The Best Travel Guide to Brescia by BestTravelBook

Brescia is often overlooked by tourists, however, the city offers a great architecture which chronicles many different periods in Italy history.  Located in Lombardy in northern Italy, Brescia is probably most famous for its four sensational historic squares all withing a short walking distance of each other the Roman Square, Medieval Square, Renaissance Square and Modern Square.

The Best Travel Guide to Brescia is segmented into 4 key travel themes to immerse you into everything Brescia:

  1. An introduction and brief history to this wonderful town;
  2. A comprehensive lowdown of What to See;
  3. Some Top Tips / Good to Know;
  4. An insider guide

Hope you enjoy it!  Carpe Diem!

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1. An introduction and brief history to this wonderful town:

Brescia is famous for hosting Italy’s Mille Miglia classic car rally boasts numerous Roman, Romanesque, Renaissance and Baroque buildings and the magnificent Sant Giulia Museum. It is a pleasure to stroll around this elegant city.  You will be fascinated by the atmosphere created by its airy piazzas and picturesque lanes, its fountains and aristocratic residences, the intimacy of its cloisters and the art treasures waiting to be discovered in its churches and museums.

Brescia is located half-way between Milan and Venice, it is well serviced by highways and trains, making it quickly accessible from all northern Italian cities.  For all wine lovers, the Brescia area offers the famous wines of Franciacorta, an area south of Lake Iseo: whites, rosés and reds, or a prestigious sparkling wine

 

2. A comprehensive lowdown of What to See:

There is a wealth of sights to see in Brescia and top of the table for any sightseeing are the four squares all from different periods within Brescia’s history.   They are also a great way to obtain your bearings.  Brescia also has some great cathedrals including the Duomo Nuova and Duomo Vecchia which are conveniently built next to each other within the Medieval Square.  Make sure you also visit the wonderful castle which sits proudly above Brescia.  You will also be spoilt for choice with a vast array of museums and delightful restaurants and cafes nestled within the wonderful streets which appear to be unchanged from the time they were built.

 

What to See in Brescia
What to See in Brescia

 

 

Roman Square (Piazza del Foro):

Roman Square (Piazza del Foro), Brescia
Roman Square (Piazza del Foro), Brescia

BestTravelBook Top Pick:

  • This magnificent Roman Square with its 1st century BC temple and Roman theatre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • In the first century AD, the Piazza del Foro was the centre of civic and religious life in Brescia (Brixia)
  • Also check out Palazzo Martinengo, built in the 17th century which is used to host temporary exhibitions
  • You can also view a wooden scale model of the whole area giving you a true window over the past of the city

 

Renaissance Square (Piazza della Loggia):

Renaissance Square, Brescia
Renaissance Square, Brescia

 

BestTravelBook Top Pick:

  • With the Clock Tower, the arcades and its Renaissance architecture, Piazza della Loggia is one of the landmarks of Brescia
  • Sixteenth-century Venetian style buildings are positioned all around the square.
  • Here you can find Brescia’s town hall, the Palazzo della Loggia. The palazzo was begun in 1492, and the works lasted four centuries. Its huge, bulbous white roof is very distinctive
  • In front of the Loggia palace, on the eastern side, you can also find Renaissance-style arcades surmounted by the “Torretta dell’Orologio“ (a 16th century copy of the clock tower in St Mark’s Square in Venice)

 

Medieval Square (Piazza Paolo VI):

Medieval Square, Brescia
Medieval Square, Brescia

 

BestTravelBook Top Pick:

  • Formerly known as Piazza del Duomo, this is one of the oldest piazzas in Brescia and home to several beautiful buildings, including two cathedrals: the Duomo, La Rotonda and the Palazzo del Broletto.
  • La Rotonda, also known as the Duomo Vecchio, was built in the 11th century on the remains of the Basilica of San Filastrio
  • This is the only building of its kind in Italy – a huge cylindrical tower supported by eight pillars. The interior is simple and very beautiful
  • Head down to the crypt to see the Roman remains

 

Modern Square (Piazza della Vittoria):

Modern Square, Brescia
Modern Square, Brescia

BestTravelBook Top Pick:

  • Although, not as beautiful, the architecture is interesting in Piazza della Vittoria and you can also say you have seen all four squares
  • Designed by Piacentini, it was opened in 1932 according to the new Fascist urban plan
  • Check out the imposing Post Office on the north side
  • Also worth viewing is the red stone frieze depicting Brescia’s history, from the Roman era to the middle of the 20th century
What to See in Brescia
What to See in Brescia

 

Castello:

Brescia Castello
Brescia Castello

BestTravelBook Top Pick:

  • Built in the 13th century, Brescia Castle is one of the most preserved fortresses in northern Italy. It rises from the Cidneo hill and dominates the city from above.
  • The bastioned wall rises imposingly on the wide moat with the bulwarks of S. Marco, S. Pietro and S. Faustino
  • The castle includes a ramparts, a large moat, a keep, three bulwarks and a hidden service road, known as Strada del Soccorso.
  • The castle houses the Risorgimento Museum and the Luigi Marzoli Arms Museum

 

Duomo Nuovo:

Brescia Duomo Nuovo
Brescia Duomo Nuovo

BestTravelBook Top Pick:

  • The Duomo Nuova has grandiose façade erected by the Brescian architects Giovan Battista and Antonio Marchetti
  • It was built between 1604 and 1825
  • The façade is imposing whilst the interior has a Greek cross with three naves and a central frescoed dome
  • Inside you can admire the Marriage, the Visitation and the Birth of the Virgin by Romanino and the Sacrifice of Isaac by Moretto as well as several sculptural works

 

Museo Mille Miglia:

Museo Mille Miglia
Museo Mille Miglia

BestTravelBook Top Pick:

  • The Museo Mille Miglia is an automobile museum founded on 10 November 2004 at the initiative of the Automobile Club of Brescia and of some private enthusiasts of the famous Mille Miglia race
  • It celebrates the historic road races held from Brescia in Lombardy to Rome and back between 1927 and 1957
  • These road races were literally a thousand miles (1,600 km) long and count amongst the most popular and famous automobile races in history

 

Duomo Vecchio:

Duomo Vecchio, Brescia
Duomo Vecchio, Brescia

BestTravelBook Top Pick:

  • The building of the Duomo Vecchio is a splendid example of Romanesque architecture with a circular plan, affectionately called La Rotonda
  • Due to its characteristics the Old Cathedral of Brescia ranks among the best examples of Romanesque round churches in Italy

 

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