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Brescia is known as the Lioness of Italy

Brescia

"Brescia the heavy, Brescia the strong,
Brescia Lion of Italy abbeverate of enemy's blood."

 

Brescia (Bresà or Breha in Brescian dialect) is a city of about 190,000 inhabitants in northern Italy, capital of the province and the second most populated city in Lombardy . It is also known as the Lioness of Italy, according to the name it received from Aleandro Aleardi and made famous by Giosuè Carducci. The city is located at the entrance to Valtrompia, at the foot of Mount  Maddalena (874 m) and the Cidneo Hills, on which stands Brescia’s Castle.​


Piazza della Loggia

Inaugurated in 1433 and dominated by the magnificent Renaissance Palace of the Loggia, nowadays the town hall, it is undoubtedly the most beautiful square in Brescia. The building of the Palace, which is adorned with splendid decorative sculptures in classical style, began in 1492. The south side of the square is occupied by the Monti di Pieta` (The Pawnbrokers): the Old Monte di Pieta` is linked to the New Monte di Pietà, towards the east, by means of an arcade. The XVth and XVIth Century façades were set with inscribed Roman stonework to protect the wooden shops from the frequent fires in the XIVth Century, thus forming a remarkable "Lapidarium-Museum". The Monti di Pieta` are joined to the building that was formerly a prison by an elegant Venetian-style Loggia. The arcade extending along the east side of the square is surmounted by a building that incorporates the sixteenth-century mechanical Clock Tower, where two human figures strike the hour on a bell. A full twenty-four-hour day has been marked on the clock face. A memorial has been erected next to the fountain situated below the clock tower, to commemorate the victims of the bomb which exploded on 28 May 1974 during a trade union demonstration: the dramatic “Massacre of Piazza Loggia”.​ 

Piazza della Vittoria

This grandiose square, designed by the Roman architect Marcello Piacentini and inaugurated in 1932, was built on the site of a dilapidated popular quarter which was demolished in order for the city centre to be cleaned up. The Post Office building and the brick Torrione (high tower) with its imitation loggias dominate the square. The façades of the buildings, the paving of the Quadriportico and the wide arcade are all made from highly-polished marble in two contrasting colours.
The Arengario, a red stone pulpit decorated with bas-reliefs, was erected in front of the geometric flight of steps which links the north-east of the square to the rest, which is at a lower ground level: it was used by public speakers during city assemblies.

Piazza Paolo VI


Formerly Piazza del Duomo:

This square, which dates back to the Middle Ages, is the heart of the city; it  contains important historical buildings which symbolize the city's concern with civil rights as well as its religious tradition. 
• The palace of the Broletto, which incorporates the municipal tower, is the oldest municipal building in the city and was the centre of political life when Brescia was a city-state. It has a square ground plan with an internal courtyard which was built in stages from the Middle Ages up to the XVIIth Century, when an open bossed arcade was added to the north side. Nowadays the building houses the Prefecture, a Police station and the administrative offices of the province and council.
• The Duomo Nuovo was built between 1604 and 1825: the long history of its construction is reflected in the baroque style of the lower part and the rococo style of its imposing and grandiose façade in white Botticino marble. Note the Renaissance “Arca dei SS Apollonio e Filastrio” of 1710 and the dome.
• The Duomo Vecchio, or Rotonda, dating from the XIIth Century, is a splendid example of a circular stone building from the Middle Ages and contains several works of art. The former ground level of the city can be observed around it.

Piazza del Foro


This is the most important  complex of remains from the Roman epoch in Lombardia. When Brescia was under Roman rule, this square was the centre both of religious and political life.
The Capitolium Temple, prominently situated at the north end, had an arcade with a double order of columns, as can be seen from the remains of the arches on the former ground level. The Basilica (the law courts) was situated on the south side: remains of this edifice can be seen incorporated into the nearby houses in Piazza Labus.

Monastery of San Salvatore and Santa Giulia

The Monastery  was founded by king Desiderio in 753 A.D. Nowadays, the superimposition  of buildings on the foundations of old ones is evident from the mosaics of the old Roman villa. The basilica of “San Salvatore” is an example of early medieval architecture of northern Italy and the important Santa Giulia City Museum  is housed here offering a journey through Brescia’s history, art and spirituality from prehistoric times to the present day. It is the perfect location for the City Museum and the natural focal point for a visit to Brescia.
​The Museum’s special distinguishing feature is the close relationship between the histric buildings and the objects on display, which number about 11,000 and include Celtic helmets and horse harness ornaments, Roman portraits and bronze sculptures, Lombard items, grave goods, frescos, an applied art collection and artefacts dating from the medieval period to the 18th Century AD. The most important items are: the  Winged Victory (Vittoria Alata), the city’s symbol, i large bronze statue from the Capitolium. The Great Cross of King Desiderio, covered in jewels and cameos and the Lipsanoteca, a VIth century ivory reliquary case. The "Treasure of Santa Giulia" is displayed in the church of Santa Maria in Solario, under the cupola, with frescoes by Floriano Ferramola.

The Grand Theatre

This is a complicated complex of buildings which have developed over three centuries of adaptation and transformation. The theatre is in the same building today as the first public theatre in Brescia, which opened in 1664.

The Mille Miglia

Brescia is the starting point and finishing point of the mythical vintage car race the Mille  Miglia, normally held in May with a variable route between Brescia and Rome. Only cars produced before 1957 are admitted to the race, the year that the original version of the Mille Miglia, a high speed race,  was suspended for safety reasons.

 

This is a unique opportunity to relive the story of Brescia, to be fascinated by the enchanted atmosphere of a place that has preserved the memories, art and culture of the past millennia.

This monastic complex of Lombard origin that houses the Museum of the City in Brescia is a unique and complex set of buildings located at the foot of the castle, along the “decumanus maximus” of the Roman city.

Founded in 753 A.D. by the Lombard king Desiderius and his wife Ansa, the monastery is built on an area, already occupied in Roman times by Domus, that was the subject of reconstructions and expansions in later centuries, especially in Medieval communes and in the late fifteenth century. The complex is built around the cloisters and three other churches from different periods of history, all richly frescoed and decorated:

• the Basilica of San Salvatore, of Lombard origin
• the Romanesque church of Santa Maria in Solario
• the Renaissance Church of Santa Giulia

Over two thousand years of history are embedded in the structures of this monumental complex and are themselves an integral part of the exhibition in the new Museum: about 12,000 square metres to walk through the history of Brescia via:

• archaeological remains
• mosaics
• frescoes
• statues and works of art from different periods of history
 

Opening hours
Winter Summer
Tuesday to Sunday from 9.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday from 10.00 a.m. to 8.00 p.m.
Friday until 10.00 p.m.


Further information:
Free call: 800762811
Reservations: 030 2977834

Official site: www.comune.brescia.it

Entrance fee:
Standard € 5,10
Reduced € 3,60
Combined ticket for all civic museums € 10,30

 

Via Martinengo da Barco, 1
Tel. 030 3774999

Official site: www.bresciamusei.com
Official site: info@bresciamusei.com

 

Castello Masio Visconteo
Tel. 030 293292

Official site: www.bresciamusei.com
Official site: info@bresciamusei.com

 

Via Ozanam, 4
Tel. 030 2978672

Official site: www.comune.brescia.it

 

Via Musei, 57/1

Official site: www.bresciamusei.com

 

The Museum was founded to be a living testimony of the “best race in the world” and it offers a dynamic, emotional, interactive experience.


Viale della Rimembranza, 3 Sant'Eufemia
Tel. 030 3365631

Entrancee fees:
full € 10,00
reduced € 8,00
open every day from 9.00 am to 6.00 pm