47km (29 miles) NE of Milan, 52km (32 miles) NW of Brescia

Bergamo is a city of two distinct characters. Città Bassa, mostly built in the 19th- and 20th-century city, sits at the feet of the upper town and concerns itself with getting on with 21st-century life.

The ancient Città Alta is a beautiful medieval and Renaissance town perched on a green hill, largely a place for wandering, soaking in its rarified atmosphere, and enjoying the lovely vistas from its belvederes. It’s crammed with palazzi, monuments, churches, and two hauntingly beautiful adjoining squares, the piazzas Vecchia and del Duomo. Bergamasco strongman Bartolomeo Colleoni gave his name to the Città Alta’s delightful main street, cobblestoned and so narrow you can almost touch the buildings on either side in places. It’s lined with gorgeous shoe shops, posh delis, and classy confectioners.