When you think of Italy, you think of the great cities of Rome and Venice. Naples and Florence often make the list as well, as does Milan. But have you ever heard of Bergamo?

We won't be surprised if you haven't, but we're about to tell you why this city should be on you list of Italian cities to visit in your lifetime. 

Bergamo, which is the name of both the province and its capital city, is an easy day trip from Milan that is worth taking. Divided into the the historic Città Alta (Upper Town), and Città Bassa (Lower Town), it is not difficult to fall in love with the city. This is most especially true for anyone who loves medieval cities because that makes up a huge part of the charm of Bergamo.

Bergamo, Italy
(Photo : Mattia Bericchia on Unsplash)

In this article, we closer at five attractions in Bergamo and what makes them so special that you shouldn't miss out on the chance to city the historical city. 

The Venetian Defense Systems of the Upper Town

The Venetian Defense Systems of the Upper Town in Bergamo, Italy
(Photo : Mattia Bericchia on Unsplash)

While the Upper Town is home to a number of breathtaking sights, the wall that encircles it is something that you should not miss either. In fact, the Venetian defense systems that encircle the Città Alta have been declared a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site in 2017. 

Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore and the Calleoni Chapel

Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore
(Photo : Vladimir Ivanov on Unsplash)

No trip to Italy will ever be complete without visiting one of its majestics basilicas, and Bergamo's Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore is easily one of them. This 12th century basilica is a sight to behold, both inside and outside. 

This is also where you can find the tomb of Gaetano Donizetti. He is regarded as one of the world's greatest opera composers.

Adjacent to the basilica is none other than the Calleoni Chapel. The chapel houses the tomb of the person who commissioned it, Bartolomeo Calleoni, and his daughter Medea. If you're wondering just who exactly is he, Bartolomeo Calleoni is a mercenary captain. 

Related Article: Visiting Italy? Here Are Five Vital Hand Gestures You Should Know About

Accademia Carrara

Accademia Carrara
(Photo : Visit Bergamo)

Another activity that should be on everyone's to-do list when in Italy is a museum or gallery tour. Bergamo is home to the Accademia Carrara, which is home to around 1,800 works of art. 

Founded in 1796, you can find works of many Italian artists in this gallery, including those of Titian and Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. You can also find works of Raffaello and Giovanni Bellini here. 

Piazza Vecchia 

Piazza Vecchia
(Photo : Visit Bergamo)

Old town squares are found almost everywhere in Europe, and Bergamo is no exception. Considered the heart of the Upper Town is Piazza Vecchia, which is a popular destination if you're in search of food, remnants of a medieval town, or wonderful sights to see. 

Among the sites you can find in the square are a bell tower known as Campanone as well as Contarini Fountain. This is also where you can find what used to be the town hall, Palazzo Nuovo. When translated, the name means "New Palace." 

Read Also: Isola La Gaiola: The Cursed Island In Italy