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Bergamo

Bergamo (/ˈbɜːrɡəmoʊ/also UK/ˈbɛər-/;[3][4] Italian: [ˈbɛrɡamo] (listen); Eastern LombardBèrghem [ˈbɛrɡɛm](listen); LatinBergŏmum)[a] is a city in the alpine Lombardy region of northern Italy, approximately 40 km (25 mi) northeast of Milan, and approximately 30 km (19 mi) from Switzerland, the alpine lakes Como and Iseo, and 70 km (43 mi) from Garda and Maggiore. The Bergamo Alps (Alpi Orobie) begin immediately north of the city.

With a population of approximately 122,000, Bergamo is the fourth-largest city in Lombardy. Bergamo is the seat of the Province of Bergamo. The metropolitan area of Bergamo extends beyond the administrative city limits, spanning over a densely urbanized area with slightly fewer than 500,000 inhabitants.[10] The Bergamo metropolitan area is part of the broader Milan metropolitan area, home to more than eight million people.[11][12][13]

The city of Bergamo is composed of an old walled core, known as Città Alta (“Upper Town”), nestled within a system of hills constituting a regional park, and the modern expansion in the plains below. The upper town is encircled by massive Venetian defensive systems that are a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 9 July 2017.[14]

Bergamo is well connected to several cities in Italy, thanks to the motorway A4 stretching on the axis between TurinMilanVeronaVenice, and Trieste. The city is served by Il Caravaggio International Airport, the third-busiest airport in Italy with 13.9 million passengers in 2019. Bergamo is the second most visited city in Lombardy after Milan.[15][16]

Bergamo
Bèrghem  (Lombard)
Comune
Città di Bergamo
The skyline of the old fortified upper city

Flag
Coat of arm
Nickname(s): Città dei Mille (“City of the Thousand“)
Map of the old walled upper city of Bergamo
showLocation of Bergamo
BergamoBergamoLocation of Bergamo in LombardyShow map of ItalyShow map of LombardyShow all
Coordinates: 45°41′42″N 9°40′12″ECoordinates45°41′42″N 9°40′12″E
CountryItaly
RegionLombardy
ProvinceProvince of Bergamo (BG)
Government
 • MayorGiorgio Gori (PD)
Area[1]
 • Total40.16 km2 (15.51 sq mi)
Elevation485 m (1,591 ft)
Population (2019)[2]
 • Total122,243
 • Density3,000/km2 (7,900/sq mi)
Demonym(s)Bergamasque
Bergamaschi (Italian)
Bergamàsch (Eastern Lombard)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code24100
Dialing code(+39) 035
Websitewww.comune.bergamo.it 
UNESCO World Heritage Site
CriteriaCultural: iii, iv
Reference1533
Inscription2017 (41st session)
Area378.37 ha

Antiquity

Bergamo occupies the site of the ancient town of Bergomum, founded as a settlement by the Celtic tribe of Cenomani. In 49 BC it became a Roman municipality, containing c. 10,000 inhabitants at its peak. An important hub on the military road between Friuli and Raetia, it was destroyed by Attila in the 5th century.

Middle Ages

See also: Rule of the DukesKingdom of the Lombards, and List of kings of the Lombards

From the 6th century Bergamo was the seat of one of the most important Lombard duchies of northern Italy, together with BresciaTrento, and Cividale del Friuli: its first Lombard duke was Wallaris.

After the conquest of the Lombard Kingdom by Charlemagne, it became the seat of a county under one Auteramus (d. 816). An important Lombardic hoard dating from the 6th to 7th centuries was found in the vicinity of the city in the 19th century and is now in the British Museum.[17]

From the 11th century onwards, Bergamo was an independent commune, taking part in the Lombard Leaguewhich defeated Frederick I Barbarossa in 1165. The local Guelph and Ghibelline factions were the Colleoni and Suardi, respectively.

Feuding between the two initially caused the family of Omodeo Tasso to flee north c. 1250, but he returned to Bergamo in the later 13th century to organize the city’s couriers: this would eventually lead to the Imperial Thurn und Taxis dynasty generally credited with organizing the first modern postal service.

Early modern

After a short period under the House of Malatesta starting from 1407, Bergamo was ceded in 1428 by the Duchy of Milan to the Republic of Venice in the context of the Wars in Lombardy and the aftermath of the 1427 Battle of Maclodio.

Despite the brief interlude granted by the Treaty of Lodi in 1454, the uneasy balance of power among the Northern Italian states precipitated the Italian Wars, a series of conflicts from 1494 to 1559 that involved, at various times, also the Papal StatesFrance, and the Holy Roman Empire.18]

The wars, which were both a result and cause of Venetian involvement in the power politics of mainland Italy, prompted Venice to assert its direct rule over its mainland domains.

As much of the fighting during the Italian Wars took place during sieges, increasing levels of fortification were adopted, using such new developments as detached bastions that could withstand sustained artillery fire.

The Treaty of Campo Formio (17 October 1797) formally recognized the inclusion of Bergamo and other parts of Northern Italy into the Cisalpine Republic, a “sister republic” of the French First Republic that was superseded in 1802 by the short-lived Napoleonic Italian Republic and in 1805 by the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy.

Late modern and contemporary

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The 1815 Congress of Vienna assigned Bergamo to the Kingdom of Lombardy–Venetia, a crown land of the Austrian Empire. The visit of Emperor Ferdinand I in 1838 coincided with the opening of the new boulevard stretching into the plains, leading to the railway station that was inaugurated in 1857.

The Bergamasques welcomed Austrian rule at first , but later challenged it in Italian independentist insurrections in 1848.

Giuseppe Garibaldi conquered Bergamo in 1859, during the Second Italian War of Independence. As a result the city became part of the newly-proclaimed Kingdom of Italy founded in 1861.

Due to its contribution to the Italian unification movement, Bergamo has become known as Città dei Mille (“City of the Thousand”), because a significant part of the rank-and-file supporting Giuseppe Garibaldi in his 1860 Expedition of the Thousand against the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies came from Bergamo and its environs.Bergamo Upper Town and Alpi Orobie from the airport

During the twentieth century, Bergamo became one of Italy’s most industrialized areas.

In 1907 Marcello Piacentini devised a new urban master plan that was implemented between 1912 and 1927, in a style reminiscent of Novecento Italiano and Modernist Rationalism.

The 2017 43rd G7 summit on agriculture took place in Bergamo, in the context of the broader international meeting organized in Taormina(Sicily).[ The “Charter of Bergamo”, an international commitment signed during the summit, aims to reduce hunger worldwide by 2030, strengthen cooperation for agricultural development in Africa, and ensure price transparency.

In early 2020 during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic in Italy, Bergamo’s healthcare system was overtaken by patients with COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. There were reports of doctors confronted with ethical dilemmas with too few ICU beds and mechanical ventilation systems.[22] Doctors pleaded with the rest of Italy, Europe and the world to take the spreading virus pandemic seriously. 

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