Sala con affreschi e schermo raffigurante Carlo V

Museo del Cinquecento

Bergamo and the ‘golden age’ of La Serenissima

In the Palazzo del Podestà, this museum presents history in a new way, mixing knowledge and play, intellect and emotion, in a multimedia exhibition that’s designed for the general public. Objects that bear witness to the past (paintings, manuscripts, maps, and documents) ’come to life’, portraying the 16th century with an innovative and original approach. The Museo del 500 is a museum about Renaissance Bergamo and the ‘golden age’ of La Serenissima, the Republic of Venice.


Includes visit to Palazzo del Podestà + Museo del Cinquecento + Campanone

Full 5€

Reduced 3€
Amici del Museo delle storie di Bergamo, University students up to 26 years old, Groups of 15 people, discounts

Reduced 1€
Children and teens 11-17 years old

Children from 0 to 10 years, disabled, ICOM members, journalists, licensed guides, Abbonamento Musei Lombardia


Apothecary cabinet

In the room dedicated to apothecaries in the 1500s, some interactive ‘drawers’ explain the medicinal, cosmetic and culinary uses of spices and animal-derived products exercised by 16th-century ‘pharmacists’. Opening the drawers, visitors are catapulted into a world that hovers between cooking, science and magic. Here are a few examples of such cures: snails slowly consumed in the heat of the fire yield an oil useful for lengthening and strengthening hair; snake skin cooked in wine is dripped into the ears to combat pain; coral is crushed with porphyry, useful against epilepsy.

porzione di dipinto di Alvise Cima raffigurante il perimetro di Bergamo

Bird’s-eye view of Bergamo by Alvise Cima, 1693

Dated 1693, this painting is a wonderful perspective view of Bergamo as it appeared before the Venetian walls were built, by the Bergamasque painter Alvise Cima. Cima’s view transports us to a very detailed Medieval Bergamo, portrayed as if the viewer were hovering above the city. It lets the eye wander among the city’s churchyards, convents, military buildings and private homes. The harmony of the image of the Medieval city is broken up by a very visible black line, which represents the outline of the Venetian walls, built between 1561 and 1588.

globo con all'interno la mappa di Africa ed Europa


An audio-visual installation in the form of a ‘globe’ reflects the change between Medieval Mappae Mundi and new, ‘modern’ geographical maps: from the globe of the Camaldolese monk named Fra Mauro, which demonstrates the persistence of Medieval legends, monsters and mirabilia along the edges of the oecumene, up to the incredible world map drawn in 1508 by the Florentine painter and cartographer Francesco Rosselli, the first example of an oval world map complete with a grid of meridians and parallels.

Museo del Cinquecento

Between 2001 and 2011, the Palazzo del Podestà was renovated and restored. As of 2012, it has been the home of the Museo del 500, a museum dedicated to the 1500s

Modern technology and communication are in dialogue with the history of the Palazzo del Podestà, taking visitors on a journey through the 16th century, a crucial time in Italy, Europe and the world.

Venetian Bergamo is part of this broader context: visitors will travel from Venice to Bergamo with envoys, rectors, merchants and vagabonds, and then into the city, through villages and neighbourhoods, palaces and monasteries populated by locals and their stories. Immersed in 16th-century life, visitors will also witness the construction of the city walls, a lasting symbol of Venetian rule and a UNESCO heritage site as of 2017.

Tavolo interattivo della fiera di Bergamo. Sul retro installazioni video a forma di cubo

Discover the museum

The seven rooms of the exhibition take visitors from the end of the Middle Ages to the terrible fire at the Bergamo Fair in 1591. A journey within the relationship between Bergamo and Venice in the 16th century.colo.


The new world

From Medieval geography to the arrival of Europeans in the “new world”

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A difficult journey

Bandits, bad roads and evil spirits made the journey between Venice and Bergamo difficult.

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Bergamo in the 1500s

After a difficult journey, we reach the city “supra monte mirabellissima”

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The Venetian city walls

The construction of the Venetian city walls forever changed the city

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In theapothecary

Folk cures and spices from the East filled shops in 16th-century Bergamo

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At the printer’s

La stampa a caratteri mobili rivoluziona e amplia il commercio librario in città

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The old fairgrounds

The Fair of Saint Alexander attracted merchants from all over Italy and Europe

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Buy your ticket

The entrance ticket includes Palazzo del Podestà + Museo del Cinquecento + Campanone

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