Monastery of Astino
The Astino valley forms part of the Regional Park of the Bergamo Hills (Parco Regionale dei Colli di Bergamo), from where several country trails lead to Bergamo’s Città Alta (Upper Town), Sudorno and the woodland of Allegrezza.
The monastery of Astino was founded in 1107 by Vallumbrosan monks, and within a short time it had become rooted in the province of Bergamo, notably increasing its holdings, which ranged from the plains to the south-west of the city all the way to the Upper Val Brembana and the Val Seriana, with the establishment of numerous farming and mining concerns.
The monastery, which officially became part of the Congregation of the Vallumbrosan Observation in 1493, underwent a complete reconstruction from 1515. The previous buildings, dating in part to the Romanesque period and the 15th century, were gradually demolished to give way to a corner tower, on the model of the mother-house of the Order at Vallombrosa. Completed around 1611, it retained most of its structure until the suppression of 1797. It was subsequently turned first into a psychiatric hospital and then into a residence for farmers and a farmstead. The comprehensive restoration, orchestrated by the MIA Foundation, was completed in 2015 in time for the Milan Expo.