Not only a UNESCO World Heritage Site but also a place city of enigmas and esoteric allure

In the north-west of the country, Turin is considered the Italian capital of both Black and White Magic.

However, also Bergamo is a city of mysteries.

Dating back to the 1st millennium BC, its original name was  Bergomum and was founded as a settlement by a Celtic tribe. It has an old walled core, known as Città Alta (Upper Town), nestled within a system of hills constituting a regional park. Its massive Venetian defensive systems are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2017. While the modern expansion lies in the plains below. But it is the whole area to have a certain esoteric allure.

It is possible to start discovering this aspect of the city with a ‘Mystery Tour‘ organized by the Archaeological Group of Bergamo. This walk with torches and candles includes explores the locations of historically documented crimes and executions, with actors reenacting them. Some of the most suggestive monuments and places are also the Portone del Dialvo (Devil’s Gate), which, according to a legend, was built by the Devil himself. The Torre della Fame (Tower of Hunger) – where the tax evaders were locked up until they had paid up to the last cent. The Scene di scheletri viventi (Living skeletons scenes), a 18th-century cycle of frescos by Paolo Bonomini. The Sarcofago del cavaliere misterioso (The Sarcophagus of the Mysterious Knight) – discovered in 1950. And the porte del morto (the doors of the dead) – special doors used to carry the deads out of the homes.

Two intriguing buildings just outside Bergamo, in the municipalities of Almenno San Bartolomeo and Bianzano. The first is the ‘Rotonda di San Tomè’, a 12th-century circular religious structure that reminds to the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem. It has many windows from which, in specific days of the year, the light filters in a precise way with astronomical references. The second building is a Templar castle, full of enigmas.

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