Why visit Brescia? It is not the grey and sad city the clichés assert ...
The origins of Brescia can be detected in the Bronze Age, when the first inhabitants settled on top of the Cidneo Hill. From the “top” of the hill, the name of the town: Brik – Brixia - Roman Brixia, from the Celtic term that means “top or summit”.
Celts settled first, later the Romans, enriching the town with monuments, partially visible today in Forum Square (remains of Capitoline Temple, a section of the Republican Sanctuary, remains of the Theater, remains of the Forum and the Basilica).
After the fall of the Roman Empire the town suffered from the barbarian invasions, until the Lombards introduced a new prosperity time, turning it into a dukedom and important worship and civilian buildings have been achieved, just to mention the Complex of San Salvatore and Santa Giulia.
Later on, Charlemagne and the Franks took control of the town.
Museum of Santa Giulia, a real fantastic place! The history of the town can be retraced, visiting Roman sections, Early and Late Middle Ages and Venetian time.The Winged Victory together with the Domus dell' Ortaglia, the Church of San Salvatore and Santa Maria in Solario shouldn’t be missed.
After the Forum Area, the second stop will be in Cathedral Square and then Loggia Square.
Between the 12th and 13th centuries, Brescia became a “Free Commune”; it supported the Lombard League against Frederic 1st (Barbarossa). In this period the Old Cathedral and the Broletto were built.
Between the 14th and 15th centuries, during the "Seigneury" period, the town has been dominated by Visconti Family from Milan, first, and Malatesta from Rimini, later, and, then, in 1426 Brescia became part of the Republic of Venice until 1797. The town, once again, experienced economic, cultural and architectural splendor: many palaces and churches were built, new defensive walls and the beautiful Loggia Square, with the Town Hall and the Clock Tower, as well. Following the historical events, Napoleon defeated Venice in 1797.After Campoformio Treaty, Austria incorporated the town into its territory until 1859, when Brescia became part of Kingdom of Sardinia after the victory in San Martino and Solferino battle. (A sort of culmination of ten years earlier rebellion, where the citizens resisted against Austria during the famous "ten days"). Participations in the Risorgimento wars followed, until the proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy March 17, 1961. Finally, the First World War, the Fascism, testified by Victory Square, the modern age, the economic boom and the globalization!
UNESCO added Brescia to the “World Cultural Heritage List” in June 2011, with the Monastic Complex of San Salvatore and Santa Giulia and the archaeological area of Capitolium.
The discovery of Brescia hasn’t finished yet. Many historical monuments have to be highlighted. In addition to those mentioned, churches such as Saint Francis, Saint John the Evangelist, Saint Clement, Saint Eucharist, Saint Nazaro and Celsius.Moreover, the Castle houses the Museum of Historical Weapons, the completely renovated ART GALLERY has been recently inaugurated!
This town, unexpected surprise!