Bergamo Alta

This is an excerpt from the book “One Day in Bergamo Alta“ by Enrico Massetti.

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A preview of the book content

Bergamo Alta – Upper town

Bergamo Alta is a gem of medieval architecture, that has been preserved to the present days. It is very easily reached from Milan with the train.

Piazza Vecchia is the symbol of the city. Built in 1300, it reaches its actual structure during the Venetian domination. On the southern side of the square faces the Palazzo della Ragione, which is the symbol of the Communal Age; on the right side the Civic Tower (XII-XV) rises, well known as Il Campanone, and here there is also the antique Domus Suardorum (XIV-XV), that now is the seat of the University of Bergamo.

The northern side of the square is enclosed within a Palace built in the 1600s with a facade of white marble. Established as the seat of the Town Hall, today this structure hosts the Public Library “A. Maj” that holds about 500,000 volumes and preserves a precious “Tasso Collection.”

The beautiful Fountain, donated by the Venetian Podesta’, Alvise Contarini (XVIII), completes the spectacular view of the square.

Behind the Palazzo della Ragione, there is the Piazzetta del Duomo, where there are monuments of high relevance. The Duomo, designed by Filarete, was modified many times over the centuries. The decoration of the interiors was completed only at the end of ‘800.

Precious artistic pieces are the Chapel of the Crucifix that preserves a crucifix of ‘500 and the apse, where seven great canvases, out of all the Martirio di S.Giovanni Episcopo (S. Giovanni Episcopo’s Martyrdom), a work of G.B.Tiepolo can be found.


At Piazzetta Duomo, a marble polychrome porch with polychromatic lions by Giovanni da Campione signals the access to the Basilica di S.Maria Maggiore (XII). Inside, precious tapestries, a baroque confessional by Andrea Fantoni, Gaetano Donizetti and his Master Simone Mayr.

Of great value are the iconostases in carved and inlaid wood executed in the XIV, following Lorenzo Lotto drawings, by G.F. Capoferri and Giovanni Belli. Adjacent to the Basilica is the Cappella Colleoni (XV). Realized on G.B Amadeo project, this Chapel is the mausoleum of the famous condottiere Bartolomeo Colleoni.


Piazza Vecchia – (Old Square)


Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore


La Cappella Colleoni – Colleoni Chapel


Le mura venete – (Venetian Walls)

Porta San Giacomo
Porta San Giacomo

The Venetian Walls Gates (XVI)

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Where to stay in Bergamo

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William Dellorusso
Lombardia in Cucina: The Flavours of Lombardy

Milan-style risotto, pizzoccheri Valtellinesi, and pumpkin tortelli to start; casoeula, Milan-style cutlets, frogs stewed in tomato to follow, and to send, a slice of sbrisolona cake or panettone.
Lombardy surprises with the richness of its culinary traditions and natural ingredients, which modernity has barely affected.
"Milano in Cucina" captures this kaleidoscope of flavours, with contributions from some of the most celebrated chefs on the culinary scene, who pay homage to their territory, and whose skill is able to present a modern vision in keeping with the region's progressive spirit.

The Italian Academy of Cuisine
La Cucina: The Regional Cooking of Italy

Fifty years ago, a group of Italian scholars gathered to discuss a problem: how to preserve traditional Italian cooking. They formed the Italian Academy of Cuisine to document classic recipes from every region. The academy’s more than seven thousand associates spread out to villages everywhere, interviewing grandmothers and farmers at their stoves, transcribing their recipes—many of which had never been documented before. This is the culmination of that research, an astounding feat—2,000 recipes that represent the patrimony of Italian country cooking. Each recipe is labeled with its region of origin, and it’s not just the ingredients but also the techniques that change with the geography. Sprinkled throughout are historical recipes that provide fascinating views into the folk culture of the past. There are no fancy flourishes here, and no shortcuts; this is true salt-of-the-earth cooking. The book is an excellent everyday source for easily achievable recipes, with such simple dishes as White Bean and Escarole Soup, Polenta with Tomato Sauce, and Chicken with Lemon and Capers. For ease of use there are four different indexes. La Cucina is an essential reference for every cook’s library.

Milano in Cucina: The Flavours of Milan
The famous Risotto Alla Milanese gets its golden hue from the precious spice saffron. Legend has it that the dish came about when a Milanese painter decided to gild the risotto served at his wedding banquet with a harmless gold-colored dye. In Milan, they traditionally serve Risotto Alla Milanese with ossobuco (braised veal shank).
Traditionally made with raisins and candied citron, or with a creamy cream filling, the light, fluffy brioche-like bread called panettone may be tall or short, covered with chocolate or flavored with various liquors, but it’s always a symbol of the Christmas season.
With its hallmark domed shape, panettone graced Christmas tables in Milan since at least the 15th-century. Common knowledge claims its invention is from Milan. It is the most famous Christmas Lombardia food.

The Pax side of the Moon featuring Cesareo
Lombardia (Dicon tutti che sei mia) Quarantine Version - feat. Cesareo (Quarantine Version)

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