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.


Lady Mary’s love of Lago d’Iseo

Lovere on Lago d'Iseo
One of the first travel writers to praise the beauty of Lago d’Iseo near Bergamo , was Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, who died 249 years ago today.
Lady Mary lived for nearly ten years in Lovere, a resort on the western side of the lake, during the later years of her life.
Perhaps the earliest female English travel writer, Lady Mary constantly praised Lovere as a holiday resort in her letters and diaries. She is reputed to have once declined an invitation to the Venice carnival saying: “There are plenty of things to do in this village, which, by the way, is one of the most beautiful that exists.”
Lady Mary travelled extensively at the beginning of the 18th century with her husband, who was appointed British ambassador to Turkey and wrote poetry and letters that established her literary reputation.
She became an advocate of inoculation against smallpox, having witnessed the practice on her travels.
But she left her husband in 1739 and went to live in Italy alone. It was on the advice of her doctor that she moved from Brescia to live in Lovere, where she bought an old palace. She spent happy years there designing her garden and reading the books her daughter sent out to her from England .
She enjoyed entertaining the local nobility and making the occasional trip to Genova and Padova.
She was inspired to write poetry by the beauty of Lago Iseo and the “impassable mountains” surrounding it.
While living in Lovere she wrote in a letter to her daughter: “I am now in a place the most beautifully romantic I ever saw in my life.”
She returned to live in England in 1761 and died on 21 August, 1762 . Her last words were reputed to be: “It has all been most interesting.”

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