Bergamo’s patron saint, Sant’ Alessandro, will be honoured by a festival in the city beginning on Thursday, August 26.The start of the annual event commemorates the date in 303 that he was martyred by the Romans for refusing to renounce his Christian faith. It is believed Sant’ Alessandro was a devout citizen who had continued to preach in Bergamo, despite several narrow escapes, but was eventually caught and suffered decapitation.
A series of religious, cultural and gastronomic events will takes place in his name over several days throughout the city, which will be decorated with festive lights.
Porta Sant’ Alessandro (pictured), which leads from the Città Alta (upper town) to Borgo Canale and San Vigilio, was built in the 16th century. It was named after a fourth century cathedral that had originally been dedicated to the saint but was later demolished.
Near the gate you will find a column with a plaque describing the structure of the ancient cathedral, which was originally built on the saint’s burial spot.
Porta Sant’ Alessandro was built in grey stone topped with yellow. It went on to become a checkpoint manned by customs officers, who would tax farmers from outside the city who were bringing in vegetables, eggs, chickens and wine to sell to residents of the Città Alta.