The conference will be held in Bergamo at Centro Congressi Giovanni XXIII.
Nestling in the Alpine foothills, just 40 km northeast of Milan, Bergamo is one of the prettiest towns in Northern Italy and is the second touristic destination in Lombardy after Milan. Structured in two levels, the lower city, called “Città bassa” is more modern and dynamic, while the famous ‘upper city’, called “Città Alta”, built up on the hills, boasts a stunning historic center with an extremely rich heritage of art and history. The two cities are separated, both physically and symbolically, by the powerful Venetian Walls; nowadays, also a funicular railway “funicolare” brings visitors and residents from the lower city to the upper city.
Probably founded by Celtic populations – its name berg-heim means the hill-town – Bergamo was granted the status of Municipium by Julius Caesar in 49 b.C., and Romans built major public buildings which are currently no longer visible, even though some remains can be still seen in several areas of città alta.
Bergamo was for a long time an autonomous municipality and during that period the Communal Palace and the great urban church of S. Maria Maggiore – the most prestigious monument in the city – were built.
In 1428, Bergamo joined the Venetian State which lasted for over three centuries and a half. The most important, daunting and expensive work of this period was undoubtedly the building of the Venetian Walls with their four gates that gave protected access to the city. The walls and the gates still mark the urban skyline of Bergamo.
During the 18th century, the Città Bassa experienced a major growth and renovation process: it was composed of Borghi, the residential houses built along the main road that linked Bergamo with the other cities of Lombardy.
Bergamo is now home to over 120,000 inhabitants. It hosts several extraordinary art museums: the “Bernareggi” Museum of Sacred Art and the famous Pinacoteca Carrara, an art gallery situated near to the Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art (GAMEC). It is served by the Orio al Serio Airport, which also serves the Province of Bergamo and the metropolitan area of Milan. The University of Bergamo, founded in 1968, counts around 15,000 students and it is organized in five faculties, including the Department of Engineering.