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Bergamo is one of the richest and most elegant cities in Italy. The splendour of the city is in large part thanks to the domination of Venice, who ruled the city from the beginning of the 15th century until the end of the 18th century. The Venetians also constructed the city walls around the centre. The upper city is easy to reach with the funicolar railway – and its main square – the Piazza Vecchia – hosts the most important religious and civic buildings as well as forming the focus for most of the main commercial and historic streets. Another funicolar railway – built in the beginning of the 20th century – leads up to the San Vigilio hill, from which you can enjoy a marvellous view of the city and the Lombard plain. The heart of the city lies in the less tourist lower town, where 18th- and 19th-century buildings are grouped in a semi-circle around the city’s hill.
Bergamo is the perfect city to enjoy a nice weekend or a longer stay. Just walking around the city center and finding a nice café to enjoy a good cup of coffee is relaxing itself. If you however are interested in one of the many galleries, then Galleria d´Arte Moderna e Contemporanea and Accademia Carrara is worth paying a visit to. If you love culture, you have come to the right city!
Bergamo cuisine is extremely rich and with a high calorific value. Many dishes are meat based and you should at the very least try the “Casoncelli alla bergamasca” (homemade pasta parcels filled with beef meat, salami, amaretto biscuits and pears in a butter sauce) and polenta e brasato (braised beef with herbs). Typical cake - polenta e osei - is based on maize flour as well. The local Wine is the ValCalepio (DOC) produced in the surroundings of the Iseo Lake.
If you love fashion, Bergamo is the place to go. Look at the people – they are so chic! In fact, in this city you’ll find boutiques and shops of all kinds. The main shopping streets are in the Città Bassa: via XX Settembre, via Sant’Alessandro, via Torquato Tasso, Viale Papa Giovanni XXIII, via Giorgio Paglia. The must-go shop is Petronio (via Antonio Locatelli, 2), both for men and women. In the città Alta there are some nice shops in via Colleoni. In the city centre there is also one of the best Italian department stores: Coin, in via Zambonate. Just outside of the city, there is Italy’s largest shopping center. The Orio Commercial Center – opposite the airport - has more than 200 stores to choose from among restaurants, bars, a grocery store, and great views. Orio Center is open everyday. If you are still hungry for more, remember that Milan is a shopping paradise and is only about an hour away by bus, train, or car. Aside from clothing, you will find many boutiques and great pastry and food shops throughout the city. Bergamo is particularly known for its sweet cakes and delicacies in the pastry stores. Try, for instance, the Panificio Tre soldi and Mimì, la casa dei sapori, the first in Lower Town and the other in via Colleoni - Upper Town.
Bergamo and its province: a landscape to be visited, yes, but above all a land to be enjoyed. If you are interested in Art you’ll find important museums, which hold frequent and innovative exhibitions. If instead you love Music, there are many festivals that have become renowned worldwide. Bergamo also offers the opportunity to attend or even participate in many Sporting Events. And finally, there are plenty of markets selling local food specialities and opportunities for tasting products. What are you waiting for? You can look forward to an entire year of events in Bergamo.
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