Some would call the Italian city of Bergamo a masterpiece. A small city, at least when compared to the much larger nearby Milano, Bergamo is located in the Italian state of Lombardy and has a population of nearly 120,000 citizens.
Located between Milan and the picturesque Lake Como it is a city marked clearly by the town’s architecture and three height layers. Bergamo’s cityscape is divided into two centers, the upper and older città alta, and the lower and more modern città bassa.
While it is possible to catch a glimpse of some of the smaller football clubs Bergamo has (Excelsior Bergamo being only one) there is really only one football club in Bergamo.
A football club had existed in Bergamo since 1903; the ‘Foot Ball Club Bergamo‘ being a forerunner of the current team. The present club was founded in 1907 by five Swiss Italian founding fathers who came together at a restaurant in the city.
The club name is taken from the female athlete of Greek mythology ‘Atalanta’ a virgin huntress who was unwilling to marry but said to be loved by the hero. The current club area result of a merger between Atalanta and a third team called Bergamasca thus giving the club the full name Atalanta Bergamasca Calcio.
Atalanta moved to the site of the current ground on the Viale Giulio Cesare in 1928. At its official inauguration the stadium hosted 14,000 spectators for the first football match.
By the 1970’s the stadium was noted for its curva style where the most passionate fans would congregate. Achille Bortolotti, a patron of Atalanta and head of an important oil company, was the man to finance the completion of the curva nord which become famous as the home of the clubs most loyal home fans.
In the 1990’s more investment was made on the inner city stadium with the redevelopment of the Viale Giulio Cesare Tribune. In 1994 the stadium was renamed the “Atleti Azzurri d ‘Italia”.
With qualification for the later stages of European competition the stadium has come in for some criticism from both the media and fans. The stadium has undergone a series of renovations since 2010 due to exterior and interior features that were seen to be outdated compared to the overall standard in Serie A. Given the open condition of the ground UEFA also decided that the stadium was not fit for Europa League football in 2018-19 resulting in Atalanta having to play UEFA Group stage fixtures in Reggio Emilia.
Atalanta officially acquired owbership of the stadium on the 8th August 2017 completing a €8.6 million transaction with the city government.
On 30 April 2019, the most significant phase of renovation began with the demolition of the Curva Nord which had been previously been renamed the Federico Pisani North Stand.
The wider planned renovations are expected to be completed by 2021, and will cost around €40 million in total.
On 1 July 2019 the Bergamo stadium officially became the Gewiss Stadium.
A regional club far removed from the often arrogant esteem of some of Italian football’s bigger sides, Atalanta are regarded as a regional powerhouse; a reputation enhanced by the qualification for the UEFA Champions League last 32 in 2019.
Amongst the famous names to have played for the club include Filippo Inzaghi, Christian Vieri, Glenn Strömberg, Demitrio Albertini, Alemeo, Claudio Caniggia and a young Gaetano Scirea but none of those players managed to reach any of the heights the current dquad have managed.
Atalanta Bergamasca Calcio – Founded 7th October 1907
Atleti Azzurri d’Italia – Gewiss Stadium
Coppa Italia Winners: 1963
Coppa Italia Runners Up: 2018-019
Serie B Winners: 2011