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Citadel 360° virtual tour
The former military heart of the city is now occupied by two museums that could both be visited free of charge.
This large rectangular-shaped palace was built by the Visconti family during the 14th century. Not much is left from the medieval architecture except for the Gothic-style exterior and a few Renaissance frescoes and door frames inside.
1. What to see
The cellar houses Civico Museo Archeologico, the local archaeological museum of Bergamo with some interesting Roman frescoes and mosaics. It is a pity that there is a random patchwork of photography (and tripod) restrictions in Bergamo and that photography is generally not permitted in the archaeological museum.
On the other hand, it was allowed to take 360° images in the nearby Nature-Science museum (Museo di Scienze Naturali Enrico Caffi).
Its ethnographic exhibition presents artifacts of major artistic and ritual relevance from the African and American continents and offers visitors the opportunity to set off on a virtual journey to places which are far off both in terms of time and distance. Without doubt sub-Saharan Africa appears to be the most represented territory in the ethnographic collections. This has made it possible to display over 150 items from this region belonging to more than 50 ethnic groups. North-America is represented with items collected by Costantino Beltrami in his 1823 journey to look for the source of Mississippi. In some cases both the place of origin and the original function of these objects was identified by the explorer. It would however be a mistake to believe that these complex cultures could be understood just through the study of the household and ritual artifacts. Even the layout of the exhibition encourages further study aimed at getting a deeper insight into the cultures of the African and American continents. During the past years on the occasion of temporary exhibitions museum curator Leonardo Vigorelli has published two studies about the Beltrami collection and the sub-Saharan artifacts of the Perolari donation.
There are also several exhibition rooms dedicated specifically to Paleontology with a valuable collection of fossils of organisms that have once inhabited Earth. About 20,000 years ago the area of Petosino near Bergamo was populated by a community of mammoth animals which were to some extent similar to modern elephants. Their distinctive feature was the thick woolly coat that could protect them from the harsh climate that characterized the last ice age. Their remains were unearthed during excavations carried out between 1905 and 1914 and their important fossils (ie. tusks, part of a jaw, two vertebrae and some bones) are now preserved by the museum. A spectacular reconstruction of the Petosino mammoth was placed in one of the large halls of the Citadel.
The zoological collection focuses on vertebrates. It is arranged in a systematic order with fishes and other marine creatures; reptiles, the first real conquerors of the earth; birds and finally mammals. There is also a room dedicated to minerals and the geology of Bergamo.
2. When to see
October to March: 9am-12.30pm and 2.30pm-5.30pm
April to September: 9am-12:30pm and 2:30pm-6pm, Saturdays and sundays: 9am - 7pm
Closed on Mondays.