You might have never heard of Brescia, but it is actually not that small of a city – with population of almost 200,000, here are the top things to do in Brescia and why it is one of the best places to visit in Italy.
When you plan your first visit to Italy, you wouldn’t be very likely to even know about Brescia. I had been to Italy quite a few times, visiting the famous cities like Venice, Milan and Florence, and Brescia wasn’t on my list at all! However, when Centro Paolo VI Brescia invited me for a stay, I absolutely could not resist visiting a hotel that is also a PALACE. Yep, you heard that right! In addition, I was also very pleasantly surprised by what the city offered. So, here’s my favorite top things to do in Brescia:
1. Start Your Day With Art – Pinacoteca Tosio Martinengo
Entrance fee: 8 EUR (but check if they have a deal – we got a ticket to 4 museums for 20 EUR)
If you‘re looking for a unique and interesting way to spend a day in the city, then you should definitely check out the Pinacoteca Tosio Martinengo – it’s definitely one of the top things to do in Brescia. This art gallery is home to a wide variety of works from the 16th to the 20th centuries, and it‘s a great place to explore the history of Italian art. The Pinacoteca Tosio Martinengo is located in the heart of Brescia, and it‘s easy to get to. The building itself is quite impressive, with its neoclassical façade and grand entrance. Inside, you‘ll find a large collection of paintings, sculptures, and other works of art.
The collection includes works by some of the most famous Italian artists, such as Caravaggio, Tiepolo, and Canaletto. The Pinacoteca Tosio Martinengo also houses a library, which contains a wealth of information about the history of Italian art. You can also find a number of temporary exhibitions, which showcase the work of contemporary Italian artists.
If you‘re looking for a unique and interesting way to spend a day in Brescia, then the Pinacoteca Tosio Martinengo is definitely worth a visit. It‘s a great place to explore the history of Italian art, and to get a glimpse of some of the most famous works of art in the world.
How about some city hopping from Brescia? Here’s what to do in Venice in just 48 hours.
2. Stroll Around Brescia’s Tiny Streets
After you’re done with the gorgeous pinacoteca, you can let yourself get lost in the city’s tiny streets. The streets of Brescia are a sight to behold. The cobblestone streets are lined with colorful buildings, giving the city a unique and vibrant atmosphere. The streets are also lined with cafes, restaurants, and shops, making it a great place to explore and find something new. The architecture of Brescia is also something to marvel at. From the ancient Roman ruins to the stunning Baroque churches, there is something for everyone to admire. The beauty of Brescia‘s streets is something that will stay with you long after you leave. Whether you‘re looking for a romantic stroll or a place to explore, Brescia‘s streets are sure to provide you with an unforgettable experience.
Milan is a much bigger city (and less than an hour by bus!) and one of the few that doesn’t offer much of the typical Italian lovely streets where you absolutely lose your network coverage. And where Google Maps goes haywire. Well, this is definitely one of the reasons you’ll hear so many people tell you “throw out your map, get lost in Italian city named X” 😀 Jokes aside, Brescia is not that huge and can be explored almost exclusively on foot. We did walk over 10 km every day we spent in Brescia, and hav NO regrets. At all.
3. Have Lunch At Piazza Della Loggia
Piazza Della Loggia is Brescia’s central square. And yes, it might cost you a few extra euros to have lunch there, but you will love the Venetian architecture so much, that you’ll find it totally worth it. I ate pasta bolognese every single day spent in Italy, so don’t skip on the yummness!
This stunning square is located in the center of the city and is surrounded by some of the most beautiful architecture in the area. The square itself is a large open space with a fountain in the center and a number of benches and tables for visitors to sit and enjoy the view. The buildings around the square are all stunning examples of Italian architecture, with many of them dating back to the 16th century.
The most impressive building is the Loggia, which was built in 1550 and is a beautiful example of Renaissance architecture – one of the breathtaking things to do in Brescia. The square is also home to a number of restaurants and cafes, making it a great place to grab a bite to eat or a drink. There are also a number of shops and boutiques in the area, so you can find something unique to take home with you. Piazza Della Loggia is a great place to spend an afternoon or evening, as it is always bustling with activity. Whether you‘re looking for a romantic evening or a fun night out with friends, this square is the perfect place to go.
Staying longer in Brescia? How about a day trip for hiking Alpe de Siusi?
4. Enjoy The Sunset At The Castle of Brescia
Entrance fee: Free
If you‘re looking for a unique and fascinating destination to explore, then the Castle of Brescia is the perfect place for you! Located in the Lombardy region of Italy, this castle is a stunning example of medieval architecture and is sure to take your breath away. The Castle of Brescia was built in the 11th century and is one of the most important fortifications in the region. It was originally built to protect the city from invaders, and it has been used for this purpose for centuries.
The castle is made up of three distinct parts: the outer walls, the inner walls, and the keep. The outer walls are made of stone and are incredibly thick, making them difficult to breach. The inner walls are made of brick and are much thinner, but still provide a great deal of protection. The keep is the tallest part of the castle and is where the lord of the castle would live. The castle is surrounded by a moat, which serves as a natural defense against invaders. The castle also has a drawbridge, which can be raised and lowered to allow access to the castle.
This castle is a solid proof of why Brescia is one of the best places to visit in Italy. I expected a very tough climb, but was pleasantly surprised to find that it’s not that hard to reach like other Italian castles. This sight was built in the 13th century and holds 2 wonderful museums that you can visit inside. However, visiting at sunset is indeed a brilliant idea (definitely on top of my list of things to do in Brescia!), since the castle holds some spectacular views of the city! Make sure you walk all around it in order to see the different pretty angles of Brescia.
5. Experience UNESCO World Heritage – Santa Giulia
Entrance fee: 10 EUR
Whether you got lost in the streets of Brescia or not, it is likely that you’ve passed this by a few times without knowing what it was. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a must–see for anyone looking to experience the beauty and history of the region. Santa Giulia is a complex of buildings and monuments that date back to the 8th century. It was originally a Benedictine monastery, and today it is home to a museum, a library, and a number of other attractions.
The most impressive of these is the Church of Santa Giulia, which is a stunning example of Romanesque architecture. The church is decorated with beautiful frescoes and sculptures, and it is a great place to explore and learn about the history of the area. The museum at Santa Giulia is also worth a visit. It houses a number of artifacts from the area, including ancient coins, pottery, and sculptures. There is also a library, which contains a wealth of information about the history of the region. Santa Giulia is a great place to explore and learn about the history of the region. It is a beautiful and unique destination that is sure to leave you with lasting memories. Whether you‘re looking for a day trip or a longer stay, Santa Giulia is a great place to visit. It’s quite fun experiencing such a mix of styles, and don’t forget to check out the Roman Villas beneath, they are all part of the top things to do in Brescia.
6. See The Teatro Romano
The Teatro Romano in Brescia is the second largest Roman theatre in Northern Italy. You can even see it from the street, passing by Santa Giulia and walking towards Tempio Capitolino. I am actually surprised these theatres are not all over Italy’s cities, they are great. Walking staircases that are two millennia old will convince you why Brescia is one of the best places to visit in Italy.
This ancient Roman theater is one of the most impressive and well–preserved ruins in the city. The Teatro Romano was built in the 1st century BC and was used for theatrical performances, gladiator fights, and other public events. It was originally built with a capacity of up to 10,000 people, and it was one of the largest theaters in the Roman Empire. Today, the Teatro Romano is a popular tourist attraction. You can explore the ruins and learn about its history. The theater is still used for performances, including concerts, operas, and plays. The Teatro Romano is a great place to explore and learn about the history of Brescia. It‘s a great way to get a glimpse into the past and experience the culture of the city. The theater is also a great place to take photos and enjoy the beautiful views of the city. If you‘re looking for a unique and fascinating experience in Brescia, then the Teatro Romano is a must–see – one of the top things to do in Brescia. It‘s a great way to explore the city and learn about its history.
7. Take A Selfie At Tempio Capitolino
Okay, I’m not a fan of selfies, to be honest. Not in the slightest. BUT if you like taking selfies – this would be such a great place for you! I normally cut out the people from my photos, but there were crowds taking selfies at Tempio Capitolino 🙂 This temple, too, was built about 2,000 years ago, and was dedicated to the gods Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva. You can even see the 3 original altars that were built! Every hour, there is a guided tour (and video, also in Engish!) that you can take in order to further explore this picturesque temple.
The Tempio Capitolino was built in the 1st century BC and is one of the oldest surviving Roman temples in the world. It was originally dedicated to the goddess Juno and was used as a place of worship for the Roman people. The temple is made up of three parts: the podium, the cella, and the pronaos. The podium is the base of the temple and is made up of three steps. The cella is the inner chamber of the temple and is where the statue of Juno was placed. The pronaos is the entrance to the temple and is decorated with columns and statues. The Tempio Capitolino is a great place to explore the history of Brescia. The temple is surrounded by a beautiful garden and is a great place to take a stroll and admire the architecture. Inside the temple, you can find a number of artifacts from the Roman period, including statues, coins, and other items.
8. Enjoy The Duomo
What is an Italian city without a Duomo? Not impressive at all! The “Duomos” around Italy actually refer to the domes of the largest and most famous churches around Italy. And as you might imagine, the vast majority of Duomos in Italy have a crypt or catacombs inside. The Duomo in Brescia is no exception! Chances are, you’ll be seeing the Duomo from a lot of different places while exploring the city of Brescia, but what you might not suppose is that right next to the new Duomo, there is an old church, and seeing the contrast of these will definitely become one of the top things to do in Brescia for you.
This magnificent cathedral is a must–see for anyone visiting the city. The Duomo was built in the 12th century and is a stunning example of Romanesque architecture. The exterior of the building is adorned with intricate carvings and sculptures, and the interior is just as impressive. The walls are decorated with frescoes and the ceiling is adorned with beautiful paintings. The Duomo is also home to some of the most important works of art in the city. The most famous of these is the Madonna of the Rosary, a painting by the Italian artist Titian. This painting is considered to be one of the most important works of art in the city and is a must-see for any art lover. The Duomo is also home to a number of other important works of art, including sculptures by Donatello and paintings by Caravaggio. The Duomo is also home to a number of important religious artifacts, including a relic of the True Cross. The Duomo is a stunning example of Italian architecture and is a must–see for anyone visiting the city – definitely one of the important things to do in Brescia. Whether you‘re an art lover or just looking for a beautiful building to admire, the Duomo is sure to impress.
9. Sleep In A Palace – Centro Paolo VI Brescia
As I mentioned in the beginning, I was invited in Brescia by the wonderful Centro Paolo VI Brescia. So if you really want to feel like a royal – you should absolutely not hesitate to look for a different place to stay in while in Brescia! The Centro offers true affordable luxury, but my favorite part of the hotel was definitely the staircase – absolutely breathtaking. Read my full hotel review here.
Centro Paolo VI Brescia has a secluded inner garden, where you can spend a relaxing afternoon or have your morning coffee, all while listening to the birds singing. Yep, it IS definitely that idyllic. You’ll also find lots of paintings around the large halls and impressive architecture all around. Тhis hotel is definitely proof of why Brescia is one of the best places to visit in Italy <3 Love it? See the rooms and book here!
10. Have A Day Trip To Lake Garda
Lake Garda is actually pretty close to Brescia, and spending at least half a day there is an absolute MUST! This stunning lake is the largest in Italy and is surrounded by breathtaking mountains and lush greenery. The journey to Lake Garda from Brescia is an easy one, with the drive taking just over an hour. The train from Brescia to Lake Garda takes a maximum of 30 minutes and tickets are as cheap as 4.80 EUR one way. Choose your stop to be Peschiera del Garda and you can take one of the buses to any cute city around the lake itself.
Once you arrive, you’ll be greeted by the stunning views of the lake and its surrounding mountains. The lake is a popular destination for tourists, so you’ll find plenty of activities to keep you busy. From swimming and sailing to hiking and biking, there’s something for everyone. If you’re looking for a more relaxed day, you can take a leisurely stroll along the lake’s shoreline. Here, you’ll find plenty of restaurants and cafes to enjoy a bite to eat or a refreshing drink. As a great alternative, you can take a guided tour and explore the lake by boat! Can’t really get any more perfect than that <3
At the end of the day, you can take a trip to the nearby town of Sirmione. This charming town is home to a number of historical sites, including the Scaliger Castle and the Grotto of Catullus. Here, you can explore the cobblestone streets and take in the stunning views of the lake.
We managed to go all the way up to Monte Baldo in Malcesine, which was an almost 2-hour ride by bus in each direction (but Monte Baldo was absolutely worth it!). If you’re looking for a stunningly beautiful destination to explore, then Monte Baldo is the perfect place for you! Located in the Italian Alps, Monte Baldo is a mountain range that offers breathtaking views of the surrounding area. From the top of the mountain, you can see the sparkling waters of Lake Garda and the snow–capped peaks of the mountains – how is that not one of the most perfect things to do near Brescia? 😍. The area is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, with plenty of hiking trails, mountain biking routes, and rock climbing spots. There are also plenty of opportunities for skiing and snowboarding in the winter months. The area is also home to a variety of wildlife, including deer, chamois, and ibex. The area is also home to a number of quaint villages, where you can sample some of the local cuisine and explore the local culture. There are also plenty of wineries in the area, where you can sample some of the region’s finest wines.