Itinerary in the historic center of Brescia, between classic and alternative

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Alejandra Rangel

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In a simple day it is possible visit Brescia in all tranquility, however, I'm talking only about the historic center of Brescia. It will leave you pleasantly impressed. Do not miss the Brescia castle, a very important symbol of both the city and the whole country, ever heard of the Lioness of Italy?

Here, you will find yourself in a place where 1848 days of history were written in 10, an indelible story that still characterizes the soul, perhaps a little rough, of the typical Brescian.

But let's see now the two itineraries that I recommend.

If you have only one day available, the most suitable is the classic one. If you spend several days between Brescia and its surroundings, then even the alternative one could be an interesting and original solution!

Classic itinerary to visit Brescia

If you want to make a "logistically optimal" route, the ideal would be to dedicate the morning to the squares; piazza Loggia, piazza Duomo and piazza Vittoria will welcome you with their elegance and their history. They are very close to each other, you will be able to switch from one to the other in no time. If you want to read some more information about these squares, I have described them in detail on the post: What to see in Brescia, my city!

My advice is to enjoy them calmly, perhaps stopping for an aperitif in Piazza Duomo.

In my opinion, a very positive thing about the historic center of Brescia is that it is within human reach. Although it is an important city, sitting down to enjoy a good pirlo in any bar in Piazza Duomo, you will be pervaded by a strange calm that is not usually felt in other cities. This is one of my favorite aspects of Brescia.

THEclassic itinerary proceeds with the visit of the Roman Brescia or Piazza del Foro and the nearby Capitolium with its columns that rise under the Cidneo hill. Near Piazza del Foro you can also find Palazzo Martinengo where Ugo Foscolo spent part of his existence. Continuing on via Musei beyond the capitolium, on your left you will find the splendid complex of Santa Giulia with the homonymous museum which always hosts beautiful exhibitions.

You could dedicate the rest of the day to discover the Castle of Brescia spending a few carefree hours in the middle of history.

It is a little gem that overlooks the city from above, the strange thing is that often people who visit Brescia are not aware of this important place in the city. It will surprise you!

Finally, to end the itinerary, when the sun goes down the best choice would be to go back to Piazza Duomo to take a nice shower to end the day as a good Brescian.

Alternative itinerary for Brescia: the towers

If, on the other hand, you want to take a different path, I will indicate one that is very particular and certainly alternative.

Few people know this and I myself was not aware of it. They were in Brescia a long time ago even 100 towers, each with different functions, from the bell tower to the defensive one. They are completely incorporated into the city fabric and thus, walking through the narrow streets of the center of Brescia, it is possible to discover them one by one.

Some are well known and are often used as reference points, just think of the Torre della Pallata which is located at the intersection of via Pace and Corso Mameli. This tower is well known, so much so that it is often called simply "Pallata".

Two possible functions of this tower have been hypothesized: a possible defensive reinforcement tower or a structure simply connected to the walls. In any case, starting from 1300 it was used to keep the treasure of the municipality.

How not to mention the Clock tower in piazza della Loggia, I had already told you about it at the beginning of the post, remember? It is about one of the most evocative towers of Brescia. It is located right on the east side of the square, at the beginning of via Cesare Beccaria. In the context in which it is inserted, it loses the characteristics of the classic tower. There are many peculiarities of this symbol of the city, first of all the fantastic clock in two quadrants, one facing the square and the other towards Via Cesare Beccaria. Secondly, on its top, there are i Macc de le ure.

Looking at the clock tower, to its left, at the end of the arcades you can see the Burnt gate tower, very important as it was the access road to the heart of the city for those who came from the Capitoline temple. In 1182 the tower acquired the adjective burnt following a fire that devastated a large part of the city.

It is worth emphasizing that the area behind both this tower and the clock tower is a very beautiful area characterized by small streets and full of characteristic restaurants where you can dine.

Another very important tower to see in Brescia is the Tower of Hercules which is located in Via Cattaneo. If you look at the map it is just below piazza del Foro. This tower represents a typical tower used as a stately home. Thanks to the fact that there is a room at its feet, if they didn't show it to you, you probably wouldn't see it by yourself. A detail related to this tower: it seems that in 1258 Ezzelino da Romano cut off its top as a scar on the city of Brescia after its conquest, it is now about 17 meters high.

These are only 4 of the towers of Brescia. Just to name others, near Piazza Duomo you can admire the Poncarali Tower and Tower of the People. The old cathedral itself had a tower which unfortunately collapsed in the early eighteenth century. In Piazza Vittoria you can see more recent towers such as the Tower of the Ina and Revolution Tower.

The castle cannot be missing, as it is possible to talk about towers and fail to mention the place where the towers should be everywhere. Well, here you will find the Mirabella Tower which over time took on a strong religious connotation.

There are so many towers in the city and they are certainly worth a visit, keep in mind the possibility of this alternative itinerary. The classic itinerary also allows you to see several of these towers because most are close to the three main squares.

Some places to be included in the Brescia itinerary

So far I have mentioned all the places that you have to see in Brescia in one day, if you have more time to dedicate to the city you can have fun with of shopping along the arcades of via X Giorni continuing along Corso Zanardelli or Corso Palestro.

And if you are in the city even in the evening try to do a ride to the Carmine. The area near the northernmost part of via San Faustino has been redeveloped a few years ago. There are numerous pubs, places to listen to music while having a drink, in short, it has become the hub of the city nightlife. Or, if you are not interested in this kind of entertainment, why not watch a theatrical performance at the Teatro Grande, it is truly phenomenal, you will not regret it. But be careful to check in advance if there are any shows scheduled.

And so here we are at the end of this article where I tried to talk to you and explain my city in the best possible way. I hope it intrigued you and made you want to take a leap into this splendid reality of Northern Italy.

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