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.


Enrico Caffi Natural Sciences Museum

Bergamo takes pride in museum’s amazing collection

Bergamo is well known for its art treasures and musical heritage but perhaps not widely recognised as a centre for science.

The Museo Civico Scienze Naturali Enrico Caffi is in Piazza Cittadella
The Museo Civico Scienze Naturali Enrico
Caffi is in Piazza Cittadella
However, in the historic upper town, the Città Alta, there is a prestigious natural history museum with thousands of fascinating artefacts for visitors to see.

The Museo Civico Scienze Naturali Enrico Caffi (The Civic Museum of Natural Sciences Enrico Caffi) is in Piazza Cittadella, a square close to Colle Aperto and Porta Sant’Alessandro.

A reproduction of a huge mammoth greets customers in the entrance hall. Inside the museum, exhibits are divided into the categories of zoology, entomology, geology and palaeontology.

There are examples of all five classes of vertebrates, along with a collection of anthropods.

The museum’s origins date back to the end of the 19th century when exhibitions were held during public holidays of the artefacts from the Royal Technical Institute Vittorio Emanuele II.

Dottore Enrico Caffi was the museum's first director
Dottore Enrico Caffi was the
museum's first director
In 1918, the museum moved to Piazza Vecchia in the Città Alta and in 1920, Dottore Enrico Caffi was appointed as the first director of the museum and organised the cataloguing of all items in the museum’s collection. Caffi was an expert on the Parco delle Orobie outside Bergamo and devoted his time to studying the flora and fauna. He left a large quantity of manuscripts with scientific articles about his findings and maps of the territory.

Under successive professors the museum was expanded and studies were made of Lago Endine and the Brembo and Serio rivers.

In 1969, the museum moved to its present headquarters in Piazza Cittadella. Four years later, a fossil of the oldest known flying creature was found in Seriana valley. The creature, who lived more than two million years ago, was described for the very first time by Rocco Zambelli, who was responsible for the paleontology section of the museum.

The museum now has laboratories for educational purposes and a sensory path with Braille captions for blind visitors.

In normal times the Natural Sciences Museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday, but it has temporarily closed due to Covid 19. Visit www.museoscienzebergamo.it for more information.

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Capodanno in Italy

Toasting the New Year the Italian way

New Year’s Day is called Capodanno in Italy, which literally means ‘head of the year’.

It is a public holiday and schools, Government offices, post offices and banks are closed.

After a late start following the New Year’s Eve festivities, many families will enjoy another traditional feast together. This year is obviously different, with the option of booking a restaurant for a big family meal off the agenda because of Covid-19 restrictions.

It is still possible to attend church services - another tradition before the festive meal - but anyone leaving their home under the current lockdown measures has to fill in a certificate before venturing out with police entitled to check their purpose is legitimate.  As well as going to places of worship, Italians can leave their homes only for essential shopping or to seek healthcare.

Italy is in what has been determined as 'red zone' restrictions, much like those imposed in March last year after the first outbreak of the virus. The measures will be eased for one day on 4 January, allowing non-essential shops to reopen, but are due to be re-imposed on 5 January ahead of another traditional celebration, the Feast of Epiphany.

Rai Uno traditionally broadcasts a New Year’s Day concert live. This year it came from Teatro La Fenice, the famous opera house in Venice.

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