Only 43km (27 miles) from Milan, the walled hilltop town of Bergamo is an enchanting place with a wealth of medieval, Renaissance and baroque architecture. Highlights include the Piazza Vecchia in the heart of the upper town (Bergamo Alta), with the Palazzo della Ragione and the Torre della Civica. In the nearby Piazetta del Duomo, the cathedral is overshadowed by the Romanesque church of Santa Maria Maggiore, which includes a 19th-century memorial to the native composer, Gaetano Donizetti.
The best views are from the Castello on the summit of San Vigilio. The Accademia Carrara, at the bottom of the plateau on the eastern side, is one of Italy's finest art galleries, featuring important art from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. Trains run from Milan's Porto Garibaldi or Lambrate stations.
For further information, visit Bergamo Tourist Office, Torre del Gombito, Via Gombito 13 (Bergamo Alta).