Wednesday 26 September 2012

New and old

The reasons for coming to Bergamo are many; the art, the music and more personally and importantly, it was one place my dad recommended to me many years ago before he died. So it's more than just a random city break.

Tuesday is the day in Italy when all museums are open and so we had planned a fine balance between old and new, high and low town. We pottered around the old town seeing the Donizetti museum and the chapel of the condottiere Colleone. He clearly had no taste and a penchant for coloured Gothic marble tracery. And then some.

With this in mind I had an incredibly colourful pizza and then we headed down the hill on the funicular to the modern elegance of the new town. After a dead end and a detour avoiding the military zone, we were at GAMEC (contemporary art gallery), 5 mins before opening at 3pm. We waited in a public library installation and watched the doors being locked. Eh? After 20 mins we called it a day. Naughty contrary art. We performed a two person piece called 'Sulk' (2012) and then that concluded, headed off to a local park.

As it happened Parco Suardi was a pleasant place to waste time; established trees, fountains representing the bergamesco landscape, children falling off scooters, a couple of kids in said fountain, and simply lying on a bench was good. The weather looked down, saw I had no brolly and decided to have a giggle. We headed back to the funicular as it started to rain - performance piece number 2 'Soaked' (2012).

The need for contemporary art had evaporated as quickly as the rain so we headed for the town hall and an extract of the best art from the Accademia Cararra which is currently under restoration. This exhibition 'Vincere il Tempo' in the palazzo Ragione was stunning and the mix of styles suitably wide as a taster. For me the Jacopo Bellini Madonna was worth the entrance fee. Poetry hit me!

The day concluded with drinks at the local and a polenta dinner. Doesn't get much better than that. And I agree with my dad, it's a beautiful place and not to be missed.

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