Excerpt from the dossier of the Italian Capital of Culture Bergamo Brescia 2023 ‘The Enlightened City’.

The monumental and scenic routes.

The provinces of Bergamo and Brescia are extremely rich in natural and architectural beauties, in dialogue for centuries. This immense heritage is characterized by an extreme variety of landscapes, ranging from the Brescian plain to the Bergamasque mountain valleys, passing through Lake Garda, Lake Idro, and Lake Iseo, through a territory dotted with splendid villages, fortresses, and villas.
These realities attract equally diverse forms of tourism. […] All these territories and their communities have initiated cultural planning processes in view of BGBS2023, processes that are still ongoing. Below are described some areas of common planning between the two cities that have proven to be particularly active and have seen the birth of shared or wide-ranging initiatives.

The cycle path Bergamo-Brescia 

Alongside the “La Via delle Sorelle” pathway, one of the broader-scale projects of Bergamo Brescia Italian Capital of Culture 2023 is represented by the Cycle Path, which connects the two cities touching Lake Iseo, historic centers, villages, historical and cultural sites, various parks, a nature reserve, and intersecting other cycle paths in the region. In addition to the main route of 75 km, several “loops” will be planned as deviations to further explore the territory.

The macro-project, also supported by the Lombardy Region, represents a significant challenge from the perspective of governance and territorial collaboration, as it involves the participation of regional parks, protected natural areas, 27 municipalities, Superintendencies of Archaeology, Fine Arts and Landscape, water management consortia, tourist districts, protection consortia, mountain communities, the Italian Federation for the Environment and Bicycle (FIAB), as well as numerous cultural, environmental, and sports associations.

The planning, which simultaneously encourages the transition to sustainable mobility for residents of the areas involved and the transition to new forms of sustainable tourism for visitors, does not forget the original vocation of the Capital of Culture: to trigger culturally-based development processes.

For this reason, along the Cycle Path route, the activation of 24 specialized stations is planned through various artistic and cultural initiatives, which will take place throughout the duration of 2023.

It is noteworthy to observe how the nature and scope of this initiative, which allows for the connection of strongly heterogeneous realities in new ways, have inspired the emergence, during participatory planning, of several cultural proposals still in development. These proposals complement the main planning by enriching it through initiatives, events, and thematic routes.


The dossier of Italian Capital of Culture