Travel

Discover the Hidden Gems of Northern Italy’s Culture Capitals

Italy. A country of stylish dogs, mathematically gorgeous architecture, tiny coffees and cheeses most of us can’t hope to pronounce. A country where you can wander into the most unassuming-looking church on the corner of the most unassuming-looking street and find a 17th Century fresco of a lute-playing baby that’ll make you weep into your Gelato receipt. A country that has said a firm no grazie to the rules of singular noun use and appointed not one but two cities as the Italian Capital of Culture for 2023.

Those two cities are Bergamo and Brescia, neighbours in Northern Lombardy with a (mostly) playful rivalry. To use the visual metaphor of long-ago Geography lessons, Lombardy is located at the very top of the boot, high on the calf shaft, up around the knee. It takes around 90 minutes to fly from London to Milan airport, and then less than 40-50 minutes by train to either city, with about 45 minutes travel from one to the other. Two of the worst affected areas during the COVID-19 pandemic, Bergamo and Brescia’s joint appointment as Italy’s cultural hubs – a first in the award’s 8-year history, is one effort to return Italy to full life and vitality in a world no longer in lockdown. Read more…

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