Introduction of Bergamo
City, capital of Bergamo province, in Lombardy, approximately 30 mi NE of Milan in the foothills of the Alps. It was originally a Gallic settlement and came under Rome in the third century b.c. Bergamo was overrun by Attila the Hun in the fifth century a.d., became a Lombard duchy in 1296, and passed to Venice in 1428. It was conquered by Napoleon in 1796, and the next year became part of the Napoleonic Cisalpine Republic. From 1814 to 1859 it was under the rule of Austria. A Romanesque cathedral, begun in 1137 and completed 200 years later, survives, along with parts of the old city walls. Adjoining the cathedral is the distinguished Renaissance Colleoni chapel. Gaetano Donizetti, the composer, was born here in 1797.