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Art, culture…and bubbles
Elected a 2023 Capital of Culture together with Brescia, Bergamo is most famous for being divided into an Upper City and Lower City. The former, at an altitude of 250 meters, is protected by splendid, well-preserved city walls erected in the 16th century. These are the “Venetian Walls", a Unesco World Heritage Site. Within the walls are the city’s main sites and monuments, including the Piazza Vecchia (what Le Corbusier called “the most beautiful square in Europe”), the Campanone bell tower (which even today, with its 100 chimes at 10 p.m., marks the hour when the city gates were closed in the past), the Duomo, the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore and the Rocca.
Here, one can stroll peacefully and enjoy a bird’s-eye panorama of the surrounding mountains and the Lower City, which is notable for the 18th century’s Teatro Donizetti (named after the illustrious composer from Bergamo) and the works of Botticelli, Raphael and Titian preserved inside the Carrara Academy. Not far from Bergamo is the Franciacorta winemaking region, the cradle of the Metodo Classico, the first Italian sparkling wine to receive DOCG classification. But Franciacorta offers much more than just bubbly: this fascinating area also boasts beautiful villages, and hiking and cycling routes winding their way through the vineyards and rolling hills.
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