Brescia’s Castle stands on Cidneo hill and many Brescians consider it the symbol of the city. Suitable destination for everyone, it can be easily reached on foot from Brescia’s centre following evocative alleys such as Contrada S. Urbano. You can also access the castle by car. Once there, you can choose whether to relax reading a book and breathing in the breeze seeping through the walls or visit one of the castle’s numerous attractions. Indeed, the Castle hosts several events and museums. It is also a popular choice for photo shoots.
Are you ready to discover Brescia’s Castle inside and out? Learn about all the attractions and the best panoramic spots over the city!
Pass over the moat and you are already inside the Castle’s ramparts! The arms museum is hosted in Mastio Visconteo tower and is one of the largest European collections of arms and ancient armours. The history of the sword, the luxury armour room, and the Visconti-age frescoes contribute to making the visit exciting and engaging.
Brescia’s Castle hosts the first example of train monument in Italy, “Numero 1”. It’s a locomotive which was once used on the Brescia-Edolo line. Today, it is placed in the castle’s square, left of the entrance after entering the walls. It is also called “Prisoner of Italy’s Falcon” due to an old legend according to which a very greedy man was turned into an hawk and was forced to guard over the castle’s tower for eternity. This is why Cidneo hill is nicknamed “Italy’s falcon”; the locomotive is its prisoner.
Just a few residents know that Brescia’s Castle host the first public observatory in Italy! Positioned on San Marco bastion, Cidnea Observatory is a must-do for all astronomy enthusiasts: under its 3-metre dome there are projections while on the terrace there are mobile reflectors. There is also a room underneath for the observation of the sun.
Located at the foot of the castle and recognised as one of the oldest urban vineyards in Europe, Vigneto Pusterla features centuries-old vines which in the 20th century produced a wine which won the gold medal at the Enologic Contest of Northern Italy. Still today, the vineyard produces wine and grappa, as well as jams and jelly candies using the fruits of native trees. One of the estimators of Pusterla wine was Winston Churchill. In 2007, the Slow Food Association awarded this vineyard in Brescia the title of “Historic Heritage of Agro-Food and Environmental Culture”.
Thanks to Associazione Speleologica Bresciana, it is possible to participate in several excursions. These itineraries lead you to the discovery of water reserves, oil storage rooms, and various towers of the fortress. An exciting opportunity for adults and children alike.
For those who love reenactments, every year on the first week of June Brescia’s Castle hosts Medieval Festival with the historic reenactment of the siege of Frederick II, a battle in which Brescia resisted with determination and persistence the attack of Barbarossa’s grandson. The initiative is organised by Confraternita del Leone brotherhood and allows spectators to learn about this important historic event directly in the beloved city castle.
Every summer, from July to September, Brescia’s Castle goes back to the 60s with open air cinema. It’s not a drive-in; you will be comfortably seated and enjoy Cinema Nuovo Eden summer programme, sipping refreshing drinks while watching acclaimed films in a stunning setting.
For the past 10 years, Brescia’s Castle also means music. Every year, in July, Musical Zoo festival brings several artists into the castle’s wall to perform a variety of genres ranging from rock to techno, reggae and world music. Around, Food stands and spaces to drink, eat, have conferences, and watch contemporary art exhibitions. You are sure to have fun!
For more information about Brescia’s castle, visit Brescia Musei website.