Lower Bergamo: a tour into the throbbing core of the city of Bergamo.
The center of Lower Bergamo, throbbing core of the commerce of the city, was planned by Marcello Piacentini. It extends across the area of the old fair of Sant’Alessandro and it start from the so called Sentierone: a bright tree-lined avenue flanked by porchs and stone cobbled, place of the city promenade. In front of the Sentierone there is the Donizetti theater, one of the most charming theater in Italy.
Before start to walk along Via XX Settembre, the center of shopping, a tour in the near Via Torquato Tasso is reccomended. This street starts near the church of San Bartolomeo which si famous beacuse there is an opera called Pala Martinengo painted by Lorenzo Lotto in 1516 inside it.
At the end of Via Tasso there is Piazzetta Santo Spirito. The church of Santo Spirito, in the square of the same name, shows ten chapels on the side of its only-one nave. Some of them guards artworks of considerable value, as a polyptich by Bergognone and a picture by Lorenzo Lotto.
You can start from Piazzetta Santo Spirito to go on the steep Via Pignolo, characterized by noble palaces, symbols of the power of the rich middle class of merchants and aristocrats of Bergamo during the Fifteenth century.
Deserving of visit is the church of San Bernardino, built during the second half of the XV century. On its altar the piece by Lorenzo Lotto named La Madonna col Bambino, Angeli e Santi (1521) is placed.
Going on Via Pignolo you come across another religious monument built in the X century, the church of Sant’Alessandro della Croce, and then there is Piazzetta Delfino with the fountain of the same name. In that place you can go on via San Tomaso, lined by mansions that hold secret gardens, and reaching the Accademia Carrara. This museum shields pieces made by great artists as Bellini, Botticelli, Mantegna, Raffaello.
Gamec, the modern gallery, is not far and it holds a collection of workarts of the XX century, of contemporary art and some temporary exhibitions. Among the artists shown: Umberto Boccioni, Giorgio Morandi, Alberto Burri, Tancredi Parmeggiani.
Going back to the center of the city you can enter Via XX Settembre: the shopping street that arrives in Piazza Pontida where, during the late Middle Ages, there were intense acitvities of the merchants. From the square starts Via Sant’Alessandro, framed between houses and shops. On the right side there is Via Sant’Orsola, a street full of shops, pubs and cafés as instance Sweet Irene where you have a sweet rest eating home made cakes and drinking some tea, spicy coffee, infusion, milkshake and natural juice.
The Lower part of Bergamo is less garish than the Upper City but it is full of beauties to be discovered.