Brescia: guided tours of the Lombard city
Along the road to Milan and the splendid shores of Lake Garda and Lake Iseo, lies the flourishing city of Brescia: a city of history and revolutions, and the capital of a modern and thriving province, which despite its industrialized nature continues to offer numerous unique points of historical interest.
Situated at 149 metres above sea level, Brescia is a magnificent Lombard city located in the Po River Valley at the base of the Alpine foothills, at the mouth of Val Trompia, and at the foot of Monte Magdalene and Cidneo Hill. It was given its nickname of the “Leonessa d’Italia” (the "Lioness of Italy") in 1849, after withstanding a 10-day siege by Austria during the period of the Italian Unification.
Having been founded over 3000 years ago, when it was the capital of the Cisalpine Gauls, the city is now home to various UNESCO world heritage sites, including the "Longobards in Italy: Places of Power" site, the monumental area of the Roman forum, and the San Salvatore - Santa Giulia Longobard monastic complex, which is home to the civic museum (inaugurated in 1999). Known to the Romans as Brixia, the city is home to Northern Italy's most important complex of public building ruins dating back to this era. Some places of interest include the ruins of the Capitolium and the Roman Theatre overlooking the ancient Roman square, with the ruins of its colonnade.
Brescia offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy numerous fascinating historical itineraries, which are rendered especially interesting in the company of a licensed tour guide specializing in the city's history. The historic centre of Brescia is home to various interesting churches, including Lombard relics, eighteenth century masterpieces, and nineteenth-century works of eclecticism. The Ancient Duomo, the city's cathedral, is one of Italy's most important architectural works, and is considered one of the best examples of a round Romanesque church. Built in the 11th century, Brescia's Ancient Duomo houses splendid paintings by Moretto and Romanino.
A fine example of the city's civil architectural works is Palazzo della Loggia and its adjoining renaissance square, which takes its name from the Palazzo itself: Piazza della Loggia. South of the piazza, visitors will find two Mounts of Piety, “the old” one, which dates back to the 16th century, and the “new” one, which was built during the late 16th century. Their façades represent the first Italian lapidary museum, and stand adjacent to a large astronomical clock, which overlooks the square from the east. The city's streets are lined with numerous historical buildings, including Palazzo Martinengo, Palazzo Maggi Gambara (in Piazza del Foro), Palazzo Martinengo Colleoni di Malpaga (in Piazzetta Sant'Alessandro), and the Teatro Grande, which is famous for hosting the "Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli International Piano Festival".
The Castle of Brescia, which was built by the Visconti family during the 13th century, today represents the largest public park in the entire province, offering visitors the chance to enjoy leisurely strolls while admiring breathtaking views of the city. Having now become one of Italy's most important industrialized centres (second only to Milan among the cities of Lombardy), Brescia nevertheless retains its position as one of Italy's most valued heritage sites: a place where history and modern life are melded together, like the famous steel produced by its foundries.
Contact the guide for the tour
All this and much more can be illustrated by Brescia's licensed tour guides during the time you have available to enjoy the beautiful attractions offered by this magnificent Lombard city. In order to discover Brescia and its surrounding territory, with itineraries that include the nearby Lake Garda and even Lake Iseo, visitors can contact a tour guide directly via this website, or else by visiting any one of the local tourism offices.