Today I will tell you something about Brescia but first of all I confess my mistake: I live in Lombardy but the first time that I went there I was totally unprepared about what to see in Brescia.
To be honest I must say that I was convinced that there wasn’t anything to see or to do in Brescia. The idea that I had of Brescia was of an industrial city. A sort of “Paradise of Bolts” just a place to go if you love… go visit some foundry! 😉
Now I can say: I was completely wrong …
I don’t really know where I was born this erroneous prejudice against Brescia. I grew up in Brianza, which is not far from Brescia, I lived in for a bit ‘of time in a border area between Bergamo and Brescia.
I do not know when this idea about “nothing to do in Brescia” was born in me. But for this prejudice Brescia was one of the cities that I would never have dreamed of visiting.
Perhaps at this point you’re probably wondering what has made me change my mind. Well, the answer is simple: I became a mother. It really is not that becoming a mother has given me some special wisdom – oh no! The fact is that my little son never slept. I was becoming crazy but my survival strategy has been … traveling. And when I could not do it at least go out and visit new places! So any excuse was good to visit a new destination. And so one day we went to Brescia.
That day I arrived in the city with my prejudices but a spectacular sky – blue and clear – had helped to dispel my first mistake: Brescia was not at all a city enveloped in fog and smog factories. So we started visiting Brescia, through the streets of the city and there surprises came. First of all there are many things to do in Brescia: a very well-preserved Castle, an impressive Museum of Arms, parks, cathedrals, museums …. And at end of the day Brescia drestroied all my prejudices! 🙂
So below you can find some tips about what to do in Brescia. I hope that you’ll enjoy the city!
What to do in Brescia in a day: a tour
First of all go to the Castle and visit the Museum. Then stop to the viewpoint for some pictures and then descended to the “La Rotonda” (the Old Cathedral). You have to know that to see in Brescia there are two cathedrals: the first one is the beautiful “La Rotonda” also named “Duomo Vecchio” (the Old Cathedral) and the second one is the nice New Cathedral.
Start from the Old Cathedral… I fell in love with it: it is a Hut is basilica body eleventh century with a unique shape from which is derived the name “La Rotonda“. The Old Cathedral of Brescia is one of the few examples of Romanesque basilica circular and inside you can admire some mosaics of the ancient early Christian basilica and a magnificent sixteenth-century organ. Next door there is also what is called the New Cathedral which is actually an elegant seventeenth-century cathedral, very different from the Rotonda, built in white marble, majestic and solemn, whose interiors are illuminated by a white and blue light that gives a slightly ‘unreal.
Then enjoy the historical center of the city with a relaxing walk: admire the beautiful “Piazza della Loggia” and the Clock Tower, up to the Museum of Santa Giulia. Stop to the museum because, believe me, it is amazing. The Santa Giulia Museum in Brescia is an incredible museum retracing the history of the city. By Brixia Romana it switches to Brescia Ottocentesca, walking on the side of mosaics uncovered and entering in dazzling colors churches. The Museum is housed in the Convent of Santa Giulia and there are preserved thousands of works and objects from the Bronze Age to the nineteenth century and are mainly originating from the city of Brescia and province. It is a huge museum and beautiful, one of those that make you realize how wonderful Italy is. This Museum which is included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites
From the Museum if you want you can also go visiting the Capitoline Temple and the Place du Forum. The Capitoline Temple is a Roman temple which is located in Brescia, and is the core of the ancient Roman Brixia. This is the most important complex of public buildings of the Roman period found in northern Italy and never, but never, I expected to see something like this in Brescia.
Useful information to visit Brescia
Now I know that there are many things to do in Brescia. In fact since the first time we returned many other times. So if you have never been … go there, because there are many things to do in Brescia, do not make the same mistake of thinking that there are only factories! 😉
What to do in Brescia with kids
In general the Romanesque Brixia (Brixia is the ancient name of Brescia) can be very interesting for kids who have already studied the Roman period at school. So do not miss the Old Cathedral, the Museum of Santa Giulia and the Capitoline Temple. In the museum you will find some interactive installations and often hosts exhibitions, so check to see what they might like it more to children.
An other thing to visit in Brescia wih kids is the Castle and the Museum of Arms. Then stop for a bit ‘to play in the playground.
What to taste in Brescia
Do you know the cocktail called Spritz? In Brescia this drink is called Pirlo and you can taste it as aperitif. Typical dishes are “Casonsei” (very similar to “Casoncelli” that you can taste in Bergamo) and “Polenta Taragna“. Visiting Brescia you can also taste good wines like the “Botticino”, the “Lugana”, and the “Franciacorta”, the most famous sparkling wine of this area.
Where is Brescia
Brescia is one of the main cities of the Nort of Italy. It is located in Lombardy Region: the old town contains well preserved roman public buildings, the best in northern Italy. There are also a lot of other monuments such as its castle, old and new cathedrals and many museums that are part of the Unesco World Heritage Site.
How to get Brescia
You can get Brescia by car, by train and by plane. There is a small airport close to Brescia (Brescia Montichiari) but other main airports are Bergamo-Orio Al Serio Airport and Verona-Villafranca Airport. If you choose the train it’ll be easy to get the city: Brescia is well connected with the main cities of Italy, like Milan, Verona or Bergamo. Of course you can get Brescia by car: under the castle where there are several free parking.
Things to see close to Brescia
If you stay in Brescia you can also visit the lakes. I will definitely recommend to take a trip to Lake Garda and Iseo Lake. Desenzano del Garda is half an hour by car from Brescia and it is a destination where you can enjoy a sunny day at the lake with children. If you fancy ind out more details in this post about Desenzano. Iseo Lake is a smaller lake and became very famous for the Floating Piers. This lake is very nice in every season and if you go there don’t miss Montisola, a green island in the middle of Iseo Lake.