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15 Essential Places to See in Bergamo, Italy

Bergamo is one of the wonders of the Lombardy region, Italy. It is located about an hour from Milan. Combining Milan and Bergamo is a great option for a 3-day getaway.

It is an old medieval city that personally reminded me of the medieval towns of Catalonia. Despite not being a very big city, there are many interesting places to visit. In its streets lies a very special charm that you cannot miss.

A great option is to visit Bergamo for 2 days staying 1 night. In this post I talk about what to see in Bergamo, some great accommodation options and I explain how to get there from Milan.

Essential Places to See in Bergamo, Italy


The city of Bergamo is divided into two parts; La Città Alta, the historic area of ​​the city, where the vast majority of interesting places to visit are located. And on the other side there is the Città Bassa. This second part of the city you will find the most modern area.

1. Piazza Vecchia

This beautiful medieval square is the perfect place to start getting to know the Città Alta. The square and the surroundings are the most beautiful part of Bergamo.

For many years, Piazza Vecchia was a place of political power. In it are some of the most emblematic buildings of the city. Currently, it is the most touristic area of ​​Bergamo. Full of terraces to have a drink and enjoy the good atmosphere surrounded by beautiful buildings.

2. The Civic Tower

The Civic Tower is located in this same square, it is also known as campanone. Its name comes from the fact that inside it is the largest bell in Lombardy. This building was built between the 11th and 12th centuries, when aristocratic families competed to build the tallest tower in the city.

At 10 p.m. the bells ring 100 times to follow a beautiful tradition: in the past they reminded the inhabitants that they closed the gates of the city and over the years it has continued to be a symbol of the city.

Essential Places to See in Bergamo, Italy

3. The Fontana Contarini

Right in the center of Piazza Vecchia you will find a beautiful fountain adorned by lions. This fountain was made in honor of Alvise Contarini, mayor of the Republic of Venice. During the Risorgimento the fountain was removed and a monument honoring Garibaldi was placed in its place. Years later, the fountain was returned to its original place and the monument to Giribaldi was moved to its current location in the Città Bassa.

4. The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, one of the essential places to see in Bergamo

In Bergamo, as in any Italian city/town, you will not lack religious places to visit. The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore is the Duomo of Bergamo and an essential thing to see in the city.

It is located in Piazza del Duomo. It is a Romanesque-style basilica built in the year 1137.

Its exterior attracts attention and has many details to contemplate. From the details of the lions at the base of the columns of the entrance portico, the portico itself to the balcony of the apse of Santa Maria.

Essential Places to See in Bergamo, Italy

Inside you will find that its original Greek cross floor plan has been maintained, with a new one and two corridors divided by pilasters and culminating in an apse.

The interior decoration is practically baroque. It was carried out in the 17th century and some tapestries that decorate the walls stand out. You'll also find the tomb of the composer Gaetano Donizetti, a Baroque confessional sculpted by Andrea Fantoni, and a 14th-century crucifix that crowns the balustrade of the presbytery.

5. The Meridian

One of the things that goes unnoticed in Bergamo is the Meridiana. It is a celestial calendar that also acts as a sundial.

6. The Duomo of Bergamo

The Duomo is very close to the Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore and because of this the Duomo goes a bit unnoticed. It is a small Duomo dating from the 5th century. It is beautiful on the outside, but the chapels inside are very striking.

7. La Cappella Colleoni, one of the most beautiful places to see in Bergamo

Right next to the Basilica is this little chapel, it almost looks like the same building because they are all attached to each other. This small chapel was built between 1472 and 1476.

It is the mausoleum of Bartolomeo Colleoni, an important condotieri, and his daughter, who were members of one of the most important families in Bergamo. They say that touching the three testicles of the banner that is on the fence brings luck.

Essential Places to See in Bergamo, Italy

8. Climb the Gombito Tower

This tower of medieval origin was built in the year 1200 to watch over the city. Admission is free and to reach the top you will have to climb almost 200 steps. The effort is worth it because from above you will have spectacular views of the city.

9. The Angelo Mai Civic Library

If you've read any of my articles before, you've probably already realized that I'm a library geek. I love reading and whenever I can I visit the libraries of the places I visit. The Bergamo library is one of the most beautiful libraries I have visited. It was founded in the year 1760 by Giuseppe Alessandro Furietti in the Palazzo Nuovo in Bergamo. The building is spectacular both outside and inside.

10. The Castello di San Vigilio

To get to the Castel di San Vigilio you must take the San Vigilio funicular. The trip costs 1.30 euros per person. From there you will have spectacular views of the Città Alta.

The Castello di San Vigilio has been the residence of the various lords of Bergamo for centuries. Since its construction it has always been a symbol of power for the city of Bergamo. In addition, being 496 meters high, it has also played a strategic role in case of enemy attacks. It is possible to visit the outer ruins of the castle.

Essential Places to See in Bergamo, Italy

11. The Palazzo della Ragione

The palazzo della Ragione, also known as Palazzo Vecchio, is one of the oldest buildings in Bergamo. This palace was built almost a thousand years ago to host the public assemblies of the city.

Currently this beautiful Palace is used to exhibit works of art and sporadic exhibitions.

12. The convent of San Francesco

This former convent is one of the most beautiful places to see in Bergamo. Admission is free and you can also visit the cloister. The most charming part of the convent. From the cloister you have beautiful views of the city and the Alps.

13. The Caduti Tower

It is one of the most essential monuments to see in the Città Bassa. It was built in the patriotic wave after the First World War, in honor of the fallen Bergamo and to consolidate unitary nationalism.

14. The Accademia Carrara

If you want to enjoy art in Bergamo, a good option is the Accademia Carrara. This museum was founded by the patron Giacomo Carrara himself and opened its doors in 1793. An art academy was also created which is still preserved today.

Inside you will find works from various periods and artists; Botticelli, Canaletto, Jandinsky, Boccioni, among others.

15. The Donizetti Theater

The Donizetti Theater is an impressive building in Bergamo that deserves to be visited (at least from the outside at least). It is also known as the Teatro Nuovo or Teatro Fiera.


Many stay in Milan and come to spend the day to visit Bergamo. Although if you have the option of spending a night in this city I recommend it. At night its streets have a very special charm.

We stayed in the hotel Bergamo Inn 15. It is a renovated hotel, with spacious and beautiful bedrooms. In addition, it is in the center. It's great!

Great options where to stay in Bergamo:


I hope you enjoy your trip to Bergamo a lot and that this article has been useful to you. You can continue reading many more related articles on the blog.

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A hug and see you soon!


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