Bergamo Bergamo boasts a long history: made great by the Lombards in the early Middle Ages, it is known as la Città dei Mille (Town of the Thousand) because of the contribution made by its volunteers during the Risorgimento uprisings led by Giuseppe Garibaldi.
The Renaissance Venetian walls divide Bergamo into Città Bassa (Lower Town) and Città Alta (Upper Town), a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2017. The two halves of the city are connected to each other by long, narrow stairways and cable railways.
The Upper Town, of medieval origin, is surrounded by ramparts erected in 1500 (during Venetian rule, after the Duchy of Milano had been defeated) aimed at making Bergamo an impregnable fortress. Bergamo Alta contains major monuments of historical interest, such as Palazzo della Ragione and the Campanone (Civic Tower) in Piazza Vecchia, the medieval clock tower which still tolls one hundred times at 10pm every night (in medieval times the sound announced the closing of the Venetian walls at night), the Botanical Garden and the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, which houses the tomb of the composer Gaetano Donizetti, born in this city.
The Lower Town, crossed by the Morla torrent, is also nicknamed "Borghi" because it developed from the union of 8 inhabited centers arranged along the communication routes which, descending from the Upper Town, led to the plain. This is why it is considered the most modern and urbanized area, where the institutions are located, easily reachable from the Porta Nuova railway station.
The province of Bergamo is also rich in natural beauties: from Lake Iseo, whose shores are shared with the Brescia province; to the Orobic mountains, ideal for skiing in winter and trekking in spring and summer; from walks in luscious woods, to visits to 3 of the Most Beautiful Villages ("Borghi") in Italy (Camerata Cornello, Gromo and Lovere).