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.


Largest Lotto masterpiece rises above the altar

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


Church of San Bartolomeo
The Church of the Saints Bartolomeo and Stefano stands at the corner of Via Torquato Tasso and Largo Bortolo Belotti, providing an ornate backdrop to Via Sentierone in the Città Bassa (lower town).
The Church, usually referred to as just San Bartolomeo, was built in the first half of the 17th century on the site of the 13th century convent of the ‘umiliati’. The imposing baroque-style façade was added in 1897.
Inside there are some beautiful 18th century frescoes, but it is difficult not to be drawn straight to the magnificent altarpiece, Madonna with Child and Saints painted in 1513 by Lorenzo Lotto.
The painting is also sometimes referred to as Pala Martinengo as it was commissioned by Alessandro Martinengo Colleoni, the nephew and adopted ‘son’ of the famous condottiero Bartolomeo Colleoni for another church that was later demolished. It had two further homes before being brought to the Church of San Bartolomeo .
The full title of the magnificent work is ‘l’Incoronazione della beata Vergine e la gloria dei Santi’.
Mary is depicted sitting on a throne wearing a red dress with a rich, blue outer garment. She is holding the baby Jesus and is surrounded by ten saints.

Lorenzo Lotto's legacy to Bergamo

Artist Lorenzo Lotto spent 12 of his most creative years living and working in Bergamo and many churches contain altar pieces and paintings of religious subjects produced by him in that period between 1513 and 1525.
The church of Santo Spirito in Piazza di Santo Spirito has an altarpiece by Lotto in one of the chapels featuring the Virgin Mary with child and saints. In the small church of San Bernardino in Via Pignolo there is also an altarpiece depicting the Virgin Mary with child and saints.
Church of Sant'Alessandro in Colonna
If you carry on walking up Via Pignolo towards the Città Alta (upper town) you will come to the area where Lotto lived during his time in Bergamo . His local church, San Michele al Pozzo Bianco (Saint Michael at the white well), is home to another of his most important works, Vita di Maria (history of Mary’s life), which decorates an entire chapel to the left of the altar.
The church of Sant’Alessandro in Colonna in Via Sant’Alessandro houses two works by Lotto, Deposition from the Cross and Virgin Mary and Child.
Lorenzo Lotto did not receive widespread recognition for his brilliance until the middle of the last century but his works are now displayed in galleries in New York and Washington as well as the Uffizi in Florence and the Borghese gallery in Rome.
Born in Venice, Lotto worked in Treviso, Le Marche and Rome before going to live in Bergamo.
He returned to Venice in 1525 where he concentrated mainly on painting portraits, but by 1544 he had become elderly and poor. He went to live in Loreto, where he lived by painting canvases for the Basilica there until he died in 1556.
It is thought that the happiest period of Lotto’s life was spent in Bergamo and his legacy to the city is some of his best works of art, accessible in the churches to be viewed free of charge by visitors.

San Bartolomeo is open daily 08.30 – 12.00; 15.30 – 18.30.

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Historic setting for Hotel Santa Caterina

The small, three star Hotel Santa Caterina is in a good location for walking to either the Città Alta (upper town) or Città Bassa (lower town).
The hotel is in Via Alberico da Rosciate, a small street in the ancient district of Borgo Santa Caterina. It is a short walk from Piazza Carrarra and the famous Accademia Carrarra with its magnificent art collection. From there it is a little further to walk uphill to Porta Sant’Agostino, one of the gates into the Città Alta.
A slightly longer walk downhill would take you to the end of Via Sentierone, which is at the hub of the Città Bassa and a good area for finding restaurants and bars.
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Hotel Santa Caterina is smartly furnished in modern style and rooms are painted in bright pastel shades.
A traditional buffet breakfast and wifi internet access are included in the daily room rate.

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Check Best of Bergamo's updated flights guide

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Are you thinking of paying a visit to Bergamo, for a weekend break or perhaps a longer stay?
Busy airport makes Bergamo an accessible destination
Apart from its attractions as an Italian city destination, offering the historical appeal of the beautiful medieval Città Alta and the elegantly modern Città Bassa, Bergamo has the advantage of easy access via its thriving airport, situated less than 20 minutes from the city centre.
Bergamo’s recently renamed Caravaggio airport at Orio al Serio has grown to be the fourth busiest airport in Italy, just behind Milan Linate and ahead of Marco Polo airport in Venice. More than seven and a half million passengers use the airport each year.
You can fly directly to Caravaggio -- usually listed in airline schedules as Milan Bergamo -- from 30 countries around Europe and North Africa. Ryanair has developed Bergamo as one of its major hubs and the majority of flights to the airport are operated by the Irish budget carrier.
Visitors to Bergamo from the United Kingdom can fly with Ryanair from Bristol, East Midlands, Liverpool, London Stansted and Manchester.

Fly to Bergamo from 30 countries

In addition to the UK, countries offering direct flights to Bergamo are Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Canary Islands, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and Turkey.
To help you plan, Best of Bergamo’s Flights Guide -- newly updated -- provides a comprehensive, country-by-country guide to where and when to catch a flight to Bergamo.
Details of flight times were accurate when the guide was being compiled but are subject to change, so remember to check with the airline before making plans. Best of Bergamo's flight booking partner Skyscanner offers a free search and price comparison service.

Go to Best of Bergamo’s Flights Guide

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Taverna Valtellinese serves tasty treats from valley north of Bergamo

Taverna Valtellinese
Taverna Valtellinese
Sample the best food and wine from the Valtellina in a cosy restaurant in the heart of the Città Bassa in Bergamo.
Once inside the Taverna Valtellinese in Via Gerolamo Tiraboschi you feel as though you are in an alpine chalet. Although it is a large restaurant, the wooden walls and floor and the check tablecloths make the atmosphere warm and intimate.
The Taverna Valtellinese has been serving dishes made with authentic cheeses, butter, meat and wine from the Valtellina, a valley north of Bergamo, since opening in 1967.

Valtellina specialities

For antipasti there is a choice of bresaola, prosciutto and salame from the Valtellina.
Among the primi (first courses) on offer is the classic pizzoccheri di Teglio, a variation on fettucine, served with Swiss chard, boiled potatoes and Bitto and Casera cheese. There are also panzerotti, gnochetti and tortelloni dishes cooked alla valtellinese and rice dishes.
For secondi (main courses) there is a good choice of meat dishes including the local staple, stufatino ai funghi e polenta (meat with mushrooms and polenta), or culaccio di manzo al Sassella (beef braised in red wine from Sassella), spiedini alla griglia (a selection of meat grilled on a spit) or rognoncino in terrina con funghi (kidneys cooked with mushrooms). There are also some vegetarian and fish options
On my recent visit to Taverna Valtellinese I found that there was a good atmosphere and the restaurant was full of local people. I was particularly impressed with the antler-shaped chandelier on the ceiling and the white wine recommended by the waiter, which was a delicious Chiavennasca.

Where to find Taverna Valtellinese

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Use pedal power to get round Bergamo

LaBiGi Bergamo
The BiGi point outside the Turismo Bergamo office in
Piazzale degli Alpini, near the railway station.
Transport services in Bergamo have been boosted by a low cost, practical and pollution-free bike sharing service.
La BiGi is an innovative bicycle rental scheme available to anyone wanting a valid alternative to driving round the city in a car.
It is run by Atb, Bergamo’s bus company, to provide bikes for shoppers, workers, tourists and students.
And anyone arriving in the city by train, car or bus can also change to two wheels to get around.
It is free for the first 45 minutes, costs €1 from 45 minutes to two hours, €2 from two to three hours and €5 for longer than three hours.
Bikes can be picked up and returned at any of 15 distribution points throughout the city between 06:00 and 23:00 .
You will see the distinctive red bikes waiting in racks at: Piazza Marconi, Piazzale degli Alpini, Via Paleocapa, Piazza Cavour, Piazza Matteotti, Viale Vittorio Emanuele II, Via Sant’Orsola, Largo Rezzara, Via Coghetti, Largo Tironi, Via Don Bosco, Via A Maj, Piazza Sant’Anna, Piazzetta Santo Spirito and Piazzale Oberdan.

You can find out more at Atb's La BiGi page.

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Hotel San Giorgio close to Bergamo transport links

Its handy location in Via San Giorgio in the Città Bassa (lower town) makes the Hotel San Giorgio a good choice for visitors to Bergamo.
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The hotel is a short walk from Piazza Marconi and the railway station and bus station, providing guests going on day trips with quick access to trains to Milan, Brescia and Cremona and buses to Lago Endine, Lago d’Iseo and the countryside north of Bergamo.
It is also only a short walk from the Hotel San Giorgio to the Città Bassa’s main thoroughfare Viale Papa Giovanni XXIII, where there are bus stops for the Città Alta (upper town) in one direction and Bergamo Caravaggio Airport at Orio al Serio going the other way. But there is free parking for guests with cars at the hotel, which is handily placed for access to the A4 Milan-Venice autostrada.
The Hotel San Giorgio is in a converted 18th century building that has been furnished in modern style with smart bedrooms and bathrooms. Guests can use the free wifi and watch television in the comfort of their own rooms.
The buffet breakfast is served each day in the roof top restaurant, which has views of the domes and towers of the magical Città Alta in the distance.
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