Castello di Malpaga is a gorgeous place to visit when in Bergamo.
It is the kind of place where you can learn about the local history and traditions, and at the same time enjoy a number of truly unique activities that are fun for adults and children alike.
I have had the chance to visit Castello di Malpaga during my trip to Bergamo and thought I’d share some useful information so that you can plan your visit and make the most of it.
Make sure to read my post 10 Perfectly Good Reasons To Visit Bergamo, Italy.
A Practical Guide To Castello Di Malpaga
A short history of the castle
Malpaga is a 15th-century castle that was built for defensive purposes in the area of Covernago, a village near Bergamo, and later on acquired by Bartolomeo Colleoni, an Italian “condottiero” who became a captain-general of the Republic of Venice with a reputation for having high fighting and planning skills, and for being a rather strict person. He ruled over Bergamo and its surroundings for a number of years.
Under Colleoni’s orders, Malpaga Castle was enlarged and enriched, following the Renaissance fashion, and was used as a military base for his troops. Colleoni also used to live in the Castle with his wife and a number of daughters.
The Castle has a square layout and is surrounded by two lines of walls (only one of which is now visible) which both have merlons and a moat. It is still in very good condition and features rooms painted by Il Romanino – the most precious fresco is the Madonna with Child in what used to be Colleoni’s private studio.
The frescoes all have commemorative meanings. One of them was painted to celebrate the visit of King Christian I of Denmark in 1474 – Colleoni was particularly proud of the way a king had been welcomed, with banquets, hunting expeditions, and more. Other frescoes have allegoric meanings. One portrays Silence and is a reference to the importance of keeping the castle’s secrets. The fresco in the courtyard, painted by Il Romanino, depicts the 1467 Battle of Molinella (or Riccardina).
Touring Castello di Malpaga
One of the most fun ways of visiting Castello di Malpaga is on guided tours during which you get to wear costumes that are styled to resemble 15th-century attires. This is meant to give you a good idea of how people lived in the 15th century – the clothes were heavy and terribly uncomfortable to walk around.
Cooking classes at Castello di Malpaga
Another fun way to enjoy Castello di Malpaga is during a cooking class with a local chef, preparing a meal that is seasonal, entirely local, and by all means delicious. When I visited, we prepared beef tartare as an appetizer; casoncelli (traditional stuffed pasta from the region of Bergamo) as a main course; and a modern version of Tiramisù as dessert.
The best part – however – is actually enjoying the meal in a fantastic dining room. In our case, it was a 15th-century room decorated with beautiful frescoes and warmed by an original fireplace.
GOOD TO KNOW: All meals at Castello di Malpaga are accompanied by local wine. Dietary requirements can be accommodated.
Useful information to plan your visit to Castello di Malpaga
Castello di Malpaga is about 14 km from Bergamo – around 20 minutes drive. The best way to get there is independently by car.
Tickets to Castello di Malpaga are €12. For bookings click here.
Legal Disclaimer: This article was written in partnership with the Explora S. C. p. A. and In Lombardia as part of the #inLOMBARDIA365 campaign. All the views and opinions expressed are my own and based on my personal experience. The views expressed are honest and factual without any bias.