Bergamo is one of the richest and most elegant cities in Italy. The splendour of the city is in large part thanks to the domination of Venice, who ruled the city from the beginning of the 15th century until the end of the 18th century. The Venetians also constructed the city walls around the centre.
The upper city is easy to reach with the funicolar railway – and its main square – the Piazza Vecchia – hosts the most important religious and civic buildings as well as forming the focus for most of the main commercial and historic streets. Another funicolar railway – built in the beginning of the 20th century – leads up to the San Vigilio hill, from which you can enjoy a marvellous view of the city and the Lombard plain. The heart of the city lies in the less tourist lower town, where 18th- and 19th-century buildings are grouped in a semi-circle around the city’s hill.