The city of Brescia is located in the north of Italy in the region Lombardia. Brescia is sometimes called the Italian Lioness because it is a dynamic and fast-growing city. It is not clear when Brescia originated and by who it was formed, but it evidently went through historical periods from Rome to the unification of Italy. Brescia is a beautiful and historic city with many impressive landmarks. Besides monuments, the city is full of entertainment and a new culture. One of the most popular events that takes place every year in May is the race of historic cars. Only vehicles produced before 1957 will participate in the race. This event is an amazing spectacle for which people come to the city. Last but not least in Brescia you will find nightlife, cozy cafés and restaurants with delicious traditional cuisine. Read our list of the 10 top things to do in Brescia:
1. Monastery of San Salvatore - Museum of Santa Giulia
San Salvatore was formed in 753 by the future king of Lombardia, Desiderius. The monastery was built like a female monastery which was dedicated to his daughter and wife. In the 12th-century, most of the building was rebuilt in the Romanesque style. The San Salvatore is famous for its diverse architecture with Roman remains, Romanesque and Renesance styles. The monastery became a barracks in 1882 due to the French Invasion of Lombardy.
The building remained in poor condition until it became a Museum of the Christian age in 1882. However, not all of the complex was properly renovated. In 1996 the monastery had become a new museum, Santa Giulia, and went through extensive restorations. The Monastery became a UNESCO World Heritage Site and today, the building serves as a museum and is freely accessible.
Monastery of San Salvatore
Address: Via dei Musei, 81/b, 25121 Brescia BS, Italy
Website: Monastery of San Salvatore
2. Lago di Garda
The natural beauty Lago di Garda is the biggest lake in Italy, Surrounded by alpine mountains and lowlands. The lake was formed by the melting of the Etch glacier during the last ice age. We can still see some remains here. The South part of the lake is lined with the mountains, while the North wider part contains the stone waves created by the glacier activity, so-called Moraines. The Lago di Garda is one of the most significant natural phenomens of Italy. The surroundings offer spectacular views of the lake and mountains. There are a lot of touristic paths that lead to the mountains, and that makes Lago di Garda an excellent destination for hiking and tourism.
Lago di Garda
Address: 37016 Garda, Italy
Website: Lago di Garda
3. The Church of Our Lady of Miracles
The construction of the church began in 1488 during thanksgiving to the Blessed Virgin and was completed 22 years later. The Church of Our Lady of Miracles in Brescia was built in honor of the image of the Blessed Virgin. The image was seen as a miracle, as the story says that many people were healed while standing before it. The beautifully carved facade consists of marble, and it’s named as one of the jewels of Lombardy. In World War II, the church was severely hit by bombings and then went through a complete restoration. However, the facade, thanks to its robust wooden foundations, remained in its original form. You can find churches of the same name in several places in Italy, and these landmarks are connected with many miracles that happened.
The Church of Our Lady of Miracles
Address: Corso Martiri della Libertà, 25122 Brescia, Italy
Website: The Church of Our Lady of Miracles
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4. Castle of Brescia
The castle majestically stands on the top of the hill above the city. It’s one of the largest fortified complexes in Italy. The castle is often called “Falcon of Italy” because of its position and stunning overlook over the city. In the area are a lot of preserved buildings that show the evolution of military techniques. Walking along the path that leads to the top will bring you to the times between the 16th and 19th-century. The whole complex has always been an essential part of the city.
A climb to the castle doesn’t mean only views of the castle, but also a walk through spacious gardens and natural surroundings. The hill around the castle was not always in its current contemporary form; the slopes of the hill were full of stones and used for a defensive purpose. The paths lined with trees have also been created and have been surrounded with monuments and statues. Today the castle serves only for tourism and education.
Castle of Brescia
Address: Via del Castello, Brescia, Italy
5. Capitolium of Brixia
The Capitolium of Brixia, also known as the Temple of the Capitoline Triad, is an ancient temple and symbol of Roman culture. For its importance, it was placed right in the center of the former Roman town of Brixia. Today, only the ruins remain from the temple, and it is part of an archeological site. The temple was built when the Vespasian was the emperor and was dedicated to Capitoline Triad of Jupiter, Minerva, and Juno. The Capitolium was later replaced by a Republican Sanctuary that consisted of four templates. The templates and Roman ruins are located on the end of Via dei Museii. It has been open to the public since 2013, and you can see here elements of Roman culture, beautiful decoration and preserved original floors.
Capitolium of Brixia
Address: Via dei Musei, 55, 25121 Brescia, Italy
Website: Capitolium of Brixia
6. Old Cathedral
The Old Cathedral is located in the center of Brescia and it is the Roman Catholic Church. The building, also known as “La Rotonda,” is constructed in a circular shape. The earliest evidence about the cathedral comes from the 11th-century, and its origin is assumed at that time. In the 19th-century, much of the original building was removed or rebuilt. However, the entrance portal remains in its original form. The Old Cathedral is one of the most famous circular buildings in Italy.
Address: Piazza Paolo VI, 25121 Brescia, Italy
7. New Cathedral
The New Cathedral of Brescia is situated by the side of the Old Cathedral. Next to each other, they create a beautiful symbiosis, with one called the winter cathedral, and the other the summer cathedral. The New Cathedral is the largest Roman Catholic Church in Brescia. The construction began in 1604 on the location of an ancient Basilica of San Pietro de Dom. The construction was stopped due to plague, and it was finally finished in 1825. The present building was rebuilt, following the Second World War. The main facade is adorned with statues of St. Peter, St. James, St. John and the Virgin of Assumption. Inside of the building you can find a significant statue of the Pope Paul VI. The cathedrals together form as one of the most important places to visit in Brescia.
Address: Piazza Paolo VI, 25121 Brescia, Italy
Website: New Cathedral
8. Museo Mille Miglia - Legendary Car Race
This is something that will surely be appreciated by all real enthusiasts for cars, especially for the old models. The museum consists of the race archives that were preserved by Renzo Castagneto and staff between 1927-1957. The museum has information about the organization; subscriber registration forms, car rental agreements, race results and articles from famous magazines. The museum is an exhibition of beautiful old cars and their history.
Museo Mille Miglia - Legendary Car Race
Address: Viale della Bornata, 123, S. Eufemia, Brescia, Italy
Website: Museo Mille Miglia
Head to Brescia
As you can see, Brescia is a city intertwined with a longtime history, which gives this place a unique atmosphere, along with the spectacular surroundings, only underlining Brescia’s great beauty. Whether you visit for the sightseeing or for the famous vehicle race, you will not be disappointed. This list will help you to navigate Brescia easier and make your trip more enjoyable.
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