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.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Old Bergamo palaces line Via Pignolo

The elegant, winding Via Pignolo has some of the oldest architecture in Bergamo’s Città Bassa (lower town).
The easiest way to explore it is to walk downhill after leaving the Città Alta (upper town) through the Porta Sant’Agostino.
Germanic touch on Via Pignolo
Via Pignolo derives it name and coat of arms, with the symbol of the pine cone, from its ancient origins as a pathway through woodland.
It became the route into the Città Alta for travellers arriving from Venice and important buildings were built along it between the 15th and 18th centuries.
Palaces with imposing facades alternate with older, more modest buildings with 15th and 16th century doorways, columns and porticos.
Near the Piazzetta del Delfino look out for an interesting little house with a jutting out upper storey, reminiscent of medieval German architecture.
After that, on your left you will come to the church of Sant’Alessandro della Croce. Behind the white marble façade, which was added later, is a 17th century building with many early 16th century paintings by artists including Lorenzo Lotto, Andrea Previtali and Giovan Battista Moroni.
On your right at number 80 look out for the late 15th century Palazzo Tasso where the poet Torquato Tasso stayed on his two visits to Bergamo .
Close by at number 76 is the 16th century Palazzo Bassi-Rathgeb (now housing il Museo Bernareggi), whose doors and windows are decorated with marble carvings.
At number 72 the Palazzo Grataroli can be traced back to at least 1515, as the date is carved on a pedestal in its courtyard.
Church of Sant' Alessandro
della Croce
Further down you will come to the small church of San Bernardino in Pignolo, which contains an altarpiece by Lorenzo Lotto depicting the Virgin Mary with child and saints.
Via Pignolo continues to wind downhill to Piazzetta Santo Spirito, where the church of Santa Spirito , an important religious Renaissance building, also has an altarpiece by Lorenzo Lotto in one of its chapels depicting the Virgin Mary.
Via Pignolo continues to descend to Porta Sant’Antonio, which marks the beginning of Bergamo’s Borgo Palazzo.

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