All SEE in Brescia

One of the most beautiful countries in the world, Italy is well known for its rich art and culture, and for its numerous landmarks. With 54 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, more than any other country in the world, and an estimated 100,000 monuments of any sort (churches, palaces, museums, fountains, sculptures and archaeological remains), Italy is home to about half of the world’s artistic treasures. And if you are looking for inspiration, find below a list of the most famous tourist attractions in Brescia, Lombardy…

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    Capitolium

    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 the 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 Read more [...]

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    Palazzo della Loggia

    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 the 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 in 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 Read more [...]

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    Piazza Paolo VI

    Piazza Paolo VI, also 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 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 after his death.   ARCHITECTURE The square appeared in medieval times, through the construction of the buildings that surround it. One of the buildings of that era is Palazzo Broletto, which today also includes the Civic Tower (Torre del Pegol) and the Loggia delle Grida, located on the northeast 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, built between 1604 and 1825, in various architectural styles ranging from the late Baroque to the Rococo. The next structure is the Old Cathedral of the city, known also as La Rotonda, an example of Romanesque Read more [...]

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    Church of San Lorenzo

    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 the 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 Read more [...]

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    Monument to Bella Italia

    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 [...]

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    Church of San Francesco d’Assisi

    The Church of San Francesco d’Assisi is a church in Brescia, dedicated to Saint Francis of Assisi. The church 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 modernization 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, in Romanesque-Gothic style, restored in Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Martinengo Palatini

    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 [...]

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    Piazza del Mercato

    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, in the southern part, in 1608, and the Martinengo Palatini Palace in the western part, 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 Read more [...]

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    Brescia Old Cathedral

    The Old Cathedral (Duomo Vecchio), also known as La Rotonda because of its round layout and officially as the Winter Co-Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, 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 the Palazzo della Loggia, also participated. The keystones are the work of Read more [...]

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    Piazza della Vittoria

    Piazza della Vittoria is a beautiful square in Brescia, located about 100 meters away from the Piazza della Loggia and the 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 Read more [...]

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    Torre dell’Orologio

    Torre dell’Orologio is a beautiful clock tower in Brescia, located in Piazza della Loggia, opposite the 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 the Palazzo della Loggia. The tower houses a complex mechanical clock, installed between 1544 and 1546, 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 passage created in Read more [...]

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    Piazza della Loggia

    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 [...]