Romance, Venetian Style - Bergamo Città Alta
Bergamo is best known for its gorgeous Città Alta, or upper city, which is the city’s old historic town. The Citta Altà passed through the hands of several invaders after the collapse of the Western Roman Empire. After centuries of instability, it was conquered by the Republic of Venice in the 15th century, with the help of Bartolomeo Colleoni, a captain-general born in the Bergamo countryside who served the Venetian republic until his death.
The Venetian occupation brought a kind of stability to Citta Altà that it had not known for a long time. Stability, however, was not the only thing the Venetian Republic contributed to the city, as most of its beauty and architecture date back to the time of this occupation. The famous walls that surround Citta Altà were built by the Venetians in the 17th century. The beautiful Piazza Vecchia (old square), and the many winged lions found on the most important monuments are also part of the Venetian legacy that can still be vividly witnessed in the historic town. Interestingly enough, the Venetian occupation also marked the beginning of the Citta Bassa, or the lower city that spread out at the foot of the mountain, and that is considered the modern part of Bergamo.
There is nothing more wonderful and romantic than spending time strolling around and visiting the beautiful Citadel, standing in awe at the Palazzo della Ragione, and the Palazzo Nuovo (which is now a library), entering the Rocca castle and witnessing Venetian architecture first hand, and seeing all the stunning churches like the Bergamo Cathedral, the Battistero (Baptistry), the San Michele al Pozzo Bianco church, and the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore.
For those looking for more than incredible sights, there are also several museums like the Archaeological Civic Museum, the Caffi Natural Science Museum, and the Botanical garden, which bring knowledge and culture to visitors and locals.
Add to this the wide variety of delicious restaurants, and the unbelievable landscapes, and it is quite evident why Citta Alta is a favourite for couples - and any visitor - traveling through Italy. It is a magical place that perfectly juxtaposes beauty, history, gastronomy, culture, and romance into its whirlwind of sights and experiences; and a place you cannot die without seeing.
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