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.


Grand 12th century palazzo is the focal point of the city

Not to be missed in Bergamo's Città Alta...

PALACE OF REASON (Palazzo della Ragione)

The Palazzo della Ragione looks over the busy piazza
The 12th century Palazzo della Ragione is an imposing presence at the southern end of Piazza Vecchia and perhaps the most frequently pictured building of the Città Alta (upper town).
The ground floor walls of the Palazzo were removed in the 15th century, allowing a view through the arches into Piazza Duomo. This provides a glimpse of the sumptuous façade of the Colleoni Chapel, which is in stark contrast to the dark stone of the Palazzo.
It is claimed court cases used to be heard under the open arcades that now form the ground floor of the Palazzo and that prisoners were put on show there for the Bergamaschi to see.
A grand covered stairway, which was added in 1453, rises from Piazza Vecchia to the first floor of the Palazzo and 13th and 14th century frescoes, taken from old churches and houses in the surrounding area, decorate the upper hall.
The carving of the lion over the central window was added to the exterior of the building in the 18th century, a symbol of the power once held by the Venetians over Bergamo .
Visitors this summer will be able to see the inside of the Palazzo and also enjoy some of the finest paintings from the prestigious Accademia Carrara collection.
The palazzo's elegant covered staircase
The Accademia’s neoclassical building in the Città Bassa (lower town) is currently closed for restoration, but a selection of the gallery’s most important works have been put on show in the Truss Room of the Palazzo.
The exhibition ‘Vincere il Tempo’ (literally Winning Time) will run throughout the rest of 2011. It follows the collecting history of the Accademia, which was begun by Giacomo Carrara in the middle of the 18th century and has since received donations from other collectors.
Along with works by Raphael, Titian and Mantegna, masterpieces by local artists such as Giovan Battista Moroni, Fra’ Galgario and Vincenzo Foppa are on display.
The entrance to the exhibition is up the covered staircase and along the little bridge that leads to the top floor of the Palazzo.

Opening hours: From June to September, Tues–Sun 10.00 – 21.00 (Sat till 23.00); from October Tues–Fri 9.30 – 17.30; Sat and Sun 10.00 – 18.00. Closed Mondays.
The ticket price is €5, but there are reductions for groups and families. For more information visit www.accademiacarrara.bergamo.it or telephone +39 035 399677.

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