One of several towns in Italy with an intact ring of defences, Bergamo’s impressive walls were built by the Venetians over 30 years starting in 1561. Ironically, due to changing political fortunes, the fortifications were never actually used – no one had the audacity to attack them – which is probably why they still look so new and handsome today. Five gates, 14 bastions and approximately 5.3km of wall enclose the Città Alta, which is linked to Città Bassa by two cable cars.
You can walk around the fortifications following various perimeter roads and streets (a distance of around 3.5km), most of which offer extensive views over the Città Bassa and the Lombard plains beyond.
In 2017 Unesco named Bergamo’s Venetian defences a World Heritage site, along with those of five other Mediterranean towns.