If you enter the Città Alta (upper town) from Largo Colle Aperto you will go through a covered passageway into Piazza Cittadella, one of the most important squares in Bergamo’s history.
It was built in the middle of the 14th century by Bernabo Visconti, a member of the powerful family from Milan that ruled Bergamo for 70 years. It was designed to be part of the fortifications of the city and is believed to be on the site of a previous Roman structure.
A central pathway, as pictured above, takes you diagonally across the square, where despite modifications over the centuries and the most recent restoration work in 1959, you still have the feeling of being inside the walls of a medieval castle.
Under the porticos on the left hand side markets are occasionally held with stalls selling souvenirs, paintings and jewellery, while on the right hand side you will see the Command post (pictured left) for the Carabinieri officers who guard the Città Alta.
Piazza Cittadella is now also home to two of Bergamo’s prestigious museums.
The Museo Archeologico (Archaeological Museum) houses many prehistoric, Roman and early Christian finds.
The Enrico Caffi Museo Civico di Scienze Naturali (Enrico Caffi Civic Natural Sciences Museum) has among its exhibits the skeleton of a giant mammoth and the fossil of an ancient flying reptile.
Leave the square through an archway under the Torre della Campanella to pass into Piazza Mascheroni, which will lead you further into the Città Alta.
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