Famous authors and Brescia: love at first sight

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Alejandra Rangel

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

If we look back, the our Brescia it has had a rather troubled history, as indeed many other Italian cities. And like many other Italian cities it has also been an inspiration for famous authors who have included it in their works.

I have researched a bit to write this article and I would like to give you an overview of the famous authors who have been interested in Brescia; it will be a simple smattering, I will not go into detail.

Arnaldo da Brescia and the birth of Piazza Arnaldo

Speaking of Arnaldo of Brescia, we are talking not so much about an author as more about an important person for the city.

He was born in 1090 in Brescia and his life was immediately linked to the Church. We can see his idea of ​​the Church combined with the figure of St. Francis. Arnaldo invites the Church to be poor and therefore feels a strong aversion to what was the ecclesiastical world of the time as it is criticized for being distant from the ideal of poverty.

As you may have read also in legend of San Faustino and Giovita, in those days we were not so much for the subtle and if you were against the powerful and against their ideals, the persecution against you was quite certain. His existence becomes difficult from the beginning and in 1955 he is handed over to Pope Adrian IV, sentenced to hang and burned, then scattering his ashes in the Tiber.

Credits: quibrescia.it

Piazzale Arnaldo with its monument, the work of the architect Tagliaferri, was built around the first half of the nineteenth century and became the symbol of Brescia anticlerical against Catholic Brescia. At that moment there was a tense air between the Italian state and the Church and therefore, the secular administration of the state promoted the construction of the square dedicated to Arnaldo da Brescia precisely to make a disagreement with the Church.

Ugo Foscolo and the Sepolcri

The Two Sepulchres is one of the best and most compact works by Ugo Foscolo… what connection does it have with Brescia? It was simply published in the city in 1807 while Ugo Foscolo was a guest at Palazzo Martinengo.

Ugo Foscolo was having an affair with Marzia Martinengand this allowed him to appreciate Brescia, indeed, not only to appreciate, in some ways he fell in love with it so much that he cited it melancholy in several of his writings. He describes it as the city where the sun shines. This is a small excerpt from one of his letters to Marzia during her stay in Milan:

"May it be good that when I come to see you the good season will continue; I will see the divine light of day shine in your limpid climate, and spring caress the hills of Porta Torlonga"

Alessandro Manzoni and Adelchi

Brescia also appears in Manzoni's Adelchi. Written in 1820, it tells of the events of Ermengara, the daughter of the Lombard king Desiderio, repudiated by Charlemagne. Well, in the Adelchi it happens that Ermengarda dies as a refugee in the Monastery of Santa Giulia in Brescia.

Gioacchino Rossini

Rossini, in Stendhal's biography explains how the character fell in love with Italy thanks to his numerous visits to Milan and Brescia. He was struck and fascinated by the Teatro Grande so much that he wanted to build a similar theater too.

Credits: teatrogrande.it


The events of D'annunzio are definitely closer to the present day.

I imagine that the Vittoriale in Gardone Riviera is quite well known. Called “Vittoriale to the Italians”Is a complex of buildings, roads, waterways built by D'Annunzio to commemorate his life and the enterprises of the Italians during the First World War.

For simplicity it is not called "Vittoriale alle Italiani" but we tend to call it only "Vittoriale" referring to the house of D'annunzio. Among other things, the villa was bought by a German intellectual and was previously called Villa Cargnacco.

Credits: codau.it

The relationship between Brescia and D'annunzio is also evident from some novels he wrote.

The novel "Maybe yes, maybe no”Set in Brescia and starring an aviator, given D'Annunzio's passion for flying.

Finally, he wrote the poem "Brescia" dedicated to the Winged Victory, a statue at that time located in the capitolium)

Corrado Alvaro

Still in a relatively short period from the current one, I am talking about 1932, Corrado Alvaro participates in the inauguration of Piazza Vittoria with Mussolini climbing the Arengario. Corrado Alvaro describes Brescia as beautiful, bright and white.

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