Gaetano Donizetti's self-portrait

Bergamo played an important role in the history of music as home-town of Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1848), who was among the most famous authors of music dramas.

A Donizetti's itinerary begins from the museum entitled to the composer. It has been founded in 1902 and four years later it opened to public. The museum is located inside a wonderful palace in Arena Street built in 1400 and owned by the Misericordia Maggiore: walls and ceilings are luxuriously decorated with neoclassical frescoes, partly work of the Bergamo painter Vincenzo Bonomini.

The Museum preparation has been made following the suceeding of Donizetti's life and   works, from his birth to the studies at Bergamo and Bologna, from the beginning of his artistic life till he came to maturity as man and composer, ending with data of his illness and death.
In the Museum can be found preciuos authographic manuscripts, first printed editions and antiques, but also a complete collection of strings, wind and keyboard instruments, which have been recently restored. In this collection the most famous items are the forte-piano used by Donizetti for his works, the wonderful Bösendorfer forte-piano, which was bought by Donizetti himself in Vienna in 1844 for the noble family Rota-Basoni (it is still working!) and the little violoncello used by Alfredo Piatti at the beginning of his studies.

First page of the "Anna Bolena", authographic manuscript

Besides the Donizetti museum there is an important archive, now located in the Historical Museum of Bergamo: scholars can visit it by appointment.

The Donizetti itinerary continues with the composer's home, where he was born on november 29th 1797. It is located in a suburban quarter, outside the walls which surrounded the High City on the hill. The house was built in the XVII century on medieval structures and Donizetti's family lived there from 1786 to 1808: as they were poor, they lived in the cellars, which they entered through a steep little stairway, called by Donizetti "una scala di cantina".
On the groundfloor can be visited the lasting photographic show Donizetti in Bergamo,which is complementary to the Museum, and the photographic fantasia Donizettiana by Beppe Angeloni.



Arena Street, 9 - 24129 BERGAMO
Tel 0039/035399269-035247116 Fax 0039/035219128
Apr. 1st - Sept. 30th: 10.00-13.00 ; 14.30-17.00 / Oct. 1st - Mar. 31st: 10.00-13.00 / Closed on monday

ARCHIVE of the Donizetti Museum
Piazza Mercato del Fieno (S. Francesco monastery) - 24129 BERGAMO
For appointments: Tel 0039/035247116 Fax 0039/035219128

Borgo Canale Street, 14 - 24129 BERGAMO
Tel 0039/035399269-035247116 Fax 0039/035219128
Open on appointment

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