Bergamo is an ancient town just 40kms north of Milan in the state of Lombardy, north Italy. The pleasant Citta Bassa, the low town, is much, much newer than Citta Alta, distantly visible.
Bergamo main attraction, Capella Colleoni
Capella Colleoni, very ornate, far left; Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, simpler and near left; battistero (the baptistry), the small central octagon; the Duomo is just visible immediately on the right. They’re all in Piazza Duomo.
The mortuary Chapel of Colleoni (1472) sports the most dramatic exterior of this cluster of religious structures, a Renaissance masterpiece that is loaded with reliefs, sculptures and other artistic flourishes. The inside, however, though well worth a look, is small and lacks the wow factor of the neighbouring Basilica.
One of the fine marble friezes on the chapel’s outer wall.
Bartolomeo Colleoni was mercenery captain (condottiero) of a good family, born in Bergamo who eventually became a trusted commander of the Republic of Venice and was well respected by north Italian nobles as a powerful but honourable warrior, as well as an intelligent and charitable landowner. Just about the only disreptable act Colleoni appears to have been involved in was the grabbing and demolition of the Basilica’s sacristy – against the wishes of the clergy – to make way for this, his family chapel.
Inside the chapel.
Piazza Vecchia, Bergamo
Piazza Vecchia and the Palazzo della Ragione, headed by a Venetian lion emblem.
Adjacent to the Duomo is Piazza Vecchia, the old town square, a delightful space and the place to sit for a while with an invigorating drink after staggering from one mass of eye-stinging, pious bling to another.
The Rocca, castle, very little to see (including the view) so not much of an attraction. Boo.
Caio bello Bergamo! A small but worthy day trip.
Milan is the nearest big city and just 40 minutes away by train or an hour by car or bus at 60 kms on slow roads.
Lake Como is 124 kms away and takes up to an hour to get there by road, depending on traffic.