Brescia City Guide

Legacies of Brescia’s past include significant Roman ruins, two cathedrals and a vast medieval castle. As a result, the town is filled with gaggles of kids on school excursions (if you’re here during term time, you’re bound to encounter them).
Northwest of Brescia is the little-visited but beautiful Lago d’Iseo, while heading northeast brings you to Italy’s largest and most popular lake, Lago di Garda.

Brescia is a city and comune in the region of Lombardy, Northern Italy. It is situated at the foot of the Alps, a few kilometers from the lakes Garda and Iseo. With a population of more than 200,000, it is the second largest city in the administrative region and the fourth largest in northwest Italy. The urban area of Brescia extends beyond the administrative city limits and has a population of 672,822, while over 1.5 million people live in its metropolitan area. The city is the administrative capital of the Province of Brescia, one of the largest in Italy, with over 1,200,000 inhabitants.

Founded over 3,200 years ago, Brescia has been an important regional centre since pre-Roman times. Its old town contains the best-preserved Roman public buildings in northern Italy and numerous monuments, among these the medieval castle, the Old and New cathedral, the Renaissance Piazza della Loggia and the rationalist Piazza della Vittoria.

The monumental archaeological area of the Roman forum and the monastic complex of San Salvatore-Santa Giulia have become a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of a group of seven inscribed as Longobards in Italy, Places of Power.

Brescia is considered to be an important industrial city. Metallurgy and production of metal parts, machine tools and firearms are of particular economic significance, along with mechanical and automotive engineering. Among the major companies based in the Brescia metro area there are utility company A2A, automotive manufacturer OMR, steel producers Lucchini and Alfa Acciai, machine tools producers Camozzi and Lonati, firearms manufacturers Fausti, Beretta and Perazzi, gas equipment manufacturers Sabaf and Cavagna, etc.

Brescia is home to the prestigious Mille Miglia classic car race that starts and ends in the town.

In the arts, it was nicknamed Leonessa d’Italia (“The Lioness of Italy”) by Gabriele d’Annunzio, who selected Gardone Riviera (nearby on the shores of Garda Lake) as his final residence. The estate he built (largely thanks to state-sponsored funding) il Vittoriale, is now a public institution devoted to the arts; a museum dedicated to him is hosted in his former residence. Brescia is also the setting for most of the action in Alessandro Manzoni’s 1822 play Adelchi.

The province is known for being the production area of the Franciacorta sparkling wine, as well as the main source of Italian-produced caviar. Brescia with her territory was the “European Region of Gastronomy” in 2017.

10 Best things to See in Brescia

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Tours and Activities from Brescia