Palazzo della Loggia is a beautiful palace built in Renaissance style in Brescia, located in the square of the same name, today the seat of the city’s Municipal Council. SHORT HISTORY In 1484, the municipal authorities of Brescia decided to build a grandiose palace as an expression of good governance, replacing the original loggia and increasing the monumentality of Piazza della Loggia, which was rising at the time. The first project was presented by Tomaso Formentone, an architect from Vicenza. The project of Formentone involved the construction of a building entirely of wood, an option that was immediately abandoned. The first stone was laid in 1492 and the construction site was directed, between about 1495 and 1510, by Filippo Grassi. The works were interrupted in 1512 by the sack of Brescia, to resume only in 1549. The Loggia was completed in 1574 after numerous interventions by the most famous architects of the time, such as Jacopo Sansovino and Andrea Palladio, as well as Lodovico Beretta from Brescia. The latter was responsible for the large windows on the second floor. ARCHITECTURE The white Botticino marble facade of the palace is vertically composed of two distinct architectural sections. In the Read more [...]
The Capitolium, or the Capitoline Temple (Tempio Capitolino), is a Roman temple located in Brescia, in Piazza del Foro, along Via dei Musei. The Capitolium represents the nucleus of the ancient Roman city of Brixia, and together with the theater and the ruins of the forum, is the most important Roman archaeological complex in northern Italy. SHORT HISTORY The Capitolium was built in 73 AD on the site of a former temple dating back to the period of the Roman Republic. The structure was erected by Emperor Vespasian after his battle with the General Vitellio, held on a plain between Goito and Cremona. The origin of the temple is confirmed by the writing on the pediment. The temple was destroyed by fire during the barbarian invasions that afflicted Italy in the 4th century AD and never rebuilt. Later, during the Middle Ages, it was buried by a landslide of the Cidneo Hill. The Capitoline Temple was unearthed only in 1823, thanks to the support of the Municipality of Brescia and the University, which demolished public housing and a small park to bring the complex to light. The complex was partially reconstructed between 1935 and 1938. The Corinthian columns were Read more [...]
Locanda delle Mercanzie is a hotel in Brescia, located about 170 meters from the Piazza della Loggia and the wonderful Palazzo della Loggia. The hotel offers unique rooms, personalized in every detail. Furniture, materials and colors talk about Brescia and were carefully selected to provide great comfort. Guests can enjoy a continental breakfast at the property. Free WiFi is available throughout. HOW TO GET THERE Locanda delle Mercanzie is located about 1.1 kilometer from the Brescia railway station. Vittoria Metro station is located about 290 meters away, and the closest bus stop, on the bus Line 18, is located in Via Elia Capriolo 2, about 150 meters away.
Centro Paolo VI is a beautiful hotel in Brescia, located about 1 kilometer from the Piazza della Loggia and about 750 meters from the Roman Forum. Run by a nonprofit organization, the property is housed in a beautiful 17th-century building with original features and frescoes. The hotel offers a private garden, an international restaurant and a large free parking. With fine parquet floors and classic-style furnishings, the rooms include a flat-screen TV, air conditioning and private bathroom. Free WiFi is available throughout. Centro Paolo VI also has 30 meeting rooms, a snack bar, a church and a chapel. HOW TO GET THERE Centro Paolo VI is located about 1.5 kilometers from the Brescia railway station. The closest bus stop is in Corso Magenta 64, about 150 meters away, on the bus Lines 11, 12 and 18.
Dietro l’Angolo is a guesthouse in Brescia, located about 100 meters from the Piazza della Loggia and the beautiful Palazzo della Loggia. The guesthouse offers modern rooms with bathrooms and studios with parquet floors and beamed ceilings. The rooms include a flat-screen TV, refrigerator and electric kettle. The studios also have a small kitchenette. A sweet Italian breakfast can be enjoyed every day at the property. HOW TO GET THERE Dietro l’Angolo is located about 1 kilometers from the Brescia railway station. The closest Metro station is Vittoria, located about 160 meters away, and the closest bus stop is in Via Dante 2, about 140 meters away, on the bus Line 15.
Piazza della Vittoria is a beautiful square in Brescia, located about 100 meters away from Piazza della Loggia and Palazzo della Loggia. SHORT HISTORY In 1927, the Municipality of Brescia, supported by the Fascist politician Augusto Turati, by the Fascist Party and by Benito Mussolini himself, held a competition for a new urban redesign of the ancient medieval area of the Pescherie district. The winner was the Roman architect Marcello Piacentini. The demolition of the area began in 1929 and was completed in less than two years. During the works, buildings of great historical value were lost, such as the 15th-century slaughterhouse and the Romanesque Church of Sant’Ambrogio, rebuilt in the 18th century. In 1932, during the ceremony of inauguration of the square, which coincided with the tenth anniversary of the birth of fascism, Benito Mussolini himself was present and gave a speech. The construction of the large underground car park, which took place in 1974, forced large ventilation grids to be opened over a large part of the central area of the square. The general renovation of the square, connected to the creation of the Metro station, was completed at the end of 2013. The area was pedestrianized, Read more [...]
Torre dell’Orologio is a beautiful clock tower in Brescia, located in Piazza della Loggia, opposite Palazzo della Loggia. SHORT HISTORY The Clock Tower was built between 1540 and 1550 on a design by Lodovico Beretta, a local architect who also contributed to the construction of Palazzo della Loggia. The tower houses a complex mechanical clock, installed between 1544 and 1546 by Paolo Gennari from Rezzato, probably replacing a previous mechanism. The clock, on two different dials, marks the hours, the moon phases and the zodiac signs. ARCHITECTURE The side of the tower facing Piazza della Loggia has an astronomical quadrant and a tympanum painted by Gian Giacomo Lamberti in 1547, while the second side, which overlooks Via Beccaria, has a gilded quadrant of an unknown author. On the upper part of the tower, there are two rods and a bronze bell, and two copper automata installed in 1581, depicting two men with a hammer, known in the Brescian dialect as the Màcc de le ure (Crazy of the hours). In 1595, a long portico in white Botticino marble was built by the architect Piero Maria Bagnadore at the base of the tower. Passing under the tower through a Read more [...]
Piazza della Loggia is a rectangular square in Brescia, enclosed by a series of buildings from the Venetian period, among which stands the Palazzo della Loggia, the seat of the city’s Municipal Council. SHORT HISTORY Piazza della Loggia was designed during the Renaissance, and its construction began at the end of the 15th century. The square became the beating heart of the city, both for its position and for the presence of the Loggia, a palace built between 1489 and 1574. On May 28, 1974, a bombing took place in the square during an anti-fascist demonstration, killing 8 people and wounding 102. ARCHITECTURE The square is surrounded by 16th-century buildings in Venetian style, quite modest in appearance, but with a strong visual impact. Opposite to the Loggia, on the eastern side of the square, we can find the arcades, also in Renaissance style, surmounted by the Clock Tower, named for the presence of an ancient clock added in 1546. On the southern side of the square, there is the old Monte di Pietà building, erected between 1484 and 1489, which has a small Venetian loggia divided into two arches in the lower part, and the main facade adorned Read more [...]
The Monument to Bella Italia, officially a monument dedicated to the fallen of the Ten Days of Brescia, is a sculpture located in the northeast area of Piazza della Loggia, in Brescia. The sculpture is the work of Giovanni Battista Lombardi from 1864 and was donated to the city by King Vittorio Emanuele II. SHORT HISTORY On the site where the monument stands today, there was originally a column with the Lion of Saint Mark on top, a sign of the domination of the Republic of Venice over the city of Brescia. The column was erected between 1454 and 1455, and near its base there were held, for centuries, the executions of those condemned to death, in front of a large public. Finally demolished in 1797 by the revolutionaries, it left an empty space which was filled a few decades later, in 1864, by the new monument. The statue was conceived in the full Italian Unification climate to commemorate the fallen of the Ten Days of Brescia and was executed by the sculptor Giovanni Battista Lombardi at the behest of Vittorio Emanuele II. The inauguration took place in 1864, and the sculpture still occupies the northeastern portion of the Read more [...]
Palazzo Maggi-Gambara is a 16th-century palace in Brescia, located between the Capitolium and the Roman Theater. SHORT HISTORY The palace was built at the end of the 12th century on the ruins of the ancient stalls of the Roman Theater by the Maggi family, a noble family from Brescia. In the 17th century, the property passed to the Gambara family. The new owners renovated the palace, and built a new body frescoed with portraits of ancient Romans and trophies of arms. Around the same time, the internal staircase decorated with frescoes and gold stuccos was also built. Starting with 1935, the palace underwent a series of interventions following the investigations carried out on the archaeological Roman site. The palace became the headquarters of the Carabinieri and traffic police barracks until 1956, when it was definitively closed because it was considered unsafe. In the 20th century, the theater was brought to light by demolishing some structures that surrounded it, but the palace which occupies the western part of the auditorium was left intact, as it contained several frescoes of great historical and artistic value. After the restorations completed in 2014, the palace and the Roman Theater were reopened to the Read more [...]
Palazzo Martinengo Palatini is a beautiful palace in Brescia, located in Piazza del Mercato. Built in the 15th century and completely rebuilt at the beginning of the 18th century, is one of the most elegant Baroque palaces of the city. SHORT HISTORY In 1457, Giovanni Martinengo bought a piece of land in the area where the ancient medieval walls were located. With other successive purchases, the family became the owner of the entire space between Piazza delle Erbe, now Piazza del Mercato, Corso Palestro and Via Fratelli Porcellaga. In 1479, the sons of Giovanni were appointed palatine counts by the Emperor Maximilian of Austria, which generated the new family branch of the Martinengo Palatini. One of their descendants, Teofilo, decided to demolish the 15th-century palace and to build a new one. Teofilo began the construction, but never see it finished, dying in the early 18th century. The palace was finally completed by his son, Curzio III, in 1710. With the extinction of the family branch in 1874, the building was donated to the Municipality of Brescia, which set up some offices in the palace, as well as the Musical Institute Venturi, which used the main hall as an auditorium Read more [...]
Castello di Brescia (Castle of Brescia), also known as Falcone d’Italia (Falcon of Italy), is a fortress built on the Cidneo Hill, in Brescia, close to the historical center of the city. The fortification complex occupies an area of about 75,000 square meters, being one of the largest in Italy. SHORT HISTORY The first settlements on the Cidneo Hill date back to the Bronze Age, but the first real construction was a small temple dedicated to the Celtic god Bergimus, built in the 7th century BC. At the end of the 1st century BC, the Romans included the hill inside the city walls, and in the 1st century AD, they built a monumental temple here. With the passing of the centuries and the advent of Christianity, the hill was considered a sacred area. An early Christian martyrium was built here, then replaced by a large basilica, demolished in the 18th century. Today, only one of the two towers of the basilica still stands, the one known as the Mirabella Tower. In the first half of the 14th century, during the Visconti domination, the keep (mastio), a structure with a rectangular base and crenellated walls, was built. The keep was Read more [...]
Piazza del Mercato is a beautiful square in Brescia, located southwest of Piazza della Vittoria and Piazza della Loggia, along Corso Palestro. SHORT HISTORY In 1435, on the southern part of the square, sellers of cloths and linen appeared, placing their wooden huts there. In 1481, the Municipality of Brescia built a long arcade with residences for the shopkeepers on the first floor. In 1558, a similar structure was built on the northern part of the square, where Lodovico Beretta erected a palace with the same function, known today as Palazzo Beretta. During the 17th century, the last two monumental buildings in the square were built: the Church of the Madonna del Lino to the south, in 1608, and the Martinengo Palatini Palace to the west, began in 1672, but completed only in 1710. At the beginning of the 19th century, other interventions were made to the square: the wooden huts leaning against the buildings were eliminated, the arcades were paved and, in the center, a large fountain was built after a design by Giovanni Donegani with the statue of Abundance by Giovanni Antonio Labus. The bombardments of the Second World War seriously damaged the square and its monuments: Read more [...]
The Church of San Zeno al Foro is a church in Brescia, located in Piazza del Foro, along Via dei Musei, near the Capitolium. The church is dedicated to San Zeno, the eighth bishop of Verona during the second half of the 4th century. SHORT HISTORY A first church was built on this site in the Middle Ages, probably during the 12th century. The church was rebuilt in Baroque style at the behest of the young parish priest Giovanni Pietro Dolfin, a noble Venetian patrician, who later also rebuilt the Church of San Lorenzo. The new structure was completed in 1745. ARCHITECTURE The Church of San Zeno al Foro is a very coherent example of Baroque structure in Brescia. The building is preceded by a short churchyard bordered by a Baroque iron gate with marble pillars surmounted by cherubs and pairs of twisted dolphins. The facade, very simple, is divided in two architectural orders of Composite pilasters, crowned by a curvilinear tympanum. Today, only the polygonal Romanesque apse in terracotta, decorated with small arches, remains of the original medieval structure. The church has a longitudinal layout, with a single nave without a transept, and two chapels on each Read more [...]
Rich in pictorial and sculptural works of art, the Church of San Lorenzo, dedicated to Saint Lawrence, is one of the most important churches in Brescia. SHORT HISTORY The first mention of the church can be found in a document dating back to the 11th century, but the place of worship was probably built long before this time. The first important interventions on the ancient structure took place at the end of the 15th century, at the behest of the provost Bernardino Fabio. At the beginning of the 16th century, Girolamo Romani, better known as Romanino, was commissioned to paint the Lamentation over the Dead Christ for the Chapel of the Passion. The painting remained in the chapel until 1871, and then was sold and transferred to various private collections in Italy and England. Today, the work is found in Venice, in Gallerie dell’Accademia. From this moment on, many other artists worked in the church, including Callisto Piazza, Lattanzio Gambara, Pietro Marone and Prospero Rabaglio. In the 17th century, with the spread of the cult of Saint Carlo Borromeo, the church was enriched with an altar dedicated to him, decorated with an altarpiece by Francesco Giugno. The other two Read more [...]
The Winter Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, also known as Duomo Vecchio (Old Cathedral) or La Rotonda because of its round layout, is a Romanesque church in Brescia. The Old Cathedral is located near the New Cathedral (Duomo Nuovo), in Piazza Paolo VI. SHORT HISTORY The history of the Old Cathedral begins with the demolition of the ancient Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore de Dom, an early Christian structure built perhaps in the 7th century. The construction of the Cathedral began in the 11th century and was completed in the first half of the 12th century. Towards the end of the 13th century, Berardo Maggi, bishop of Brescia, made an enlargement of the presbytery and had the interiors decorated. Between the end of the 15th century and the beginning of the 16th century, the architect Bernardino da Martinengo extended the presbytery to the east, covering it with cross vaults in Gothic style. Around the same time, the transept was also added, completed with the Chapel of the Holy Crosses on the left side. In this phase of construction, Filippo Grassi, the future architect of Palazzo della Loggia, also participated. The keystones are the work of the sculptor Gasparo Cairano, Read more [...]
Piazza Paolo VI, formerly known as Piazza del Duomo, is one of the main squares of Brescia, located about 100 meters from Piazza della Loggia and about the same distance from Piazza della Vittoria. Part of the historical center of Brescia, it is known as Piazza del Duomo due to the presence of the two cathedrals of the city, and it was named after Pope Paul VI. ARCHITECTURE The square appeared in medieval times, being gradually enclosed by various buildings. One of the buildings of that era is Palazzo Broletto, which today includes the Civic Tower (Torre del Pegol) and Loggia delle Grida, located on the northeastern side of the square, dating back to the 13th century. Palazzo Broletto is considered the oldest public building in Brescia, and today it houses the Prefecture, the Provincial Administration and some municipal offices. On the eastern part of the square, we can also find the New Cathedral of Brescia (Duomo Nuovo), built between 1604 and 1825, in various architectural styles ranging from late Baroque to Rococo. The next structure is the Old Cathedral (Duomo Vecchio), known also as La Rotonda, an example of Romanesque architecture from the 11th century. On the southern Read more [...]
The Summer Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, also known as Duomo Nuovo (New Cathedral), is the main church of Brescia, located in Piazza Paolo VI. SHORT HISTORY In 1603, the architect Agostino Avanzo demolished the ancient Basilica of San Pietro de Dom, to make room for the construction of a new cathedral, more suited to the new architectural needs dictated by the Counter-Reformation. Avanzo presented a first project for the cathedral, with a Latin cross plan, with three naves and a transept, protruding side altars and a large central dome. The architect Giovanni Battista Lantana presented a similar project, but more modern and with greater structural attention. Both ideas, however, were rejected. Lantana presented a new project, with a Greek cross plan, a large central dome surrounded by four minor domes and a protruding apse, but this was also rejected. Finally, Lantana proposed a third project, with some modifications compared to the second, which was approved. The first stone of the cathedral was laid in 1604, but the controversy, however, didn’t diminished. The architect Pier Maria Bagnadore proposed an alternative project, practically a copy of the definitive one of Lantana, with the only addition of a span towards the Read more [...]
The Church of San Francesco d’Assisi is a church in Brescia, dedicated to Saint Francis of Assisi. The church, located in the homonymous street, is flanked by an ancient Franciscan convent dating back to the 14th century. SHORT HISTORY The church was completed in 1265, but it was not frescoed until the early 14th century. In the 15th century, the church was enriched with 5 altars, two of which painted by Moretto (Alessandro Bonvicino) and Romanino (Girolamo Romani), great masters of the early Renaissance in Brescia. In the 16th century, in the left nave of the church, the Chapel of the Immaculate was built in Renaissance style. With the advent of the French in 1797, the church and the adjoining convent underwent a phase of decadence in which archives were destroyed and many rooms were ruined. Only in 1839, thanks to the architect Rodolfo Vantini, the church was the subject of renovation work, taking on some Neoclassical elements. In 1928, the Friars Minor returned to live in both the convent and the church, and thanks to various restorations, they were able to recover a part of the ancient artistic heritage. ART AND ARCHITECTURE The facade of the church, Read more [...]