bergamo has been divided into two parts, the Upper Town and the Lower Town (Città Alta and Città Bassa), since the 15th century. The flat Lower Town rises steeply to the Upper Town, perched on a picturesque hill's crest.

Historically, Lower Bergamo, in the valley, developed as a commercial hub, while Upper Bergamo was the seat of the ruling nobility and the heart of religious and cultural life. Today, the Upper Town (Città Alta) is home to famous landmarks such as the cherished Old Square (Piazza Vecchia) and the gazing heavenward Bergamo Cathedral (Duomo di Bergamo). Encircling the historic center Venetian Walls (Mura Veneziane di Bergamo) bear witness to Bergamo's fortified past; their weathered stones embrace centuries of resilience and fortitude.

Bergamo's history can be traced back to the pre-Roman era when Celtic tribes inhabited the area. The Romans later conquered the region and established a city called "Bergomum", in the 1st century BC.

The name "Bergamo" is believed to originate either from the Celtic word "berg," which means "fortification" or "abode", or the same Germanic word for "mountain." The latter, if paired with "heim", gives us the "mountain home". Over the centuries, Bergheim had evolved into Bergamo.

During the medieval period, the city emerged as an important commercial center. Throughout its history, Bergamo was ruled by various powers, including the Venetian Republic, the French, and the Austrians. In the 19th century, during the Italian unification process, Bergamo became part of the Kingdom of Italy.

Adorning the cityscape, the venerable 16th-century bastions of the Fortress of Bergamo (Rocca di Bergamo) stand as a sentinel of the past, guarding its secrets, while offering panoramic views of the city and the surrounding landscape. It also houses a museum exhibiting historical artifacts related to the Italian unification.

Enveloped in architectural opulence, the Colleoni Chapel (Cappella Colleoni) is an ornate ode to the indomitable spirit of its patron saints, Bartholomew, Mark the Evangelist, and John the Baptist. Amid the sacred treasures of faith, the nearby 12th-century Basilica of Saint Mary Major (Santa Maria Maggiore) reigns supreme.

The cobblestone lanes of Bergamo, where the echoes of centuries resonate, beckon travelers to embark on a journey through time. If you wish to lose yourself amid the labyrinthine alleys replete with stories and thus get closer to discovering the soul of Italy, this self-guided walk is for you.
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Bergamo Introduction Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Bergamo Introduction Walking Tour
Guide Location: Italy » Bergamo (See other walking tours in Bergamo)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 13
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.9 Km or 0.6 Miles
Author: nataly
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Rocca di Bergamo (Fortress of Bergamo)
  • Piazza Mercato delle Scarpe (Shoe Market Square)
  • Via Gombito (Gombito Street)
  • Torre del Gombito (Gombito Tower)
  • Lavatoio Pubblico (Public Wash House)
  • Fontana Contarini (Contarini Fountain)
  • Piazza Vecchia (Old Square)
  • Palazzo Della Ragione (Palace of Reason)
  • Campanone o Torre Civica (Civic Tower Big Bell)
  • Cappella Colleoni (Colleoni Chapel)
  • Santa Maria Maggiore (Basilica of St. Mary Major)
  • Duomo di Bergamo (Cathedral of Bergamo)
  • Mura Veneziane di Bergamo (Venetian Walls of Bergamo)
Rocca di Bergamo (Fortress of Bergamo)

1) Rocca di Bergamo (Fortress of Bergamo) (must see)

The Fortress of Bergamo is situated in the upper part of the city on the hill of Sant'Eufemia. It commands a view of the lower city and the surrounding plains to the south, while to the north, it overlooks the majestic Orobie mountains. The fortress is home to the Museum of the Nineteenth Century, which is part of the Bergamo History Museum network managed by the "Bergamo in history" foundation.

The construction of the fortress began in 1331, the same year Bergamo was donated to the King of Bohemia. It is believed that the structure was built upon a pre-existing Roman fortification. The works were carried out under the coordination of Guglielmo di Castelbarco, the king's vicar, and were later continued by the Visconti family. Azzone Visconti completed the fortress in 1336, adding fortification works to enhance its defensive capabilities against both external and internal enemies, as well as to suppress any potential rebellions.

The Rocca served its military function throughout various historical periods, including the Napoleonic era from 1797 to 1814 and the subsequent Austro-Hungarian rule from 1814 to June 8, 1859, when it was liberated by Garibaldi. The Austrians further strengthened the fortress around 1850. In 1927-1933, the complex underwent extensive restoration after being transferred from the state to the Municipality of Bergamo. The restoration aimed to preserve the fortress's original appearance and transform it into an ideal place for commemorating the history of the Risorgimento in Bergamo.

The square in front of the fortress serves as a venue for celebratory events. The elevated position of the Rocca, particularly the tower of the keep, offers a breathtaking 360-degree view of the plain and the Orobie mountains, attracting a significant number of tourists. Adjacent to the fortress is the Parco delle Rimembranze, which features tombstones and memorials of numerous military units that participated in the two world wars. Among the notable exhibits is a 75/18 self-propelled tank.
Piazza Mercato delle Scarpe (Shoe Market Square)

2) Piazza Mercato delle Scarpe (Shoe Market Square)

Shoe Market Square serves as an important road junction, connecting the lower and upper parts of the city, as well as being the arrival station for the funicular railway. In ancient times, it was a hub that connected roads coming from Venice in the east and Milan in the south. The square, which has an irregular shape, is the first point of interest for tourists who visit the historic part of the city, known as the Orobic city.

Overlooking the square is Rota Palace, later known as Suardi Palace, which was built in the early 14th century. This building holds great significance and, during the late Middle Ages, served as the consortium headquarters for butchers, shoemakers, and later became the arrival station for the funicular railway in 1887. As a result, it has become a central meeting point in the upper part of the city.

The palace was originally constructed by Guido Suardi in 1340. Today, only the Suardi family coat of arms above the central entrance and a small terrace supported by three unique-shaped corbels remain from its original structure. Several streets open up to the square. Beyond San Giacomo Street, there is a building on the corner with Gaetano Donizetti Street that features a sign above the entrance to a restaurant, adorned with a lowered arch and a painting by the Bergamo restorer Andrea Mandelli. This is followed by Gombito Street, which connects to the bustling tourist area of the city. On the wall of the next building, there is a display case housing a fresco by an unknown artist that underwent restoration in 1984 and 2008.

In the past, the square was supplied with water from the "Fonte Seca," which was fed by a cistern dating back to the 15th century. This space later became the location of a lottery bank and, in the 20th century, hosted private commercial activities.
Via Gombito (Gombito Street)

3) Via Gombito (Gombito Street)

Gombito Street derives its name from its historical significance as a crossroads. The name "Gombito" originates from the Latin term "compitum," meaning crossroads. During Roman times, this street served as the intersection between the decumanus maximus, formed by Gombito Street and Colleoni Street, and the cardo maximus, comprising S. Lorenzo Street and Mario Lupo Street

The medieval town of Bergamo was developed following the same urban plan as the Roman town, characterized by perpendicular streets known as "cardi" running from north to south and "decumani" running from east to west. This layout created a grid-like pattern that defined the city's structure.

Gombito Street itself is lined with elegant patrician buildings, adorned with architectural details and often featuring small shops at street level. The street leads to the magnificent Piazza Vecchia, one of the city's main squares. As visitors stroll along Gombito Street, they can appreciate the historical ambiance and architectural charm of the surrounding buildings, which serve as a testament to Bergamo's rich history and cultural heritage.

Exploring Gombito Street provides a glimpse into Bergamo's past, offering a journey through time from its Roman origins to the medieval period. The street's name and its significance as a crossroads reflect the historical importance of Bergamo as a thriving center of trade, culture, and urban development.
Torre del Gombito (Gombito Tower)

4) Torre del Gombito (Gombito Tower)

The Gombito Tower, an imposing structure, was constructed in the year 1200 and served as a symbol of power and military dominance during the conflicts between different factions within the city of Bergamo. Its primary function was to control access to the Old Square, the heart of Bergamo, from the roads leading in from the surrounding valleys. Today, the tower is owned by the Bergamo Administration and is open to the public during the spring and summer seasons, offering visitors a remarkable opportunity to behold the breathtaking views of the surrounding region.

Ascending the tower requires climbing 263 steps, but the effort is rewarded with an unparalleled panorama of the city. From the top of the tower, visitors can enjoy a fantastic 360-degree view of the cityscape, encompassing the plains, hills, and valleys. On particularly clear days, it is even possible to glimpse the skyline of Milan and the majestic mountains in the distance.
Lavatoio Pubblico (Public Wash House)

5) Lavatoio Pubblico (Public Wash House)

The Public Wash House located on San Lupo Street in the Upper Town of Bergamo, is a remarkable architectural gem. Built in 1881, it showcases an elegant design and features a long tank made of white marble, divided into different sections. The structure is covered by a graceful roof crafted from cast iron and metal slabs, adding to its aesthetic appeal.

From a functional standpoint, the Wash House is ingeniously designed. It incorporates a sophisticated water supply system, an overflow drain system, and a mechanism for discharging dirty water after washing. Additionally, it includes a gutter to collect water sprays generated during the washing process. These thoughtful features make the washhouse highly effective and efficient in its purpose.

During the time of its construction, Bergamo faced significant challenges in terms of hygiene. In 1884, a devastating cholera epidemic struck the city, and physicians attributed the spread of diseases such as typhus fever to the poor quality of water in the Upper Town. In response to these health concerns, the Bergamo Administration took decisive action and decided to construct multiple public washhouses. In addition to the one on San Lupo Street, similar washhouses were built on Boccola Street and in Borgo Canale.

The San Lupo Street Wash House remained operational until the 1950s, serving as a vital community resource for many years. Today, it stands as a precious testament to the past and is meticulously preserved by the authorities.
Fontana Contarini (Contarini Fountain)

6) Fontana Contarini (Contarini Fountain)

The Contarini Fountain is a magnificent architectural masterpiece that has a rich history and continues to captivate visitors with its beauty. Constructed in Zandobbio marble, the fountain features a main basin with an octagonal base, from which a jet of water gracefully flows. This central water jet serves as the focal point of the fountain, creating a soothing and mesmerizing effect.

The fountain is adorned with an array of ornamental statues that are symmetrically arranged. At the forefront, there are two small opposing sphinxes, each facing different directions. One sphinx looks towards the Reason Square, while the other faces the civic library. Positioned at the base of these sphinxes are small tanks that collect the flowing water, allowing visitors to drink from their mouths.

Flanking each of the small basins are two columns adorned with sculpted zoomorphic elements like snakes and lions. These intricate details add to the visual appeal of the fountain and showcase the artistry and craftsmanship of the sculptors involved in its creation.

On the sides left unguarded, equidistantly placed, stand two statues representing lions, symbolizing the Serenissima, the Republic of Venice, which once commanded the city of Bergamo. These statues pay homage to the historical significance of the region and its ties to the powerful Venetian Republic.

The fountain derives its name from Alvise Contarini, the mayor of the Republic of Venice. In 1780, upon leaving his post in Bergamo, Contarini gifted the fountain to the citizens. However, the fountain underwent significant modifications in 1858, altering some of its original features. This transformation aimed to update and improve the fountain's functionality.

During the Risorgimento in 1885, a period marked by the Italian unification movement, the Contarini Fountain was dismantled to make way for the monument dedicated to Giuseppe Garibaldi, a prominent figure in the struggle for Italian independence. However, a few decades later, at the beginning of the 20th century, the fountain was reassembled in its original location, while the monument to Garibaldi found its place in the Lower Town.
Piazza Vecchia (Old Square)

7) Piazza Vecchia (Old Square) (must see)

The Old Square is a captivating square situated in the upper part of Bergamo. Throughout many centuries, this square has served as the epicenter of political and civil power in Bergamo and remains a beloved meeting place for locals today. The history of Old Square traces back to ancient times, as it was built on the site of the city's Roman forum.

In the 11th century, numerous dwellings were erected on the square, but in the 13th century, a reclamation project commenced, resulting in the demolition of these structures. It was during the Middle Ages, particularly in the 12th century, that the square became the city center with the construction of Palace of Reason, which served as the seat of the Municipality. Over time, additional buildings were constructed around the square, primarily starting from the 15th century.

To the north of the square stands the New Palace, which currently houses the Angelo Mai Library. In the western section of the square, one can find Mayor's Palace, originally built in the 12th century as a residence for the Suardi family. Adjacent to Mayor's Palace stands the Civic Tower which dates back to the 11th and 12th centuries when it was constructed for the Suardi family. Today, the tower is part of the Bergamo History Museum and can be visited along with the Museum of the Sixteenth Century.

To the south of the square is the Palace of Reason, connected to the Mayor's Palace Big Bell by a portico. The Palace of Reason houses the Fresco Museum as well as various temporary art exhibitions. Next to Palace of Reason is the historic Caffè del Tasso, a renowned establishment that served as a base for the people who decided to follow Giuseppe Garibaldi in the Expedition of the Thousand in 1860.

At the center of Piazza Vecchia stands the stunning Contarini Fountain, constructed in 1780, adding to the square's charm and beauty. The fountain serves as a focal point and further enhances the atmosphere of this remarkable historical square in Bergamo.
Palazzo Della Ragione (Palace of Reason)

8) Palazzo Della Ragione (Palace of Reason)

The Palace of Reason is a historic building located in the city of Bergamo. Dating back to the 12th century, the palace stands between Old Suqare and Cathedral Square, serving as a dividing point between the two squares. Its construction took place between 1182 and 1198, a period when municipal institutions were emerging within the Holy Roman Empire.

Bergamo, in line with these developments, acquired its town hall, making it the oldest town hall in Italy. The Romanesque capitals on the south side of the building also date back to the 12th century, and construction likely took just over twenty years, aligning with the construction of the magnificent Marian basilica.

Throughout its history, the Palace of Reason remained the political center of the city. Even during the later period of the Republic of Venice in the 15th century, it primarily served as a judicial venue, hence its name Palace of Reason. Meanwhile, the rooms for city council assemblies were built on the opposite side of Old Square.

Originally, the main front of the building faced the basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. However, in 1462 and 1463, during the rule of the Venetian Republic, the facade was reoriented towards Old Square. The stairway leading to the entrance, which includes a loggia and provides access to the adjacent Palazzo dei Giuristi, was completed in the late summer of 1457.

In 1464, a significant addition was made to the new facade facing New Square. A large bas-relief featuring the Lion of San Marco, gilded on a blue background, was placed in an aedicule, valued by Filaret, likely originating from Milan. This addition further emphasized the influence of the Venetian Republic in Bergamo.
Campanone o Torre Civica (Civic Tower Big Bell)

9) Campanone o Torre Civica (Civic Tower Big Bell)

The Civic Tower, a historic monument in the city of Bergamo, is an integral part of the Bergamo History Museum network. The construction of the tower took place between the 11th and 12th centuries.

Originally used as a tower-house owned by the influential Suardi family, who belonged to the Ghibelline faction, the tower stood at a height of 37 meters. Over the years, it underwent small but continuous expansion interventions, typical of the Middle Ages, allowing it to reach its current height of 56 meters, making it the tallest tower in Bergamo.

From the top of the tower, visitors can enjoy panoramic views of both the upper and lower cities, the surrounding plains, and the mountainous Orobie Pre-Alps. The tower houses a set of three bells mounted on an iron framework.

The largest bell, known as "Big Bell," is the largest bell in Lombardy. Cast in 1656 by the Veronese bell-founder Bartolomeo Pisenti, it replaced the previous bells that had been damaged. The bell's casting process faced challenges, with the first two attempts resulting in an explosion of the mold in 1652 and the bell cracking after only a few months in 1653. The diameter of the bell measures 2.07 meters, and its weight is estimated to be around 5580 kg, approximately 300 kg heavier than the door. Tuned to the fundamental frequency of 440 Hz, the bell produces the note F#2 +20 cents. The bell is adorned with a rich Mannerist-style ornamentation and bears inscriptions in Latin both inside and outside the vase.

The middle bell, known as the mizzen bell, dates back to 1949 and was cast by Angelo Ottolina from Bergamo. Although it features a modern shape, the mizzen bell incorporates the original decorations. With a diameter of 1.15 meters and a weight of 915 kg, it produces the note E3 + 30 cents when tuned to the fundamental frequency of 440 Hz. Similar to the large bell, it exhibits notable Mannerist ornamentation.

The smallest and oldest bell was cast in 1474 by Gasparino da Vicenza. It has a diameter of 0.93 meters and weighs approximately 480 kg. Tuned to the fundamental frequency of 440 Hz, the bell produces the note G3# +20 cents.
Cappella Colleoni (Colleoni Chapel)

10) Cappella Colleoni (Colleoni Chapel) (must see)

The Colleoni Chapel is a remarkable Renaissance church located on the Piazza del Duomo in the upper part of Bergamo, adjacent to the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. It was commissioned by Bartolomeo Colleoni as his mausoleum and dedicated to St. John the Baptist. The project was designed by Giovanni Antonio Amadeo and construction took place between 1470 and 1476, although it was never fully completed and additional works were added later.

The initial supervision of the construction was entrusted to Alessio Agliardi, a close friend of Colleoni. Agliardi maintained communication between the two parties and obtained the necessary authorizations for the building. The actual construction of the monumental complex began in 1472 with the demolition of the sacristy of Santa Maria Maggiore and the adjacent portico.

Amadeo's architectural solution harmonizes with the neighboring basilica, as seen in the octagonal drum and the pinnacle of the lantern. The roof and the polychrome marbles chosen resemble the porch of Giovanni da Campione. This design choice highlights the mausoleum's characteristics while also allowing for liturgical celebrations to take place within.

The facade of the Colleoni Chapel is adorned with inlays and polychrome marble decorations featuring white, red, and black lozenges. Above the portal, there is a rose window surmounted by a statue, possibly originally made of metal, representing Colleoni as an idealized figure of a captain, a Roman emperor, and a connection to the patron saint of Bergamo, Saint Alexander of Bergamo. On either side of the statue are two medallions depicting Caesar and Trajan.

The roof consists of an octagonal drum resting on the loggia, and a segmented dome that culminates with a lantern housing the statue of the Madonna and Child. Within the drum, there is a small rose window aligned with the larger one below, containing the bronze serpent of Moses, symbolizing a continuity between the biblical figure and Colleoni. The interior of the chapel comprises a square-plan room and a smaller area with the presbytery positioned to the side.

Opposite the entrance, on the wall, lies the cenotaph of Bartolomeo Colleoni, who passed away on November 3, 1475. The pillars supporting the cenotaph feature lion heads at their bases. A first sarcophagus adorned with bas-reliefs depicting scenes from the crucifixion of Christ rests upon the pillars. Above it, there is a second sarcophagus with an unknown purpose, supported by three statues. These statues also feature bas-reliefs illustrating scenes of the Annunciation, the nativity of Christ, and the adoration of the Three Kings.
Santa Maria Maggiore (Basilica of St. Mary Major)

11) Santa Maria Maggiore (Basilica of St. Mary Major) (must see)

The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore is a significant church with a rich history. According to popular tradition, which is partially supported by documents, the church was constructed in response to a vow made by the citizens of Bergamo in 1133. They pledged to the Virgin Mary to protect the city from the devastating plague that was ravaging northern Italy during that time.

The southern entrance, known as the entrance of the "White Lions," bears an inscription stating that the church was founded in 1137. It was built on the site of an earlier 8th-century church dedicated to St. Mary, which itself stood atop a Roman temple dedicated to the Clemence.

The church faces the square known as Piazza Duomo, with its main facade originally connected to the Bishops' Palace, rendering it without an entrance. The external appearance of the Basilica has largely retained its Lombard Romanesque origins. Visitors can access the church through two entrances: one designed by Giovanni da Campione in 1353 and the other by Isabello's Porta della Fontana.

The main apse of the Basilica is adorned with a loggia topped by two friezes featuring geometric and vegetal patterns. It also possesses blind arcades with semi-columns, whose capitals predominantly depict vegetal themes. However, one capital stands out, as it is adorned with Angels blowing trumpets associated with the Last Judgment. The transept's apses mirror the structure of the main apse.

Noteworthy within the Basilica is Giovanni da Campione's porch, located in the left transept. This porch is supported by columns that emerge from lions sculpted in Veronese marble. The arch of the porch showcases a frieze depicting hunting scenes, while the vault is decorated with polychrome lozenges. A loggia houses statues of St. Barbara, St. Vincent, and St. Alexander. At its peak, there is a Gothic niche crafted by Hans von Fernach in 1403, featuring the Madonna with Child, flanked by St. Esther and St. Grata, created in 1398. Another porch, created by Giovanni da Campione, can be found in the right transept. It possesses a similar, though simpler, structure and is supported by columns adorned with lions sculpted in white marble. This porch showcases reliefs depicting Christ Crowned by Saints and the Birth of the Baptist.

Additionally, Isabello's Renaissance porch, characterized by a fresco attributed to Andrea Previtali, graces the lunette. The fresco portrays the Nativity of Mary, also known as Mary's Birth.
Duomo di Bergamo (Cathedral of Bergamo)

12) Duomo di Bergamo (Cathedral of Bergamo)

The Cathedral of Bergamo, also known as the Sant'Alessandro Cathedral, is the principal Catholic place of worship in the city of Bergamo and serves as the mother church of the diocese. Originally dedicated to San Vincenzo, the cathedral changed its title when the church of Sant'Alessandro, the city's oldest church dedicated to the saint, was demolished in 1561 to make way for the construction of the Venetian wall.

The cathedral's history has been the subject of speculation and controversy in recent centuries due to the scarcity of archaeological findings and written sources predating the medieval era. However, during restoration work that commenced in 2004, Roman-era remains were discovered, providing precise insights into the succession of buildings in the area and the urban layout surrounding the cathedral. These findings unveiled different layers corresponding to different historical periods. The oldest layer revealed the presence of an initial paleo-Christian place of worship dating back to the 5th century, whose existence was previously only a hypothesis.

The exterior of the Sant'Alessandro Cathedral features a 19th-century facade made of white Botticino marble. Facing Piazza del Duomo and perpendicular to the rear facade of the Palazzo della Ragione, the cathedral's facade construction began in 1866 and was only completed in 1889, albeit with some missing decorative elements initially envisioned in the original project designed by Angelo Bonicelli in 1878-1879.

The facade is preceded by a staircase made of red Boveno granite and features a lower portico with three arches, each supported by pillars. The two lateral bays of the portico are adorned with internally frescoed small domes surmounted by bronze statues. The central archway contains two medallions depicting Saints Peter and Paul by Luigi Pagani, while a larger statue of Saint Alexander by Paolo Sozzi rests above. The two statues placed on the side compartments represent the theological virtues Faith and Hope and are the work of Louis Pagani.

At the crossing, the cathedral's dome rises and was completed in 1829. The dome features a tall drum with quadrangular windows and a copper roof topped by a gilded statue of Sant'Alessandro vexillifero, sculpted by Carlo Broggi in 1851. To the left of the apse stands the bell tower, which was built in 1690 and raised in 1850.

The area beneath the portico of the Palazzo della Ragione provides access to an archaeological site showcasing the various historical periods of the basilica, starting from the early Christian era.
Mura Veneziane di Bergamo (Venetian Walls of Bergamo)

13) Mura Veneziane di Bergamo (Venetian Walls of Bergamo)

The Venetian walls of Bergamo are a remarkable architectural marvel dating back to the 16th century. These walls have remained remarkably well-preserved over the centuries, as they were spared from the ravages of war. The construction of the walls included 14 bulwarks, 2 floors, 32 sentry boxes (only one of which has survived), 100 gun openings, two powder magazines, and four gates (Sant'Agostino, San Giacomo, Sant'Alessandro, and San Lorenzo, also known as Garibaldi Gate).

In addition to these features, there were numerous military passages and exits, some of which have been lost to memory. One such example is the Gate of the Lower Pantano, which dates back to the 13th century and served as a connection to Borgo Canale Street. Another, the Gate of the Upper Pantano, provided access to the upper part of the Visconti Citadel but has since disappeared. Externally, the ramparts give the city the appearance of an impregnable fortress. However, since their construction in the late 16th century, the emergence of cannons with parabolic bombardment rendered them obsolete as a defensive structure.

Since July 9, 2017, the Venetian walls of Bergamo have been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These walls define the old town, also known as the upper historic center. Originally built to protect the city from the Republic of Milan and France during the decline of Venice's control over maritime trade, the walls now serve as a symbol of Bergamo's rich history.

Walking alongside the walls and through the surrounding parks allows visitors to immerse themselves in the fairytale-like atmosphere of Bergamo's upper town.