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.


Giacomo Radini-Tedeschi – Bishop of Bergamo

Giacomo Radini-Tedeschi
Giacomo Radini-Tedeschi
The progressive priest who shaped the destiny of a future Pope, Giacomo Radini-Tedeschi will be remembered today on the anniversary of his death in 1914 in Bergamo.

Radini-Tedeschi was Bishop of the Diocese of Bergamo from 1905 and is respected because of his strong involvement in social issues at the beginning of the 20th century.

Radini-Tedeschi was born in 1857 into a wealthy, noble family living in Piacenza in Emilia-Romagna. He was ordained as a priest in 1879 and then became professor of Church Law in the seminary of Piacenza.

In 1890 he joined the Secretariat of State of the Holy See and was sent on a number of diplomatic missions.

In 1905 he was named Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bergamo by Pope Pius X and was consecrated by him in the Sistine Chapel.

Radini-Tedeschi was a strong supporter of Catholic trade unions and backed the workers at a textile plant in the Ranica district of Bergamo province during a labour dispute.

Working for him as his secretary at the time was a young priest named Angelo Roncalli who had been born at Sotto il Monte just outside Bergamo into a large farming family.

Roncalli went on to become Pope John XXIII in 1958 but he never forgot the values Radini-Tedeschi had taught him.

The Church of Santa Maria Immacolata delle Grazie in the Città Bassa
The Church of Santa Maria Immacolata
delle Grazie in the Città Bassa
The Bishop became ill with cancer and died at the age of 57 just after the outbreak of the First World War. His last words are reputed to have been: ‘Angelo, pray for peace.’

A landmark in Bergamo’s Città Bassa, the church of Santa Maria Immacolata delle Grazie in Viale Papa Giovanni XXIII, has an association with Radini-Tedeschi.

The huge church opposite Porta Nuova has a 19th century green cupola topped with a golden statue with an early 20th century campanile next to it. But the origins of the church date back to 1422 when a convent was built on the site dedicated to Santa Maria delle Grazie. The beautiful cloisters have been preserved within the church buildings although the convent was suppressed at the beginning of the 19th century.

The neoclassical design for the new church was created by architect Antonio Preda towards the end of the 19th century and in 1907 the main altar was consecrated in the presence of the Bishop, Giacomo Radini-Tedeschi, accompanied by his 26-year-old secretary, Angelo Roncalli, the future Pope John XXIII.

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Ryanair announces new Bergamo routes for 2017

Ryanair plans 44 new routes to boost its Italian operation
Ryanair plans 44 new routes to boost its Italian operation
Ryanair, the Irish budget carrier which is now established as Italy's biggest airline, will operate new services to Bergamo in summer 2017 as part of a substantial expansion of its Italian operation.

Edinburgh will join Belfast, Bristol, East Midlands, London Stansted and Manchester among the UK's departure points for direct flights Orio al Serio, which is listed in timetables as Milan Bergamo.

There will also be a new flight from Vigo in Spain and from Luxembourg.  Ostrava in Czechoslovakia and the Serbian city of Niš were added to the timetable in 2016.

The new routes follow the announcement of a $1 billion investment by Ryanair in 10 new aircraft to cover a total of 44 new services, which will create 2,250 new jobs and result in an extra three million passengers per year arriving at Italian airports.

Ryanair had previously planned cutbacks to its Italian operation, including the closure of its Pescara hub, in response to increases in taxes being proposed by the Italian government but these increases have now been reversed.

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Birth of Vincenzo Coronelli – globe maker

Bergamo’s beautiful Civic Library (Biblioteca Civica Angelo Mai), in Piazza Vecchia in the upper town, is one of only a few places to be graced by a finely-crafted globe of the world made by Vincenzo Coronelli.

The elegant Biblioteca Civica Angelo Mai
in Piazza Vecchia
The Franciscan friar, who was also a celebrated cartographer and globe maker, was born on this day in 1650 in Venice.

He became famous for making terrestrial and celestial globes for the Duke of Parma and Louis XIV of France.

This started a demand for globes from other aristocratic clients to adorn their libraries and a few of Coronelli’s creations are still in existence today in private collections.

Coronelli was the fifth child of a Venetian tailor and was accepted as a novice by the Franciscans when he was 15.

He was later sent to a college in Rome where he studied theology and astronomy.
He began working as a geographer and was commissioned to produce a set of globes for Ranuccio II Farnese, the Duke of Parma. Each finely crafted globe was five feet in diameter.
After one of Louis XIV’s advisers saw the globes, Coronelli was invited to Paris to make a pair of globes for the French King.

The large globes displayed the latest information that had been obtained by French explorers in north America. They are now in the Francois Mitterand national library in Paris.

Coronelli died at the age of 68 in Venice having created hundreds of maps and some precious hand-made globes during his lifetime.

Original globes made by Coronelli can be seen in the Biblioteca Marciana in Venice and the Angelo Mai Civic library in Bergamo.

The globes in the library, photographed by Visit Bergamo
The Civic Library (Biblioteca Civica) Angelo Mai, where Coronelli’s globes are displayed, is at the centre of Bergamo’s upper town. Also referred to as Palazzo Nuovo, the library was founded in 1768 and houses more than 700,000 books, original manuscripts and scrolls.

It is believed that the two Coronelli globes came to Bergamo in 1692 after being purchased in Venice for the library of the Sant’Agostino monastery.

In 1797 when the monastery was suppressed the globes were in danger of being seized by French troops but they were hidden by a Bergamo nobleman in his home and later donated to the Civic Library by his son.

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