One day in my hometown
Welcome to Brescia 🙂
If 5 years ago someone had told me, I would have written a post about my hometown I would have thought he/she was totally crazy! Why? well, because when you are used to live in one place you take everything for granted and the truth is that “the grass is always greener on the other side”!
Since I’ve been living in the States, I started to appreciate more and more my country and when I went back to Italy for a short holiday, I finally manged to get why Americans love it so much. For the first time in my life I saw my country and my hometown through a tourist’s eyes and what a wonderful discovery I made!
Are you ready to follow me to discover this little picture-postcard town?
If you are, here it is a Day in my Hometown!
You can start the day by wandering around the city centre, Brescia is perfect walking size and it’s easy and possible to visit it in one day; if the centre is of the right size, the surroundings are huge, you can reach 2 different lakes: Iseo and Garda within 20/25 mins by car and the mountains in a couple of hours (perfect if you love hiking, skiing or snowboarding).
Unfortunately known for the terrible bomb exploded in 1974, Piazza Loggia was built under the Republic of Venice and it is now a vibrant plaza where people like gathering in the outdoor cafes, both day and night in the perfect Italian style with the picturesque cobblestone streets and a unique clock called “I Macc de le Ure” (this is the local dialect and means “The crazy guys who strike the hours”). Every hour you can actually see and hear the two male figures striking the hours on the top of the Clock Tower. It’s really unique and precious, the astronomical clock was constructed in 1546.
In Roman times, Brescia was located along the ancient Roman road Via Gallica and was one of the most important cities of northern Italy. The ancient and most important buildings from that time can still be seen today in the archaeological area.
Santa Giulia Museum
Santa Giulia is a historic museum located on the premises of a Benedectine nunnery founded in 753 by Desiderius, Duke and later King of the Lombards. During the Roman era the monastery was occupied by a residential area made of houses decorated with mosaics, parts of these stunning remains can be seen today inside the museum.
The museum is basically divided into 2 itineraries (you can see both with the same ticket):
- The first itinerary is dedicated to the history of the monastery, the Lombard church of San Salvatore, the Nun’s choir, the church of Santa Giulia and the famous Desiderius’s cross placed under a starry roof (this is my favourite area of the musuem).
2. The second itinerary presents objects and artworks fron the prehistoric era to the nineteenth century. You can cover 3ooo years of history in one day! Cool, eh?
Every year, Santa Giulia Museum hosts an art exhibition, this year it was dedicated to Steve McCurry and his successful series of images that he also gathered in his book, “Leggere” (Reading). Compared to the book you can see here a much larger series of images: 70 pictures McCurry took around the world while people were absorbed in the intimate act of reading…WOWW!!!!
I couldn’t believe my eyes when I knew about this art show, as it combines my two favourite things in the world: reading and taking pictures!Plus I’m a huge fan of Mc Curry!Jackpot!!!!
After having nourished your soul with good art, it’s time to feed your body too! For a quick and super good lunch, I highly recommend this place:
SCHIACCIA – Via Mazzini 5/A (There is another location in Brescia but this is the closest one to all the attractions in downtown).
Schiaccia is all about a kind of sandwich which is like a piadina but instead of being soft, it’s crunchy!There are tons of different options or you can create your own. It’s really delicious!
Why do I love this place?
- Top fresh ingredients
- Friendly staff
- Nice place, clean and well designed
- Tons of choices
- The crunchy bread is to die for
- Downtown Brescia
- Cheap!!!! 🙂
- Free Wi-Fi
- Charger stations for all kind of devices
- They cut your sandwich in half so you can chose different Schiaccias and share!
- Outside patio with a roof made of umbrellas!
Let’s procced our tour with more history and architecture…
Piazza Paolo VI
Here you can find the buildings that symbolize the religious power of the city:
- Duomo Vecchio (on the right) –>built at the end of the 11th century is an excellent example of Roman architecture. Inside there are Roman and Paleochristian mosaics and the crypt of Saint Filastro. There are also some important paintings by Moretto and Romanino.
- Duomo Nuovo (on the left) –> Baroque style with its grand Botticino marble facade, the cathedral boasts the third highest dome in Italy.
The city centre contains some monumental remains of ancient Brixia (latin name for Brescia), for a moment you will be wondering if you are still in Brescia or in Rome.
It’s possible to visit it inside to discover its coloured marble floors which date back to the 1st century BC!!!
On top of that, the Archaeological Area of Roman Brixia and Santa Giulia have been inscribed since 2011 on the World Heritage List of Unesco. Quite impressive!
Castello di Brescia
Situated on the top of a hill, the castle of Brescia is one of the largest and best preserved fortresses of Northern Italy. Its massive bastions date back to the mid sixteenth century, from the same period, its monumental gateway is topped by the Lion of Saint Mark, symbol of the Venetian Republic that dominated Brescia for four centuries.
Inside the castle there is one of the city’s oldest and finest vineyard! Cheers! 🙂
For an aperitif or a light but delicious dinner I strongly recommend a cafe’ called “The Globe“. It’s in the heart of Brescia, the owner, Walter, is a passionate guy and he knows a lot about cocktails, wines, beers and food! Menu changes according to the seasons as he only uses top-notch ingredients!
It’s super cool also if you just want to sip a coctkail after dinner! (my favourite is the one he created with saffron!)
Check it out and you won’t regret it! Trust me! 🙂
This is all folks! Let me know if you liked the post or if you have any questions or need any more tips!
Go and visit Brescia, it’s really worth it!
Greetings from my charming hometown!