February 2020

Empty streets of Bergamo, Italy at night on February 21, 2020 during caronavirus outbreak
Empty streets of Bergamo, Italy at night on February 21, 2020 during COVID-19 outbreak
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As I walked the empty streets of Bergamo’s medieval Città Alta (Upper City) in early morning hours of late-February, just as the caronavirus was spreading its evil way across northern Italy, I though back to all the other pandemics that its streets have witnessed over the centuries.  While Bergamo was first occupied even before Roman times, its upper city was fortified by Venetian influence in the 16th century.  These streets have seen plague, black death, smallpox and now COVID-19.

On February 29, our Anvil travel risk alert rises from a 2 to a 3 (on scale of 0-4).  Our flight home is already booked for the next morning.  Nine days later, Bergamo is under lock-down, and has become the epicenter of Italy’s coronavirus outbreak.

But as the sun rises over the city, I have confidence that it will eventually overcome this latest disaster and endure.

Bergamo Città Alta at sunset, Italy
Bergamo Città Alta, Italy
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Porta San Giacomo and Bergamo's big Venetian walls at sunrise, Bergamo Città Alta, Italy
Porta San Giacomo and Bergamo’s big Venetian walls, Bergamo Città Alta, Italy
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Statue on top of bell tower at Church of Sant'Alessandro della Croce silhouetted against sunrise, Bergamo, Italy
Church of Sant’Alessandro della Croce bell tower, Bergamo, Italy
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Statue on top of bell tower at Church of Sant'Alessandro della Croce silhouetted against sunrise, Bergamo, Italy
Church of Sant’Alessandro della Croce bell tower, Bergamo, Italy
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