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History Museum, Bergamo

History Museum, Bergamo

The History Museum of Bergamo (Museo delle storie di Bergamo) has six divisions. Each of them is a separate exhibition dedicated to a specific historical period or an outstanding personality. Such a system makes it possible to increase the amount of information presented, and therefore, to let visitors learn about the city's development in the social, cultural, political and economic spheres.

Divisions of the History Museum

The Museum of History in Bergamo occupies six buildings located in different parts of the city:

  • Campanone is the name of the tower situated in the centre of Piazza Vecchia. It was built in the 12th century. The height of the tower is 52.76 m. You can reach the top taking 230 steps or by lift to enjoy a stunning panoramic view of the old part of the town. The tower contains the largest bell in Lombardy, which is still rung at 22:00 every day to pay tribute to the tradition of closing the city gates at this time.

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  • Palazzo del Podestà with an interactive multimedia museum called Cinquecento takes you on a virtual journey into the past and lets you witness fascinating events of the 16th-17th centuries. There you can also get acquainted with Renaissance frescoes and archaeological findings. The palace itself was constructed in the late 19th century to serve as a residence for a foreign governor, and later to become a centre of justice.
  • The Donizetti Museum is dedicated to the life of the composer Gaetano Donizetti. Letters, portraits, and personal belongings are among the exhibits. There is, of course, a place for music. The museum was founded in 1897 on the occasion of the centenary of the composer's birth. At the time it was planned as a temporary exhibition but later was turned into a permanent museum.
  • The Tower of the Fallen honours those who fought during the First World War. The last floor of the building has a terrace that offers a beautiful view of Bergamo. The building itself was erected in 1924.

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  • The Monastery of San Francesco is an example of medieval architecture that has preserved frescoes of the 14th century. It houses the library of the Bergamo History Museum, archive, offices and temporary exhibitions.
  • The Rocca Castle is a fortress, which was built in the 14th century and has a beautiful view of the upper city. The Risorgimento museum sits in there. It is a perfect place to have a look at the military equipment and admire the paintings of that epoch.

History of the Museum

The History Museum in Bergamo traces its history back to the 20th of September, 1917, when the Risorgimento Museum was opened (during the period of struggle for the political unification of Italy). The entire population of the city was called on to collect the exhibits. At the time, objects, documents and works of art dating back to the 19th century were demonstrated there. In 1933, the museum moved to the castle Rocca di Bergamo and after the Second World War was replenished with new exhibits and changed its name to the Risorgimento and Resistance Museum. It functioned until the early 80s, when it was closed due to the reconstruction of the castle.

It resumed its activity as the Historical Museum of Bergamo in 1997 in the monastery of San Francesco. Only in 2003, after the opening of the castle of Rocca, the museum moved again to its old place. Now the castle is only one of the six buildings that make up the network of the Museum of History.

How to get there

  • Palazzo del Podesta, Campanone, and Donizetti Museum may be reached by funicular or bus №1 (the viale delle Mura vicolo Bettani stop).
  • To get to the Tower of the Fallen take the bus №1 to the stop via Roma 4.
  • There is a bus stop № 3, via alla Fara 3a, not far from the monastery of San Francesco.
  • Take a funicular or get off at the stop viale delle Mura via Osmano to get to Castle Rocca. The stop is on the route of the bus №1.

Divisions' opening times

Campanone

  • From November to March – from Tuesday to Friday from 9:30 to 13:00 and from 14:30 to 18:00. On Saturdays and holidays, the work schedule is the same, but without a break.
  • From April to October, the tower is open from Tuesday to Friday from 10:00 to 18:00, and on Saturdays and weekends – until 20:00. Monday is a day off.
  • The ticket costs 5 euros. It gives the right to enter the Campanone and the Palazzo del Podestà.

Palazzo del Podestà

  • From October to May – from Tuesday to Sunday from 9:30 to 13:00 and from 14:30 to 18:00.
  • From June to September – from Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 to 13:00 and from 14:30 to 18:00. On Saturdays and public holidays from 10:00 to 19:00.

Museum of Donizetti

  • From October to May – from Tuesday to Friday from 9:30 to 13:00. On Saturdays and Sundays the museum is open from 9:30 to 13:00 and from 14:00 to 18:00.
  • From June to September – from Tuesday to Sunday from 9:30 to 13:00 and from 14:30 to 18:00. Closed on Monday.
  • The price of admission ticket is 3 euros.

Tower of the Fallen

  • From Friday to Sunday – from 10:00 to 13:00 and from 15:00 to 18:00.
  • Ticket price is 3 euros.

San Francesco Monastery

  • From October to May – from Tuesday to Sunday from 9:30 to 13:00 and from 14:30 to 18:00.
  • From June to September – from Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 to 13:00 and from 14:30 to 18:00. On Saturdays and holidays, the monastery is open from 10:00 to 19:00. Monday is a day off.
  • Free entrance.

The Rocca Fortress

  • From October to May – from Tuesday to Sunday from 9:30 to 13:00 and from 14:30 to 18:00.
  • From June to September – from Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 to 13:00 and from 14:30 to 18:00. On Saturdays and public holidays from 10:00 to 19:00.
  • Ticket price – 3 euros.

Current information as of February 2018.

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