To visit the City of Brescia one day is not certainly enough, but following a certain order, you will be able to see a lot.
We are at the end of April, spring has blossomed and the numerous Brescian gardens are luxuriant. Soon the annual 1000 Miglia race will take place, which will attract tourists eager to visit the provincial capital in a short time, so here is my mini guide:
One day in Brescia
The center of Brescia is practically all of Limited Traffic Zone so I suggest you to leave the car in one of the four “scambiatori” city parking lots and reach the center by subway – In these “scambiatori” parking lots, users of public transport services (metro and zone 1 bus) can park for free: Prealpino and Poliambulanza – or with reduced rates: Casazza and Sant’Eufemia Buffalora, where the parking ticket is itself a ticket tor transport and, when picking up the car, you will only pay for the journeys you’ve made.
Get off at the Vittoria stop and you will be in the square with the same name. (If you decide to arrive by car, in the square there is a convenient to reach parking facility. LPG cars are also allowed on the first underground floor) Here the rates for all parking lots.
Piazza della Vittoria is one of the main squares of Brescia, built between 1927 and 1932, a large space surrounded by imposing rationalist-style buildings.
Facing the Post Office and Telegraph building, go right and then through the gallery that appears at the top of the stairs, under the clock tower, until you come out in Via X Giornate.
Cross the street and take the road ahead of you,Via Padre Giulio Bevilacqua, which will lead you into Piazza Paolo VI.
Here you can admire the beauty of the Duomo Vecchio, concathedral of Brescia, which dates back to the 1100s. It has undergone more than an extension over the centuries but has preserved its original structure intact, making it one of the most important examples of Romanesque rotundas in Italy. (Open Monday to Saturday from 9:00 am to 11:45 am and from 2:30 pm to 5:45 pm / Sundays and holidays from 9:00 am to 10:45 am and 2:30 pm to 5:45 pm. 11:00 am Mass in Latin and Gregorian chant)
Admission is free in all the churches of Brescia.
Attached to the old Cathedral is the Duomo nuovo, better named as Cattedrale Estiva di Santa Maria Assunta, the main church of Brescia. It was built between 1604 and 1825 on the area where the early Christian basilica of St. Peter once stood. The baroque facade is made of Botticino marble coming from the homonymous cave east of the city. The same marble was used to build the Altare della Patria in Rome, the White House in Washington and even the Statue of Liberty as well as other important monuments.(Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 7:30 am – 12:00 pm / 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm, Sunday 8:00 am – 1:00 pm / 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm)
Holy Masses Schedules:
Weekdays: 8.00 am – 9.00 am – 6.00 pm
Holidays: 8.30 – 10.00 – 12.00 – 18.30
Sunday Vespers: 17:45
In front of the Duomo Vecchio, at the corner with Via Trieste, there is the info point, open every day from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm, where you can buy the Brescia Card: with a charge of € 18.00 for 24 hours allows you to use the urban transport services of Brescia, (metro and bus), use the BiciMia services; use the AutoMia services; have access to the city’s main museums; benefit from discounts and benefits at the affiliated facilities. For information read here
Continuing, still on the same side of the square, you will find the Palazzo Broletto which dates back to the 12th century. Center of the Government of the Municipality and the Lordships, it houses the headquarters of the Provincial Administration, the Prefecture of Brescia and some offices of the Municipality of Brescia.
Go to the end of the square now. Taking Vicolo S. Agostino and then turning right you will find yourself in Via dei Musei, an ancient Roman road (decumanus maximus). Walk along it.
At number 30 the Palazzo Martinengo Cesaresco Novarino. Externally it may not say much but it is a noble palace built in the second half of the seventeenth century, the severe facades hide a beautiful interior garden. The palace hosts important temporary art exhibitions throughout the year. Currently and until June 9: “Gli Animali nell’Arte” Entrance fee €13,50
At number 41, there is the small church of Santa Maria della Carità. Dating back to the 16th century and originally dedicated to Saint Mary Magdalene, it is a real gem, full of stuccoes and frescoes.
Continuing along Via dei Musei you will arrive at the UNESCO site which includes the archaeological area of the Capitolium or Tempio Capitolino. The construction of the building is to be attributed to Vespasian, in 73 AD (Closed Mondays, open Thursdays from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm and on other days from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm).
With just € 6.00 you can rent the ArtGlass, a sort of time machine that will make you steep into the Roman age and live a unique experience, traveling from the Republican Brescia of 2300 years ago, to its rediscovery occurred in the nineteenth century.
Also visit the Piazza del Foro, where you will find other Roman remains.
Continuing along Via dei Musei, you will find a little further on, on your left, the ancient medieval monastery Santa Giulia, today the city’s museum. For the visit I recommend a couple of hours because it is vast and very interesting. Not to be missed inside the museum: the Romanesque oratory of Santa Maria in Solario, the Coro delle Monache, the Croce di Desiderio, the Vittoria Alata (symbol of the city) and – my favorite place – the Crypt of the church of San Salvatore. Times are as follows: Closed Monday, Tuesday to Sunday from 9.30am to 5.30pm.
Admission € 10.00 (exhibition events for a fee excluded)
Now go back on Via dei Musei a hundred meters and take the first street on the right: via Giovanni Piamarta
Going up, the visit to the Church of San Cristo, at number 9, is mandatory. Called the Sistine Chapel of Brescia, built towards the end of the 15th century. The single nave interior has magnificent frescoes from the same period. The church is open everyday from 8:30 am to 6:30 pm.
Continuing along via Piamarta, turn left at the end of the climb and you will arrive at Castello Di Brescia (about 15 minutes walk from the museum to the Castle).
The Brescia Castle, built between 1200 and 1300, is a medieval fortress perched on the Cidneo hill. Here you can visit the gardens for free and go up to the towers, from which you can admire the city from above (garden hours 8: 00/20: 00)
Inside the castle there is the Museo delle Armi (Thursday and Friday from 9.00 am to 4.00 pm with ticket office closing at 3.30 pm; Saturday and Sunday from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm closing the ticket office at 4.30 pm) and the Risorgimento Museum however currently closed for restoration work.
Leaving the castle go left, until the parking area and, at the small roundabout, turn right, going down Via del Castello. At the end of the descent turn left into via San Faustino, the main artery of the central-northern area of the historic center, bordering on the east the Carmine district. The weekly morning market is held along this road every Saturday. Event not to be missed.
Walking along Via San Faustino you arrive in Piazza della Loggia, another of the main squares of Brescia. You will have on your right the homonymous Palazzo della Loggia: Renaissance palace, seat of the town hall. Its construction began in 1489 ending in 1574. Open Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm and from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm; Saturdays from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm you can visit for free leaving an ID card.
On the opposite side of the square, the arcades, always in Renaissance style, surmounted by the Torretta dell’Orologio (Clock Tower). This square was the scene of the massacre of 28 May 1974, remembered as the Strage di Piazza della Loggia.
Now, to return to Piazza delle Vittoria, our starting point, you have three options:
– from the side of the Clock Tower, go right down to Via X Giornate;
– facing the Palazzo della Loggia go left, down to via XXIV Maggio;
– behind the Palazzo della Loggia go left, down to Corsetto Sant’Agata.
And our short day in Brescia ends here …
But … if you still have time, go down via X Giornate until you reach the pedestrian Corso Zanardelli, which houses, besides the Teatro Grande, countless shops and cafes. If you go to the left, go along Corso Magenta and then turn right into Via Francesco Crispi you will arrive in Piazza Moretto where the Pinacoteca Tosio Martinengo is located. Just restored, it houses an important art collection with works by Raffaello, Foppa, Savoldo, Moretto, Romanino, Lotto, Ceruti, Hayez, Thorvaldsen, Pelagi, Canella and Canova, just to name a few.
Open Tuesday to Friday 9: 00-17: 00 / Saturday 10: 00-21: 00, Sundays and holidays 10: 00-18: 00. The ticket office closes one hour before the museum closes.
Entrance ticket € 8.00
If you liked this article, leave me a comment. I would really appreciate it!