Do you want a city break dedicated to culture? Visit the heart of the historic center of Brescia to open a treasure chest of works of art, surrounded by the vibrant atmosphere of the Lombard province. From a Roman and Lombard period city to the Italian Capital of Culture for 2023 together with Bergamo, the Lioness of Italy is the meeting point between tradition and innovation. Its cobbled streets will lead you to discover the treasures of painting, sculpture and architecture. To get to your destination, set off on the A4 Brescia - Padova motorway and reach the Brescia Est exit. Treat yourself to an open-air history lesson just a few minutes away from the toll booth.
The city of Brescia is configured as a real widespread museum: Roman antiquities, medieval churches, noble palaces, art galleries that house the great masters of the 16th century. The main sites of historical and artistic interest await you in the Via dei Musei, the very central road that extends from the monastery of Santa Giulia to piazza della Loggia. Start your itinerary at the Benedictine complex, a UNESCO heritage site since 2011. Inside you will find a rich calendar of exhibitions and cultural events and you will be able to see the Winged Victory up close, a bronze statue of the first century, the symbol of Brescia. But Santa Giulia is not only important for the works it houses. The complex incorporates the oldest basilica of San Salvatore, built in 753 at the behest of the Lombard king Desiderius. Furthermore, an exhibition itinerary winds along the perimeter that allows you to admire the Domus dell'Ortaglia, ancient Roman residences preserved in excellent condition.
From Santa Giulia, in a few minutes, you can reach Palazzo Martinengo and visit the Tosio Martinengo Civic Art Gallery, one of the most important art galleries in Lombardy. Its thematic itineraries will lead you among the canvases of the masters of the Brescia school: Foppa, Savoldo, Romanino and Moretto. You will also find masterpieces by artists such as Raphael, Tintoretto, Hayez and Canova. After, take a detour to reach the Cidneo Hill, just outside the historic city center. The summit is dominated by the Castle of Brescia, where the Museum of Arms is located. The permanent exhibitions tell the tradition of the Italian and European arms industry, with particular attention to Milanese and Brescia production: helmets, swords, spears and shields, war and parade armor and a collection of firearms from every era.
Our itinerary ends in Piazza della Loggia, the beating heart of the city since the 16th century. Its rectangular scheme recalls the homogeneous architectural model that characterizes Venice. But don't expect gondolas and canals. In the shadow of the Clock Tower, the Palazzo del Monte di Pietà, the arcades and Renaissance architecture, the Brescia tradition is expressed in the many bars and lounges with culinary specialties of all kinds: the Casoncelli, pasta filled with meat, raisins and amaretti, cheeses produced in Valle Sabbia, Val Camonica and Val Trompia and traditional sweets such as Bossolà, a zuccotto made with flour, sugar, milk and eggs.
A land to discover:
Food and wine: stuffed pasta, cheeses and Bossolà.
History: the UNESCO site “The Lombards in Italy. Places of power (568-774 AD)"
Territory: Valvestino, Lake Iseo and Franciacorta vineyards.