Brescia 770x162

Brescia, the town of museums

A thick art texture: in the heart of this town, the recent history has substituted an important past made of remains from the Roman and the Medieval town before the Venetian Renaissance and the Austrian domination. Far from being an industrial town anymore, Brescia has become an important cultural centre.

 Three seducing squares feature the monumental town: piazza della Loggia, piazza Paolo VI and piazza della Vittoria. The first is considered the sitting-room of the town, it is featured by long arcades, architectural beauty and the Renaissance elegance, the second one is featured by opposing ecclesiastical and civil powers: the Roman cathedral and the Broletto palace, the seat of Malatesta, Visconti and Della Scala families are among the main landmarks. In the city there is the new cathedral, a vertical development that grew between the XVth and the XIXth centuries while piazza della Vittoria is not far from there; it was built between 1926 and 1932 from a design by Marcello Piacentini. Around these three squares Brescia must be discovered by following its wide open spaces as well as its narrow streets, its quiet districts where the art masterpieces are jealously kept, the streets of shopping, a whirlwind of shop-windows that describe a rich town either in the past or in the present. 

You don’t have to forget the residential districts and the area of Carmine, multiethnic and concerned with a redevelopment project. Different faces, one after the other, one more charming than the others, the streets near via dei Musei that enhanced the importance of this town, a town of the art that perfectly matches the ancient Brixia, the Roman town. Actually, after decades of restoration works, the Monastic Complex of Santa Giulia – being included in the Unesco World Heritage – was reopened to the public as the Museum of the Town and as a space for temporary exhibitions. It is the ID for a journey through the history, the art and spirituality of Brescia from its ancient time to the present days. Regarding the exhibitions, Santa Giulia has been appreciated by the International community since the very beginning because of the importance of the initiatives being held and its exhibitions.

 You don’t have to miss the restyled Risorgimento Museum – inaugurated in 1887 – located in the castle in the Grande Miglio, a building dating back to the XVIth century that was used as a wheat warehouse during the domination of Veneto. The exhibition offers a route backward in order to remind the events of the Italian second war of independence and know its protagonists, from Napoleon III to Cavour through Emanuele II and Garibaldi by focusing the attention on the local major events. In one of the oldest parts of the castle, the so called “mastio visconteo” there is the arms museum Luigi Marzoli, one of the finest European collections of historical arms and armaments that can tell about the ancient tradition of the arms production through their halberds and spingards. Another must is the Mille Miglia Museum – based in an ancient medieval monastery that exhibits images and myths from the legendary car race.

Luciana Francesca Rebonato

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