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.



Birthday of artist honoured by Bergamo airport

The brilliant but controversial artist Caravaggio was born in Milan 441 years ago today.
His real name was Michelangelo Merisi but he became known as Caravaggio because he spent the early years of his life living in the small town of Caravaggio just south of Bergamo .
It is believed his family moved there because of an outbreak of plague in Milan after his birth in 1571.
He later returned to Milan to train as a painter and then went on to work in Rome, Naples, Malta and Sicily until his death at Porto Ercole in Tuscany in 1610.
Caravaggio became famous for his paintings for churches and palaces that combined a realistic observation of the physical and emotional state of human beings with a dramatic use of lighting. This was a formative influence for the baroque school of painting.
Despite his artistic success he had a turbulent personal life. He was thrown into jail on several occasions, once vandalised his own apartment and had a death warrant issued for him by the Pope.
Some of his major works, such as The Calling of St Matthew, the Crucifixion of St Peter and Deposition, can be found in churches in Rome, but his work is also well represented in the Uffizi gallery in Florence .
The town of Caravaggio is well worth visiting to see the Sanctuary of the Madonna di Caravaggio, which was built in the 16th century on the spot where the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared to a local peasant woman.
The Sanctuary was later rebuilt and completed in the 18th century and is now a grand building visited by pilgrims from all over the world.
Last year Bergamo airport at Orio al Serio changed its name to the Caravaggio International Airport Bergamo - Orio al Serio.
ENAC (the Italian civil aviation board) approved the decision by SACBO (the management company of Bergamo airport) to dedicate the airport to the painter.
Bergamo airport is also often referred to as ‘Milan Bergamo’. It is now the fourth busiest airport in Italy and you can fly to it from 29 different countries.

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Trattoria Caprese Bergamo

Neapolitan specialities in a northern Italian city

The colourful pizza oven at Trattoria Caprese
Enjoy a taste of southern Italy in the heart of Bergamo’s Citta Bassa at Trattoria Caprese.
The restaurant’s extensive menu offers authentic dishes from Naples, Capri and Sorrento served up in brightly decorated surroundings.
Trattoria Caprese also has branches in Naples, Porto Cervo, Monza and Brescia .
The Bergamo restaurant is in Via Daniele Piccinini, which is a turning off Rotonda dei Mille (the junction with the statue of Garibaldi). It is open seven days a week serving from 12.00 to 15.30 and from 19.00 to 00.30, when last orders are taken.
Trattoria Caprese prides itself on its Neapolitan atmosphere and friendly waiters, who aim to make the customers feel at home.
Among the antipasti selection are frittura napoletana (a deep fried selection) and mozzarella in carrozza (a deep fried sandwich of mozzarella and anchovies.)
A distinctive feature of the restaurant is the colourful, tiled pizza oven and there is a comprehensive pizza and calzone list to choose from.
Among the primi piatti are gnocchi alla sorrentina (gnocchi with cheese and tomatoes) and risotto alla pescatora (seafood risotto). For secondi there is fresh fish, frittura del golfo (mixed fried fish), scaloppina (a veal escalope served with either lemon, white wine or mushrooms), grilled meat dishes and main course salads.
As well as the pleasant house wine, Trattoria Caprese offers a good selection of Campanian labels such as Falanghina, Greco and Fiano di Avellino.
Editor’s note: “On my last visit the restaurant was packed with local Bergamo people who were enjoying the authentic Neapolitan atmosphere and food. Our waiter brought us things to nibble and a portion of seafood pasta to sample along the way, as well as complimentary limoncello and meloncello at the end of the meal.”  

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Beauty of Bergamo’s branch of Banca d’Italia

Banca d'Italia building in Bergamo
One of the most impressive buildings in Bergamo’s Città Bassa (lower town) is the Banca d’Italia in Viale Roma.
You will pass it on the right hand side as you go up to the Città Alta (upper town) by bus or walk to the funicular station further up the road.
Built of brown stone in keeping with the other public buildings erected at the beginning of the 20th century in the Città Bassa, the bank has a decorative façade. It was built in 1924 to a neo-Renaissance design by Marcello Piacentini, a Roman architect who had been commissioned with redesigning the Città Bassa in Bergamo in 1907.
The building has since become a symbol of Bergamo’s strong commercial and banking tradition.
The Banca d’Italia in Bergamo provides services for other banks and for Poste Italiane but does not offer services to the general public.
Decorative ceiling in the entrance to the bank
If you go up the steps in front of the three arched porticos you will be able to admire the paintings on the ceiling of the entrance lobby.
The Banca d’Italia is the central bank of Italy and part of the European system of central banks. It was established in 1893 from the amalgamation of four existing major banks in Italy .

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