BRESCIA & BERGAMO
amazing travel experiences

 

Brescia and Bergamo are not only Capitals of “Culture in 2023”, but destinations that offer timeless emotions.

 

Brescia, the city of art that you may not expect

Far from the major tourist flows, walking through its center allows you to cross history. In fact, each square is built in a different style, depending on the era in which it was built. Galli Cenomani, ancient Romans, Lombards, Milanese and Venetians have left important traces that can be admired in museums, two are included in the Unesco list, in churches and palaces.

The Winged Victory from the Capitoline temple recalls the ancient glories as well as two paintings by Raphael in the Tosio Martinengo Art Gallery.

In the theatre Teatro Grande you can still hear the applause for the Madama Butterfly consecrated to the success right here at the beginning of the twentieth century, while in Piazza della Vittoria the roar of the engines of the classical cars participating in the legendary Mille Miglia, “the most beautiful race in the world” which reaches Rome starting from Brescia.

Not far away from Brescia

A toast with Franciacorta or a good Lugana allows us to savor the wine of moraine hills that offer enchanting landscapes and a mild climate, thanks to the proximity to lake Iseo, fascinating and wild, and lake Garda, which was chosen since ancient times as a retreat by famous people, such as Catullus and more recently Gabriele D’Annunzio.

Noble mansions in a panoramic position and suggestive islands invite you to visit the area in a relaxed and festive atmosphere, while the hinterland offers lush vegetation and postcard views.

The mountains of Val Camonica have preserved rock engravings since prehistoric times, fascinating and varied signs made on the rocks, precious evidence of an ancient and evolving civilization.

 

Bergamo and its hidden gems

Divided into two parts, preserves the oldest masterpieces in the famous “Upper City”, surrounded by imposing walls now included in the Unesco Heritage List. Charming squares, medieval towers, beautiful churches and hidden palaces; amongst ancient alleys, courtyards, craft shops, restaurants and typical cafe.

In the famous Piazza Vecchia, the political and administrative heart of the city for centuries and symbol of the Venetian Republic’s domination, important buildings overlook and it is possible even today to hear the tolling of the old “Big Bell”. The golden statue of the patron Saint Alexander leads to Piazza del Duomo, the medieval heart of the city, with its masterpieces such as the Cathedral of Santa Maria Maggiore and the beautiful Colleoni chapel, symbol of the Renaissance architecture.

A splendid panoramic view can be enjoyed from the fortress on the hill of Sant’Eufemia. Going down to the “Lower City”, you can stroll through the hamlets of Pignolo and Sant’Alessandro, where the modern city developed between the nineteenth and last centuries, with the traditional promenade called Sentierone and the Donizetti Theater, entitled to the famous Bergamo’s composer. Wonderful paintings are exhibited in the Accademia Carrara, one of the most important art galleries in Italy, founded by private art collectors.

Bergamo and surroundings

Bergamo is not just the city, its charm extends to the whole province. Masterpieces of Romanesque architecture can be visited in Almenno San Bartolomeo, with the wonderful Church of San Tomè for example, many castles dot the plain, such as Malpaga, where you can still breathe the atmosphere of the time of Colleoni, memories of the Pope Giovanni XIII can be find in Sotto il Monte, the place where he was born, and an “Ideal worker’s village ” can be discovered arriving in Crespi d’Adda, a Unesco Heritage site.

And again, towards the mountains, it is possible to go and discover the Bergamo valleys: the Val Brembana, with the famous spa town of San Pellegrino and the small medieval village of Camerata Cornello, one of the “Most Beautiful Villages in Italy”, where the Tasso family founded the European postal system; or the Val Seriana, with the quiet town of Clusone with architectural and artistic treasures, or the Val Cavallina, where the small and picturesque Lake Endine is located.

Brescia and the Mille Miglia, the most beautiful race in the world

The famous historic vintage car race that made Brescia famous throughout the world.

This is where the competition starts, in which only cars built between 1927 and 1957 can participate with the variable route BRESCIA - ROME and back.

The event usually takes place in the month of May, an appointment as usual and on that occasion the city breathes an atmosphere and an international lifestyle with the presence of artists, VIPs and professionals from all over the world.

In the city stands the MUSEUM of the THOUSAND MILES: an exhibition of vintage cars, historical archives and photographic shots.

Food and drink tourism in Brescia and Bergamo

Spits, game, boiled meats, even fresh-water fish such as dried Montisola sardines, which are regarded as one of the most important typical products of Lake Iseo. And add to the list: ravioli, soups, mushrooms, polenta, cheeses, among which the well-known hard-type Bagoss cheese produced in the small village of Bagolino, and the local cured meat. At the table, Brescia shows tasty dishes that combine the food and wine traditions of the plains, the mountains and the lakes. The prestigious and renown Franciacorta, the king of Italian sparkling wines, and its Satèn style, the ultimate example of the characteristics and harmony of this wine (DOCG). Finally, two products worthy of attention are the extra virgin olive oil of Lake Garda and that of Lake Iseo that stand out among Italian oils due to their high quality.

Bergamo has become «the creative city for gastronomy».  Just a couple of examples of dishes and wines: a simple but tasty dish that is a typical starter in the region is the «Pierù»- cigarette-shaped green peppers in vinegar, spiced up with Grana cheese or hard-type Taleggio cheese. Casoncelli- half-moon shaped, stuffed ravioli-, polenta, brasato, and polenta ed uccelli, which is reproduced also in its sweet «polenta ed osei» version- the oldest design cake of Bergamo. Nine DOP cheeses have been designated by UNESCO as intangible cultural heritage, as well as Moscato di Scanzo, a dried-grape passito wine from the smallest DOCG in Italy. It is also worth mentioning the gelato alla stracciatella, consisting of milkbased ice cream filled with fine, irregular shavings of chocolate- invented in Bergamo in 1961.

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