Bergamo (//, also UK: /-/; Italian: [ˈbɛrɡamo] (listen); Eastern Lombard: Bèrghem [ˈbɛrɡɛm] (listen); Latin: Bergŏmum) is a city in the alpine Lombardy region of northern Italy, approximately 40 km (25 mi) northeast of Milan, and approximately 30 km (19 mi) from Switzerland, the alpine lakes Como and Iseo, and 70 km (43 mi) from Garda and Maggiore. The Bergamo Alps (Alpi Orobie) begin immediately north of the city.
|Città di Bergamo|
The skyline of the old fortified upper city
Città dei Mille ("City of the Thousand")
Map of the old walled upper city of Bergamo
|• Total||40.16 km2 (15.51 sq mi)|
|Elevation||485 m (1,591 ft)|
Bergamàsch (Eastern Lombard)
|Area code(s)||(+39) 035|
|Criteria||Cultural: iii, iv|
|Inscription||2017 (41st session)|
With a population of approximately 122,000, Bergamo is the fourth-largest city in Lombardy. Bergamo is the seat of the Province of Bergamo. The metropolitan area of Bergamo extends beyond the administrative city limits, spanning over a densely urbanized area with slightly fewer than 500,000 inhabitants. The Bergamo metropolitan area is part of the broader Milan metropolitan area, home to more than eight million people.
The city of Bergamo is composed of an old walled core, known as Città Alta ("Upper Town"), nestled within a system of hills constituting a regional park, and the modern expansion in the plains below. The upper town is encircled by massive Venetian defensive systems that are a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 9 July 2017.
Bergamo is well connected to several cities in Italy, thanks to the motorway A4 stretching on the axis between Turin, Milan, Verona, Venice, and Trieste. The city is served by Il Caravaggio International Airport, the third-busiest airport in Italy with 13.9 million passengers in 2019. Bergamo is the second most visited city in Lombardy after Milan.
|Fortified Upper City of Bergamo|
Città Alta di Bergamo
|Location||Bergamo, Natural Park of Bergamo Hills Lombardy Italy|
|Area||Bergamo, Lombardy, Northern Italy|
|Governing body||Republic of Venice|
|Designated||2017 (41 Session)|
|Part of||Venetian Works of Defence between 15th and 17th centuries: Stato da Terra – western Stato da Mar|
|Region||Europe and North America|
Celtic Cenomani 550 BC
Roman Republic 200–27 BC
Roman Empire 27 BC–285 AD
Western Roman Empire 285–402
Visigoths invasion 402
Kingdom of Odoacer 402–440
Huns and Herules invasion 440
Ostrogothic Kingdom 440–553
Eastern Roman Empire 553–569
Lombard Kingdom 569–774
Carolingian Empire 774–1098
Bergamo Libero Comune 1098–1331
Kingdom of Bohemia 1331–1332
Duchy of Milan 1332–1407
House of Malatesta dependent on State of the Church 1407–1428
Republic of Venice 1428–1796
Republic of Bergamo and Cisalpine Republic dependent on French Republic 1796–1797
First French Empire 1807–1815
Kingdom of Italy (Napoleonic) 1807–1815
Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia dependent on Austrian Empire 1815–1859
Expedition of the Thousand 1860
Kingdom of Italy 1861–1946
Bergamo occupies the site of the ancient town of Bergomum, founded as a settlement by the Celtic tribe of Cenomani. In 49 BC it became a Roman municipality, containing c. 10,000 inhabitants at its peak. An important hub on the military road between Friuli and Raetia, it was destroyed by Attila in the 5th century.
After the conquest of the Lombard Kingdom by Charlemagne, it became the seat of a county under one Auteramus (d. 816). An important Lombardic hoard dating from the 6th to 7th centuries was found in the vicinity of the city in the 19th century and is now in the British Museum.
From the 11th century onwards, Bergamo was an independent commune, taking part in the Lombard League which defeated Frederick I Barbarossa in 1165. The local Guelph and Ghibelline factions were the Colleoni and Suardi, respectively.
Feuding between the two initially caused the family of Omodeo Tasso to flee north c. 1250, but he returned to Bergamo in the later 13th century to organize the city's couriers: this would eventually lead to the Imperial Thurn und Taxis dynasty generally credited with organizing the first modern postal service.
After a short period under the House of Malatesta starting from 1407, Bergamo was ceded in 1428 by the Duchy of Milan to the Republic of Venice in the context of the Wars in Lombardy and the aftermath of the 1427 Battle of Maclodio.
Despite the brief interlude granted by the Treaty of Lodi in 1454, the uneasy balance of power among the Northern Italian states precipitated the Italian Wars, a series of conflicts from 1494 to 1559 that involved, at various times, also the Papal States, France, and the Holy Roman Empire.
The wars, which were both a result and cause of Venetian involvement in the power politics of mainland Italy, prompted Venice to assert its direct rule over its mainland domains.
As much of the fighting during the Italian Wars took place during sieges, increasing levels of fortification were adopted, using such new developments as detached bastions that could withstand sustained artillery fire.
The Treaty of Campo Formio (17 October 1797) formally recognized the inclusion of Bergamo and other parts of Northern Italy into the Cisalpine Republic, a "sister republic" of the French First Republic that was superseded in 1802 by the short-lived Napoleonic Italian Republic and in 1805 by the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy.
Late modern and contemporaryEdit
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The 1815 Congress of Vienna assigned Bergamo to the Kingdom of Lombardy–Venetia, a crown land of the Austrian Empire. The visit of Emperor Ferdinand I in 1838 coincided with the opening of the new boulevard stretching into the plains, leading to the railway station that was inaugurated in 1857.
The Bergamasques welcomed Austrian rule at first, but later challenged it in Italian independentist insurrections in 1848.
Due to its contribution to the Italian unification movement, Bergamo has become known as Città dei Mille ("City of the Thousand"), because a significant part of the rank-and-file supporting Giuseppe Garibaldi in his 1860 Expedition of the Thousand against the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies came from Bergamo and its environs.
During the twentieth century, Bergamo became one of Italy's most industrialized areas.
The 2017 43rd G7 summit on agriculture took place in Bergamo, in the context of the broader international meeting organized in Taormina (Sicily). The "Charter of Bergamo", an international commitment signed during the summit, aims to reduce hunger worldwide by 2030, strengthen cooperation for agricultural development in Africa, and ensure price transparency.
In early 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy, Bergamo's healthcare system was overwhelmed by patients with COVID-19. There were reports of doctors confronted with ethical dilemmas with too few ICU beds and mechanical ventilation systems. Morgues were overwhelmed, and images of military trucks carrying the bodies of COVID-19 victims out of the city were shared worldwide. Doctors pleaded with the rest of Italy, Europe and the world to take the spreading virus pandemic seriously. An investigative report by The New York Times found that faulty guidance and bureaucratic delays rendered the toll far worse than it had to be.
Bergamo has a humid subtropical climate (Cfa in the Köppen climate classification); typical of the middle latitudes, rainy or generally humid in all seasons with very hot summers and pretty cold winters. Its proximity to Lake Iseo significantly affects winter temperatures which are decidedly higher than the average of the Po Valley; these factors also make it possible to avoid the persistent winter fog and the sultriness that characterize nearby Milan. The favorable and rather mild climate has also positively influenced the production of wine and oil, and the diffusion of some species typical of the Mediterranean climate.
The average annual rainfall is distributed on average over 97 days and it present a summer and autumn peak with a relative minimum in winter. The rainfalls are concentrated between March and May and between October and late November.
Winter lasts generally between mid-November and mid-March, and it is characterized by a very low percentage of rainfall compared to the Italian average; while summer lasts from the end of May to mid-September, and it is characterized by storm phenomena especially towards the end of season.
The presence of snow is very discontinuous, generally arriving every winter but in discrete quantities. The causes are of various types such as the minimum too low or too high and rainfalls that are usually concentrated further north-west of the city.
On the basis of the thirty-year reference average 1981–2010, the average temperature of the coldest month, January, is +3.1 °C; that of the hottest month, July, is +23.8 °C.
|Climate data for Bergamo (1971–2000, extremes 1946–present)|
|Record high °C (°F)||21.9
|Average high °C (°F)||7.0
|Daily mean °C (°F)||3.1
|Average low °C (°F)||−0.8
|Record low °C (°F)||−15.0
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||66.1
|Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)||7.1||5.3||7.0||9.3||11.1||9.1||6.3||7.2||6.5||8.3||7.1||6.6||90.9|
|Average relative humidity (%)||75||75||68||71||69||67||67||68||71||75||78||79||72|
|Source: Servizio Meteorologico (humidity 1961–1990)|
The town has two centres: Città alta ("upper city"), a hilltop medieval town, surrounded by 16th-century defensive walls, and the Città bassa ("lower city"). The two parts of the town are connected by funicular, roads, and footpaths.
- Cittadella (Citadel), built under the rule of the Visconti in the mid-14th century.
- Piazza Vecchia
- Palazzo della Ragione. This was the seat of the administration of the city in the medieval municipal period. Built in the 12th century, it was revamped in the late 16th century by Pietro Isabello. The façade has the Lion of Saint Mark over a mullioned window, testifying to the long period of Venetian rule. The atrium has a well-preserved 18th-century sundial.
- Palazzo Nuovo (Biblioteca Civica Angelo Mai). It was designed by Vincenzo Scamozzi in the early 17th century and completed in 1928.
- Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. It was built from 1137 on the site of a previous religious edifice of the 7th century. Construction continued until the 15th century. Of this first building the external Romanesque structure and the Greek cross plan remain. The interior was extensively modified in the 16th and 17th centuries. Noteworthy are the great Crucifix and the tomb of Gaetano Donizetti.
- Cappella Colleoni, annexed to Santa Maria Maggiore, is a masterwork of Renaissance architecture and decorative art. It contains the tomb of Bartolomeo Colleoni.
- Battistero (Baptistry), an elegant octagonal building dating from 1340.
- Bergamo Cathedral. It was built in the late 17th century with later modifications.
- Rocca. It was begun in 1331 on the hill of Sant'Eufemia by William of Castelbarco, vicar of John of Bohemia, and later completed by Azzone Visconti. A wider citadel was added, but is now partly lost.
- San Michele al Pozzo Bianco. Built in the 12th century, this church contains several frescoes from the 12th to the 16th centuries, including paintings by Lorenzo Lotto.
- Museo Civico Archeologico. It is housed in the Cittadella.
- Museo di Scienze Naturali Enrico Caffi. It is housed in the Cittadella.
- Orto Botanico di Bergamo "Lorenzo Rota" (botanical garden).
|Parco regionale dei Colli di Bergamo|
|Regional Park of the Bergamo Hills|
IUCN category IV (habitat/species management area)
|Area||11,613 acres (47.00 km2)|
|Governing body||Parco dei Colli di Bergamo, Regione Lombardia|
The lower city is the modern centre of Bergamo. At the end of the 19th century Città Bassa was composed of residential neighbourhoods built along the main roads that linked Bergamo to the other cities of Lombardy. The main boroughs were Borgo Palazzo along the road to Brescia, Borgo San Leonardo along the road to Milan and Borgo Santa Caterina along the road to Serio Valley. The city rapidly expanded during the 20th century. In the first decades, the municipality erected major buildings like the new courthouse and various administrative offices in the lower part of Bergamo to create a new center of the city. After World War II many residential buildings were constructed in the lower part of the city which are now divided into twenty-five neighborhoods:
Boccaleone, Borgo Palazzo, Borgo Santa Caterina, Campagnola, Carnovali, Celadina, Centro-Papa Giovanni XXIII, Centro-Pignolo, Centro-Sant'Alessandro, Città Alta, Colli, Colognola, Conca Fiorita, Grumello del Piano, Longuelo, Loreto, Malpensata, Monterosso, Redona, San Paolo, San Tomaso de' Calvi, Santa Lucia, Valtesse-San Colombano, Valverde con Valtesse-Sant'Antonio, Villaggio degli Sposi
The most relevant sites are:
- Accademia Carrara
- Galleria d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea (GAMeC, Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art).
In 2010, there were 119,551 people residing in Bergamo (in which the greater area has about 500 000 inhabitants), located in the province of Bergamo, Lombardia, of whom 46.6% were male and 53.4% were female. Minors (children ages 18 and younger) totalled 16.79 percent of the population compared to pensioners who number 23.61 percent. This compares with the Italian average of 17.88 percent (minors) and 20.29 percent (pensioners).
The average age of Bergamo residents is 45 compared to the Italian average of 43. In the eight years between 2002 and 2010, the population of Bergamo grew by 5.41 percent, while Italy as a whole grew by 5.77 percent.
The city has sizable immigrant populations in its bustling industrial economy. They include those from Albania, Romania, Bolivia, China, the Arab World and Sub-Saharan Africa. About 10% of Bergamo residents are born outside Europe.
Nowadays, the city has an advanced tertiary economy focussed on banking, retail, and services associated to the industrial sector of its province. Corporations and firms linked to the area include UBI banking group, Brembo (braking systems), Tenaris (steel), ABB (power and automation technology), S. Pellegrino (beverage company based in San Pellegrino Terme), Italcementi (cement and concrete) and Riva-Ferretti (yachts and luxury ships based in Sarnico).
Bergamo produces the Denominazione di origine controllata wines Moscato di Scanzo and Valcalepio.
The church vestments designer, producer and restaurator Atelier Sirio, who currently also supplies vestments to the Vatican, has its seat in Bergamo.
Bergamo is at the at the second place of the ranking of European cities with the highest preventable mortality burdens for PM2.5 pollution in a new study published in January 2021 by The Lancet Planetary Health, which estimates the death rate associated with fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollution in 1000 European cities.
Brescia is first in the study by researchers from the University of Utrecht, Barcelona's Global Health Institute and the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute. Two other northern Italian cities were in the top 10, Vicenza (fourth) and Saronno (eighth). It said that Brescia would avoid 232 preventable deaths a year by applying WHO guidelines on PM2.5, while Bergamo would have 137 fewer deaths.
The data show that many cities in the Po Valley suffer the most serious impact at European level due to poor air quality, first of all the metropolitan area of Milan, 13th in the ranking in terms of fine particulate impact, where any year 3967 premature deaths – approximately 9% of the total.
Bergamo was the hometown and last resting place of Enrico Rastelli, a highly technical and world-famous juggler who lived in the town and, in 1931, died there at the early age of 34. There is a life-sized statue of Rastelli within his mausoleum. A number of painters were active in the town as well; among these were Giovanni Paolo Cavagna (1550-1627), Francesco Zucco (c. 1570 - 1627), and Enea Salmeggia (c. 1556 - 1626) each of whom painted works for the church of Santa Maria Maggiore. Sculptor Giacomo Manzù (1908-1991) and the bass-baritone opera singer Alex Esposito were born in Bergamo.
The American electrical engineer and professor Andrew Viterbi, inventor of Viterbi's algorithm, was born in Bergamo, before migrating to the US during the Fascist era because of his Jewish origins. Designers born in Bergamo include the late Mariuccia Mandelli, the founder of Krizia and one of the first female fashion designers to create a successful line of men's wear.
- Bergamo's football team is Atalanta, who play in the top level Serie A, plays its home games at the Gewiss Stadium.
- The city has a women's volleyball team named Foppapedretti Bergamo.
- The city is also home to the Bergamo Lions American football team, one of the most successful in European Football League history, winning multiple Eurobowls.
- In mid-September, Bergamo hosts the annual Lombardia Trophy, a figure skating event part of the ISU Challenger Series
Bergamo railway station is connected to Milan, Lecco, Cremona, Treviglio, Brescia and Monza with regional trains operated by Trenord. The city is also served by two daily Frecciargento services to Rome operated by Trenitalia.
Transport within Bergamo is managed by ATB and includes a network of bus lines together with two funicular systems opened in 1887 (Bergamo Upper City funicular) and in 1912 (Bergamo - San Vigilio funicular). The Bergamo–Albino light rail was inaugurated in 2009.
Two light rail lines are currently in the planning stage:
- Line 2 Bergamo FS – Villa d'Almè – San Pellegrino Terme
- Line 3 Hospital-Railway Station FS-Trade Fair – Bergamo Airport
Twin towns − sister citiesEdit
Bergamo has a partnership with:
- Dąbrowa Górnicza, Poland
- Bolesław, Poland
- Posadas, Argentina, as Friendship and Cooperation city since 1998
Bergamo is home to the following consulates:
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