27th April 2014 will remain a historic date in the world, in Italy and above all Bergamo province: it is the date of the canonisation of Pope John XXIII, who came from Sotto il Monte, a town located 18 km from Bergamo. He was elected Pope in 1958, and in less than five years of papacy, he successfully launched an evangelical renewal of the Catholic Church. Notable were his convocation of the Second Vatican Council on October 11, 1962 and his encyclical “Pacem in Terris” during the Cold War, for which he was awarded the Balzan Award for Peace. Saint John XXIII died in Rome on June 3, 1963. Beatified by Pope John Paul II on September 3, 2000, he was proclaimed saint on April 27, 2014.
Bergamo, located only 50 km far from Milan, is an excellent starting point to let people visit Expo Milano in 2015. Expo Milano is a non-commercial Universal Exposition with the theme of Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life. Open from May 1 to October 31, 2015, the visitors will have the possibility to take a trip around the world, sampling the food and traditions of people from all over the globe. THE BRAND "IDEAS FOR EXPO. Emotions, Enthusiasm, Energy". The payoff "Emotions, Enthusiasm, Energy" has become a brand that Turismo Bergamo gives to anyone who wants to organize events that pay attention to the important themes of Expo Milano 2015. The brand will be exhibited in the ITALY PAVILION - Bergamo area, during the 6 months of EXPO Milano 2015.
Piazza Vecchia represents the core of Città Alta: it has been the heart of political power for centuries and it keeps being one of the most popular places for Bergamo’s citizens to spend some time with friends. Beauty is all around you if you have a seat at one of the square’s restaurants or cafes, having a drink, breakfast or even a romantic dinner. You can admire the building called “Palazzo della Ragione”, the oldest municipal seat in Lombardy, as well as the Torre Civica, a bell tower also called “Campanone”. In the middle of the square is located the Contarini Fountain, which was donated to the city by the chief magistrate Alvise Contarini in 1780, while on the opposite side of Piazza Vecchia you can see the Palazzo Nuovo (“New Palace”), which served as Bergamo’s Town Hall until 1873 and is today the seat of the Angelo Mai Library. The geometrical layout of the buildings around the square is so harmonic that when Le Corbusier visited Bergamo he said “you can’t move a single stone, it would be a crime”
Bergamo wouldn’t be the same without its impressive Venetian Walls. This spectacular circuit is over six km long: it’s the perfect place to take a romantic walk and enjoy wonderful sunsets, and it has been enclosing the beauties of the Upper Town for more than four centuries. The Walls’ priceless artistic and cultural value is also confirmed by their candidacy to become a Unesco World Heritage, a path taken in 2007 that has finally got to its final stage. They were built starting from 1561 by the Republic of Venice in order to face enemies attacks, but History was kind with them: maybe due to their stunning beauty, they never underwent any siege. That is why they remained almost intact to the present day. The Walls consist of 14 bastions, 2 platforms, 100 embrasures for cannons, 2 armouries, four gates, not to mention the underground structures featuring sallies, passages and tunnels: don’t miss the chance to walk inside the Walls and to visit the casemates of San Michele and San Giovanni!
This gallery hosts one of the richest collections in Italy with around 2,000 paintings from the 15th to the 18th century. The Accademia Carrara will remain closed for renovation work until the 2015, but a selection of the works are on display in the Palazzo della Ragione building in Upper town.
A symbol of the medieval city, the 52-metre high Civic Tower offers splendid views over Upper and Lower Bergamo. The Civic Tower bell sounds over 100 times at 10 pm every evening to signal the old curfew when the gates of the city were closed. Originally the residence of the Suardi-Colleoni families, the Palazzo del Podestà was the seat of the Podestà (Chief magistrate or Governor) from the 12th to the 15th century. Today it hosts the History Museum of Veneto Age.
GAMeC – Modern and Contemporary Art Gallery of Bergamo was founded in 1991. The building it is housed in was formerly a convent built in the fifteenth century that has been completely renovated. The purpose underlying the creation of GAMeC, which is partnered by the Accademia Carrara and the Accademia Carrara di Belle Arti, was to form a pole in the city dedicated to art.
Fortified building which hosts the Museum of History IX century. You can buy a museum card which includes the visit at Museo Donizettiano, Museum of history XVII century (Rocca), Historical Museum (former S. Francesco cloister), Campanone and Museum of the Veneto Age (Palazzo del Podestà).
The Pope John XXIII, proclaimed Saint on April 27th, 2014 came from Sotto il Monte, a town 18 km far from Bergamo. The beloved places of the Pope are within a short distance: his birth-house, the Church of Santa Maria in Brusicco, where he was baptized, his summer-residence Cà Maitino, now transformed into a museum, the parish church, the Garden of Peace and the parish crypt.
Two quite unknown lakes where nature and history have created an amazing variety of natural beauties. They offer plenty of chances for fan of water sports. There are also interesting villages that are worth a visit like Lovere or Sarnico. In close proximity, you’ll find the Val Calepio where is produced the ValCalepio wine. Approximately 30 km from Bergamo.
Crespi d'Adda is a unique example of industrial architecture that has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The village consisted of a factory (a cotton mill), the castle of the owner, worker's houses, a cemetery, a wash house and a church: it is a XIX century village, built by the Crespi family of industrialists.
A historic restaurant which overlooks the enchanting piazza Vecchia in the upper city. Its spacious vaulted rooms once charmed the great architect Le Corbusier. It has been a meeting point for intellectuals, painters and poets ever since. Fish and meat-based menu.
BERGAMO FILM MEETING. March, 7 - 15. Piazza Libertà Auditorium - Bergamo. Around 125 feature films from national and international productions. www.bergamofilmmeeting.it PALMA IL VECCHIO. Gazing at beauty. March 13 – June 21. Carrara Accademy / GAMeC. In occasion of the Universal Exposition 2015 in Milan, the first large retrospective exhibition on Palma il Vecchio. www.palmailvecchio.it BERGAMO JAZZ. March, 15 - 22. Donizetti Theatre – Bergamo. Among the guests of the XXXVI edition of the festival are Joshua Redman, Trilok Gurtu, Dave Douglas with Tom Harrell and Gianluca Petrella. www.teatrodonizetti.it MEZZAQUARESIMA - MID-LENTEN FESTIVAL. March, 22. Bergamo, lower town. A procession of floats and the traditional burning of an effigy of an old lady, which is associated to a public problem and which is burned to defeat it. www.ducatodipiazzapontida.it
CORY ARCANGEL - THIS IS ALL SO CRAZY, EVERYBODY SEEMS SO FAMOUS: From April, 1 to June, 28. Palazzo della Ragione, Upper Bergamo. www.gamec.it TOUR PER INDIVIDUALI - TOURS FOR INDIVIDUALS: from April to October. Bergamo. Guided tours of two hours in Italian, English, German and French. www.bergamoguide.it REOPENING OF THE CARRARA ACCADEMY. April, 23. One of the most important art gallery in Italy (The Carrara Accademy) reopens after 7 years of restoration works. www.accademiacarrara.bergamo.it SOAP BOX RALLY: April, 12. Upper Bergamo. The oldest and craziest race of wooden machines in the world since 1955. www.teamitalia.com MAGIE AL BORGO SAN GIORGIO - MAGIC IN BORGO SAN GIORGIO: April, 24 - 26. Costa di Mezzate. International festival which unites expressive art, street theatre, circus, music, history and gastronomy. www.magiealborgo.blogspot.it INTERNATIONAL PIANO FESTIVAL OF BRESCIA AND BERGAMO: from April, 25 to June, 11. Donizetti Theatre – Bergamo. It is one of the main world events dedicated specifically to the piano, as a solo instrument and also as an important part of a great orchestra. www.festivalpianistico.it INTERNATIONAL JAZZ DAY: April, 30. Bergamo. www.jazzday.com
GRAN FONDO INTERNAZIONALE FELICE GIMONDI - FELICE GIMONDI INTERNATIONAL GRAN FONDO: May, 10. Bergamo and province. A competition that each year sees thousands of cycling enthusiasts, both Italian and foreign, take part. There are three routes to choose (89.4 km, 128.8 km and 162.1 km) in discovery of the Bergamask valleys. www.felicegimondi.com FESTIVAL DELL'AMBIENTE - FESTIVAL OF THE ENVIRONMENT: May, 29 - 31. The city's most ecological festival animates the centre with activities, exhibitions, shows, exhibitors, meetings - all with a strictly "green" theme. www.associazionefestivaldellambiente.it LO SPIRITO DEL PIANETA - THE SPIRIT OF THE PLANET: May, 29 - June, 14. Trade Fair Centre of Chiuduno. Festival of indigenous people from all over the world. www.lospiritodelpianeta.it NOTTE BIANCA DELLO SPORT - WHITE NIGHT OF SPORT: May, 30. Bergamo. From 6 pm to 1 am Bergamo will become a giant open-air gym. Various places in the city centre will come alive with a wide variety of sports. www.prolocobergamo.it BERGAMO HISTORIC GRAN PRIX - BERGAMO HISTORIC GRAND PRIX: May, 31. Bergamo - Walls circuit. An international event that hosts classic cars, including F1, built before 1975, which challenge each other in an exciting race of 6 sessions and are then displayed in Piazza Cittadella. www.bergamohistoricgranprix.com
ART 2 NIGHT: July, 11. Bergamo. a "white" night dedicated to art and the discovery of unique tours and Bergamo's least known art works. www.prolocobergamo.it UN TUFFO A BERGAMO - DIVING IN BERGAMO: July, 12. Bergamo - Italcementi Swimming Pool. Bergamo hosts the European Juniores Dive Competition with 250 divers. The opening on the 30th of june with an arobatic dive show into a swimming pool installed in the middle of the town at Vittorio Veneto square. www.discoverbergamo.it. WORLD LEAGUE DI PALLANUOTO - WATERPOLO WORLD LEAGUE. Bergamo - Italcementi Swimming Pool.
SARNICO BUSKER FESTIVAL: Sarnico - lake Iseo. Street artists' festival. www.prolocosarnico.it MARIO STOPPANI MEMORIAL: Lovere - Lake Iseo. An air show. www.mariostoppani.it SAINT ALESSANDRO FEAST: Bergamo. Many shows for the Saint Patron of Bergamo feast. www.comune.bergamo.it LA NOTTE DEL LEMINE / NIGHT IN LEMINE: Almenno San Bartolomeo and Almenno San Salvatore. Theatre, music, dance and flavours of the area.
NOTTI DI LUCE - Nights of Lights: Bergamo. The city is playing host to great music and wonderful plays with spectacular lighting. www.nottidiluce.com I MAESTRI DEL PAESAGGIO - International meeting of the landscape and garden: September, 5 - 20. Bergamo. Workshops, labs and meeting with landscape designers connected to gardening. Piazza Vecchia also become an exquisite garden. www.arketipos.org FOOD FILM FEST: September, 15 - 20. Bergamo. International food and cinema festival of Bergamo. www.montagnaitalia.com DIMORE DESIGN: Bergamo. Designers reinterpret the interiors and the exteriors of some Bergamo's historic houses. www.dimoredesign.it CITY OF BERGAMO MID MARATHON: September, 27. Bergamo. www.lamezzadibergamo.it CITY OF BERGAMO INTERNATIONAL ORGAN-FESTIVAL: from September to October, Bergamo. 6 charming locations, 7 organs used and famous musician. www.organfestival.bg.it
BERGAMO SCIENZA / BERGAMO SCIENCE: Bergamo and province. Festival dedicated to science features exhibitions, interactive workshops, shows and conferences. www.bergamoscienza.it ALTA QUOTA / HIGH ALTITUDE: October 9 - 11. Bergamo trade fair center. Trade fair dedicated to the mountains. www.alta-quota.it SAINT JOHN XXIII FEAST: Sotto il Monte Giovanni XXIII. Many initiatives for the Saint Pope John XXIII feast. www.jxxiii.it MERCATANTI IN FIERA / TRADER'S FAIR: Sentierone-Bergamo. Typical products and handcrafts from all over the world. www.confesercenti.bergamo.it
Orio al Serio International airport is located only 5 km away from Bergamo, and 45 km from Milan. Info: www.orioaeroporto.it. An Airport Bus/Shuttle goes to the city centre every day from 6 am to midnight and departures every 20 minutes. There are special tickets and fares for tourists: 3-Zone-Ticket (C fare) – €2,20 (single trip Bergamo-airport and the whole urban zone including funiculars – within 90 minutes from the validation) 24 hr ticket with luggage – € 5,00 (one return trip Bergamo –airport and the whole urban zone including funiculars and tram– on the day of its validation) 72 hr ticket with luggage - € 7,00 (one return trip Bergamo –airport and the whole urban zone including funiculars and tram – on the 3 days after its validation)
The Gulliberg tourist train operates a return journey service between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Sundays and Bank Holidays between the upper funicular station and Colle Aperto, along the Viale delle Mura. Single tickets cost €2 and return tickets €3, and can be purchased at the upper funicular station or from the driver. Adults can accompany children aged under 12 free of charge (one child per adult).
Bergamo card is a tourist pass comprising a series of services: use of ATB and TEB public transport, free or reduced access to museums and monuments, and several reductions in shops and accommodation facilities in Bergamo and its province. It is available the 24 (€ 10,00), 48 (€15,00) and 72 (€20,00) hours card.
From the airport to the hotel, the reception to the city center and the upper town to the train station. City moving is a minibus service making your travel around Bergamo more comfortable. You can visit the city quickly and easily and return to your hotel at the end of the day. Take it easy: now there’s city moving.