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Cannoniera San Giovanni

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Exploring the Hidden Gem of Bergamo: Cannoniera San Giovanni

Nestled in the southwestern corner of the historic city of Bergamo, Italy, lies a hidden gem that takes visitors on a journey back in time. Cannoniera San Giovanni, also known as San Giovanni Casemate, is a fascinating historical site that offers a glimpse into the city's rich military past.

Unveiling History Underground

To enter the San Giovanni Casemate, visitors descend a few meters underground via an iron staircase. This defensive structure, built centuries ago, served as a stronghold for soldiers and cannons defending the city walls. As you explore the perfectly restored casemate, you can almost feel the echoes of battles fought five hundred years ago.

Strategic Defense and Architectural Marvels

One intriguing aspect of Cannoniera San Giovanni is its strategic design. The embrasures, or cannon openings, do not face the flatland but are guarded against enemy fire. This strategic choice allowed the cannons to open fire on enemy soldiers assaulting the walls while remaining protected.

As you make your way back to the surface, you'll notice a unique metal object that catches your eye. It's a sundial, a reinterpretation of this ancient tool using contemporary features and materials. This artistic installation adds a touch of modernity to the historical site.

Soak in the Breathtaking Views

Adjacent to the casemate, you'll find San Giovanni Bastion, a perfect spot for a relaxing afternoon. Take a seat on one of the benches or lie down on the lush lawn, and immerse yourself in the breathtaking view of Lower Bergamo. It's an ideal place to unwind, read a good book, or even soak up the sun.

A Testament to Bergamo's Military Heritage

Cannoniera San Giovanni is not just a hidden gem; it's also a precious testament to Bergamo's military and architectural heritage during the Venetian domination. The casemate's restoration was made possible by the construction company Ing. G. Pandini s.r.l. in 2007. Approximately 1800 cubic meters of soil had to be removed to bring this historical site back to light.

When to Visit Cannoniera San Giovanni

Since 2009, Cannoniera San Giovanni has been accessible to visitors through the metal staircase located at the ancient maneuver square. The casemate consists of two spacious vaulted rooms, with the first room connected to the exit on the ground level. The quadrangular openings in the walls once housed the cannons, although they were never used due to the fortress never experiencing any sieges.

To make the most of your visit, plan your trip to Cannoniera San Giovanni during the spring or autumn months when the weather is pleasant. The site is open to the public and provides historical information to enhance your understanding of its significance.

Discover the Hidden Depths of Bergamo

Cannoniera San Giovanni is a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts and architecture lovers alike. Uncover the secrets of this underground fortress, marvel at its strategic design, and soak in the stunning views from San Giovanni Bastion. Bergamo's hidden gem awaits, ready to transport you back in time.

Updated on 27 May 2024

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