Bergamo’s beautiful upper town, the Città Alta (pictured above), is a magical place well worth visiting. Use this website to help you plan your trip to Bergamo in Northern Italy and find your way to some of the other lovely towns and villages in Lombardia that are perhaps less well known to tourists.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Step inside Santa Maria Maggiore

Monument to Donizetti
On a short visit to Bergamo you cannot hope to see everything. You will pass many fine buildings as you
walk around the Città Alta (upper town) but may feel you do not have the time to go inside.
I would suggest you make an exception with the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore in Piazza Duomo.
The basilica, which dates back to the 12th century, is considered to be one of the finest buildings in Lombardy and its interior, with its richly decorated cupola from the 16th century, does not let it down. There are some fine Flemish and Florentine tapestries and works of art.
At the back of the church is an elaborate white marble monument (above right) designed by Vincenzo Vela, marking the tomb of composer Gaetano Donizetti, who was born in Bergamo and returned to die in the city. The picture below shows detail on the monument. Nearby there is a monument to his teacher Simon Mayr, who was at one time 'maestro of the chapel 'in the basilica.
There is also an elaborately carved wooden confessional designed by Andrea Fantoni in 1704 and an altar rail with wood carvings made to the designs of Lorenzo Lotto.


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