Sotto Il Monte lies 350 meters below sea level, in the district of Monte Canto, 500 meters from the childhood home of Pope John XXIII. Places to visit nearby include the Cà Maitino museum and the 11th century S. Egidio in Fontanella abbey.
The Casa Clelia estate, which once belonged to the famous condottiere Bartolomeo Colleoni (his coat-of-arms remains in stone on the northern gateway), is close to a woodland partially covering the property where lovely footpaths make for great hiking. Not far away there are also facilities for horse-riding and playing golf.
"LE CORNELLE" ANIMAL PARK
Of great interest from both scientific and touristic viewpoints, the park is home to more than a hundred species of birds, mammals and reptiles. The structures they inhabit follow the latest European trends in the sphere of animal wellness, thus ensuring each creature a life that in terms of socialization and environment corresponds as closely as possible to the one it would have in the wild - all compatibly with animal as well as visitor safety. Beyond generally familiar species, the park holds specimens that are most uncommon or in danger of extinction like the snow leopard, the Manchurian crane, the Hyacinth macaw and the extremely rare white tiger. "Le Cornelle" is the only animal park in Italy that makes a key contribution to the white tiger's precious survival in captivity.
How to get there: Superhighway A4, exit Dalmine, direction Valbrembo.
For info: Parco Faunistico LE CORNELLE - Via Cornelle, 16 - 24030 Valbrembo (BG)
Phone (+39) 035 527 640 - Fax (+39) 035 528 285
MINITALIA LEOLANDIA PARK
Minitalia Leolandia Park offers visitors the chance to tour Italy, see the many sights also traveling by sea. But the park boasts other attractions as well: hundreds of fish from all over the globe, a gorgeous shell exhibition, 250 specimens of reptiles (including some of the most fearsome), 200 kinds of parrots, plus a fine variety of farm animals. Then there's the children's area featuring lots of fun activities: the breathtaking Mississippi Boat log ride, the death-defying journey on the Petroleum, the dizzy adventures on Aladin's Flying Carpet and in the Cannibals' Cauldrons.
How to get there: Minitalia Leolandia Park is located 300 meters from the Capriate exit (on superhighway A4, halfway between Bergamo and Milan). Another way to get there is by taking the "Autostradale" ® bus on the direct Bergamo Milano line and getting off at the Capriate San Gervasio stop. The superhighway bus company provides transport complete with park entrance at a reasonable price. Tickets are on sale at the "Autostradale" ticket booths in Piazza Castello (Milan) and on Viale Marconi (Bergamo).
For info: Minitalia Leolandia Park - Via Vittorio Veneto, 52 - 24024 Capriate San Gervasio (BG)
Phone (+39) 02 909 0169
LATE 19TH CENTURY CRESPI D'ADDA COTTON MILL TOWN
Crespi d'Adda, in the Commune of Capriate San Gervasio, is surely Italy's leading example of cotton mill (or factory) town thanks both to the perfect state of preservation and to the exemplarity of urban planning. The design is quite simple: the mill with very tall smokestacks lies along the river, then next to it is the castle-villa of the owners. The workers' cottages are arranged on a series of parallel streets; to the south there's a group of houses built at a later date for office employees and managers. A church, with school alongside, stands near the entrance to town. The cemetery is a national monument. Overlooking it is the Crespi mausoleum, a pyramidal tower with eclectic/Stile Liberty ornamentation. At a meeting held in Berlin in December of 1995, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee added Crespi d'Adda to the World Heritage List as an extraordinary example of the factory town phenomenon. Fifth site to make the list in the industrial archeology category, the Crespi d'Adda Cotton Mill Town now joins other UNESCO landmarks in Italy.
How to get there: Village in the Commune of Capriate S. Gervasio (Bergamo), Crespi d'Adda is on the route between Turin and Venice. One way to reach it is by taking the A4 Milano-Brescia superhighway and getting off at the Capriate S. Gervasio exit. In alternative, there's the Bergamo-Trezzo sull'Adda bus line.
For info: Associazione Culturale "Villaggio Crespi" - Piazzale Vittorio Veneto, 1 - Crespi D'Adda (BG)
Phone (+39) 02 909 871 91 - Fax (+39) 02 909 646 18
Wikipedia: Crespi d'Adda
ITINERARIES FOR CYCLISTS ALONG THE ADDA RIVER
The Adda originates at an altitude of 2,290 meters in the Upper Valtellina area. It runs through the towns of Bormio and Sondrio and all through the valley until reaching Pian di Spagna. At that point it rushes directly into Lake Como, coming out at the lakeside town of Lecco. Finally, after crossing the entire plain, it flows into the Po river where it ends its 301 km journey. The bicycle path hugging the bank of the Adda river is found totally within the Adda Nord Park. Established in 1983, this natural reserve lies between Lecco (to the north) and Truccazzano (to the south). Since it runs parallel to the river, the path is mostly downhill. The only uphill parts - short but steep - concern the diversions up the bank to cross the river (Paderno d'Adda and Trezzo d'Adda). The ideal points of departure and arrival are, respectively, the Calolziocorte and Cassano d'Adda railroad stations. That way cyclists can reach the spot where the itinerary begins by train, also taking advantage of the FS state railway's bicycle transport service. (FS info: Ph. 147-888088) The itinerary can be split in two sections. The first, from Calolziocorte to Paderno, is especially wonderful for nature lovers. The river and surrounding vegetation remain to a good extent in a pristine state. While there are a few interesting examples of industrial archeology - namely, silk mills (Garlate, Olginate, Brivio) dating to the first half of the 20th century - industrialization came only somewhat to this particuar area. The second half of the itinerary, from Paderno to Cassano, sparks attention instead for the many old industrial sites. Primarily in question here are a number of hydro-electric power plants still in operation today. Other points of interest include the fortified castles and houses dotting the entire itinerary. And in fact for many centuries the Adda river marked the borderline between the Republic of Venice and the Duchy of Milan.
For info: I.A.T. Office of the Azienda di Promozione Turistica di Bergamo
Phone (+39) 035 242 226 - (+39) 035 232 730 - Fax (+39) 035 242 994
Thanks to its variety of waters and therapeutic mud, the province of Bergamo offers treatment opportunities for many pathologies.The thermal centres are acknowledged by the National Sanitary Service and are set in natural places where you can combine the beneficial effects of an uncontaminated environment with water treatments. Besides thermal treatments, at health spas you can go in for different sports, have fun and relax. The thermal baths offer the possibility to visit the nearby characteristic towns and to get to know their most typical gastronomical products.
Terme di Trescore Balnerario - Via Gramsci - 24069 Trescore Balneario (BG) - Italy
Phone (+39) 035 425 5511 - Fax (+39) 035 941 050
Terme di Sant'Omobono - Viale alle Fonti, 117 - 24038 S.Omobono Imagna (BG) - Italy
Phone (+39) 035 851 114 - (+39) 852 242 - Fax (+39) 035 851 148
Terme di San Pellegrino - Via Taramelli 2 - 24016 San Pellegrino Terme (BG) - Italy
Phone (+39) 0345 224 551 - Fax (+39) 0345 234 97