Bergamo's Piazza Vecchia is one of the classic piazza of Europe

Hotel Piazza Vecchia


Hotel Piazza Vecchia


Back in Lombardy

It has been a number of years since we have been in the Lombardy Region. In Bergamo we will be staying at the Hotel Gombit, which is located next to the 13th century Torre del Gombito in the old upper town of Bergamo. The four-floor, 13 room hotel is a member of the Design Hotels group.

Next Location

After a couple of days in Bergamo we will make the big drive down to the Crete Senesi are of Tuscany.



It is a long time coming, but we are looking forward to return to Bergamo in the Region of Lombardy. The  città alta is the historic old town, and that is quite the difference scene than the more modern section. Bergamo is the second most visited city in the Lombardy Region, with Milan being the most visited.

The upper town has Venetian walls.There is a funicuolar that leads up the hill.

From the 6th Century on, this was the location of the of the most important duchies in northern Italy. Later in the 11th Century, it also was part of the feud between the Guelph and Ghibelline factions. (That feud was all about the support for the Pope and the Holy Roman Emperor. The Hold Roman Empire started in the early middle ages and actually continued until it was dissolved in 1806. This included the Kingdom of Germany, the Kingdom of Burgundy and the Kingdom of Italy to name a few key areas. The Holy Roman Empire was not a centralized state, but rather individual entities that were governed by kinds, dukes, counts, bishops and abbots.

The Guelphs supported the Pope, they tended to come from wealth mercantile families. The Ghibellines, supporting the Holy Roman Emperor, came from families whose wealth came fromagricultural estates.

Piazza Vecchia

The real centre of the upper town is the Piazza Vecchia, lined with cafes and elegant architecture. This piazza shows Bergamo's history. Highlights include the Palazzo Nuovo (1611) which was started in 1611 but not finished until 1928!. Palazzo del Podestà was the home of the representative of Venice. Palazzo della Ragione should be a great photo site with its arches and columns which date back to the 12th century. The Torre del Campanone at night tolls the 10 pm curfew. It was built in the 12th century and in the 14th century was used as a jail. There is an elevator that takes visitors to the top.

Piazza Becchia is another scenic piazza in the city.

  • The Accademia Carrara, one of the most important art galleries in Italy.
  • The Teatro Donizetti is also noted as a must-see in the city.
  • Church of San Tomè, is called a Romanesque jewel.
  • Church of Santa Barbara houses important frescos by artists the likes of Lorenzo Lotto and Trescore Balneario.
  • The Castle of Cavernago is a powerful defensive structure, converted over the years into noble residences enlivened with frescoes.

Boroughs of Bergamo

Some of the borough are the villages of Lovere, Gromo and Camerata Cornello. The term, The Grande Bergamo, refers to the 34 villages that surround the city. Each with its own look.

Lovere - is on the shores of Lake Iseo, and has galleries (arcades), churches and palaces.

Gromo is a village that dates back to the Middle Age, and the slate roofs visually stand out.

Cluson datre back to the 15th Century. It has frescos and the XVI Century Astronomical Clock, still in perfecft conditions.

The lower town includes the modern town whre the locals take their traditional passeggiato and it also includes the Torre dei Caduti (Memorial Tower). One of the locations noted for photographs is to go to the propylaea of Porta Nuova, two Neoclassical buildings that stand on either side of the Viale Vittorio Emanuele.

Trescore Balneario, Via Suardi, 20 is the Cappella di Vila Suardi. This is a chapel beautifully decorated. Open every Sunday with visits from 3:00 pm to 3:45 pm.


Worth a visit, with its important Marian Sanctuary - dating from 1451 - and Pontida, the location of a Benedictine monastery where the Lombard municipalities met in 1167 to swear to defending their freedom against Federico Barbarossa.


Crespi d’Adda

Crespi d'AddaFounded at the end of 1800, this worker's town holds UNESCO status as a World Heritage Site.

A a small town built around an old, disused factory and homes, built for the factory workers at the time but still in use today. The Crespis at the time were textire industrialists. They gave their life to the concept of the ideal modern work city.

Beside the factory is a Medieval-style main villa, from the 14th Century. The tower is a symbol of the family's power. The workers’ houses are fifty English-inspired homes, lying to the east of the factory. They are lined on parallel streets, decorated in terra cotta, with details in cast iron and brick, each house is surrounded by lawn and gardens. 

The company town is considered one of the most complete and best-preserved of its kind in southern Europe; it can be visited with a guide or alone.