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.
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 square.
The monument has a square base raised on a short stairway. On the sides of the base, there are four bas-reliefs: on the panel in front is the Insurrection in Piazzetta Tito Speri, on the right panel is the Fight at Porta Venezia, on the back is the Shooting of the Captured Insurgents and on the left panel is the Funeral of the Fallen.
A female figure who personifies Italy, holding a large banner and a laurel wreath in her right hand, crowns the monument.
Between the base and the statue, there is a low plinth with two inscriptions: the one in front is the dedication to the People against the Austrian tyranny, while the one in the back of the statue attests to the gift of Vittorio Emanuele II. The two lateral ones bear instead the city coat of arms.
HOW TO GET THERE
The Monument to Bella Italia is located about 1.1 kilometer from the Brescia railway station. The closest Metro station is Vittoria, located about 300 meters away. The closest bus stop is located in Via Verdi, near the Vittoria Metro station, on the bus Line 9.