Located in the region of Lombardy in northern Italy, Brescia has been an important regional centre since the pre-Roman period. Although the settlement’s history reaches back as far as the Stone Age, the city only received its name in the 7th century courtesy of the then-dominant Gaulish tribe, the Coenomani.

Incorporated into the new Roman order in the 3rd century BC and plagued by invaders when the Empire fell, relative security was only re-attained thanks to the Venetians, who took control in 1426 and retained the city’s loyalty for the next 450 years. It was during this period that Brescia experienced its greatest cultural expansion and revival, the marks of which are still visible today. However, the modern city is a testament to its variegated history and an attractive destination for any visitor to Italy.


In close proximity to Lake Garda, Lake Iseo and the Alps, Brescia’s natural beauty is one of its great attributes, but there is far more to see. Newcomers should seek out the Piazza della Loggia, a beautiful 16th century style square in the centre of the city, which contains the Palazzo del Popolo (the city hall) and the Torre dell’Orolgio.

The most striking monument in the city is unquestionably the Capitol Hill Temple ruin on the Piazza del Foro. Originally constructed in 73 AD, much has survived to this day and offers a glimpse into the Roman world, particularly with the Teatro Romana nearby (built as far back as the 3rd century BC).

Adjacent to the ruins, the Monastery of Santa Giulia should be the first port of call for museum hunters, as it contains the 'Roman Museum', filled with local artefacts like the Nike of Brescia copper statue. Elsewhere, the Tosio Martinengo Art Gallery in the Palazzo Martinengo includes a fine selection (and even one piece by the great Raphael). Any trips to religious buildings in the city should provide one or two artworks, sometimes of huge significance like the Titian in the Sante Zazaro e Celso church.

Sport fans are well catered for by the Brescia Calcio football side, which currently compete in Serie B (only recently relegated) and play their games at the Stadio Mario Rigamonti. More famously, should you happen to be in the city during May, the Milie Miglia Storica open-road endurance race (and parade for pre-1957 cars) starts and ends in Brescia.


Markets are frequent, with the greatest selection of local produce available on Saturdays.

Although the city does generally focus on smaller local shops, department stores like Argenteria Zanolli can be found on the Via Ancora and Via Gramsci.

Nightlife and Eating Out

Brescia has a healthy selection of pizzerias, restaurants and bars around the centre. However, the Ronchi area a few minutes outside the Piazza della Loggia is a more attractive proposition, offering a number of stylish restaurants in an idyllic setting of meadows and orchards.

The many farmhouses littered on the outskirts also convert themselves into licinsi restaurants during the summer months.

There are plenty of bars and discos around the city, check out the Lio Bar on the Via Togni and the Spazio Arnaldo wine bar on the piazzale Arnaldo.

Tourist Information

Brescia Tourist OfficePiazza della Loggia, 6Brescia.Tel: +39 (0)30 2400


Brescia Airport is located some 18km from the city centre, with international and domestic flights available. Buses and taxis are available.

Ryanair runs from London Stansted.

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