Known worldwide thanks to its beautiful landscapes and monuments as well as the many opportunities for entertainment and relaxation, Brescia continues to be one of the most popular and attractive destinations in Italy for its artistic and cultural relevance. As we wait to learn about the initiatives and events organised on the occasion of the Bergamo and Brescia Capitals of Culture 2023 recognition, let’s tour the various portions of the province to discover museums, churches, castles, works of art, archaeological parks, and other hidden gems.
Let your cultural trip to the province of Brescia begin!
Brescia all around, Brescia upside-down, Brescia inside the elegant walls of historic mansions. Every corner of the city is an explosion of history, art, and culture: from Tosio Martinengo Art Gallery to Santa Giulia Museum; from the three famous main squares to the churches and the UNESCO archaeological site; from Teatro Grande – a national monument – to the Castle dominating the city. Walking in historic Brescia means setting on an evocative journey across three millenniums. In between visits, you can relax shopping and sipping a Pirlo, Brescia’s signature aperitif.
Learn more: 12 things to see in Brescia.
When you say Lake Garda, your mind immediately evokes clear waters, fairy-tale landscapes, stunning beaches, and prestigious traditional products. A lake with a marine atmosphere dotted with cultural attractions where fun, history, archaeology, and art combine to create a perfect holiday for all ages. Not-to-miss sites? Catullus Grottoes and Scaligeri Castle in Sirmione, Rocca di Lonato, Martes Museum in Calvagese and MuSa in Salò. There is more: Gardone Riviera with Gabriele d’Annunzio’s Vittoriale degli Italiani, Paper Mill Valley in Toscolano and… several other gems to find day by day!
Learn more: 14 things to see on Lake Garda.
Let’s go back to over 150 years ago: can you imagine notable figures like Carducci, Fogazzaro, Pascoli, and Zanardelli in the elegantly frescoed rooms of Palazzo Torri in Nigoline di Corte Franca? Have you even seen up close Hayez’s painting in the Church of S. Andrea in Iseo? In addition to the frescoes of the church of Santa Maria della Neve in Pisogne and the splendid crucifixion in the Church of Annunciata in Rovato, have you already admired Romanino’s works at the Olivetan Abbey in Rodengo Saiano?
Exceptionally important cultural sites, unique food&wine tradition, and breathtaking landscapes make Lake Iseo and Franciacorta easy places to fall in love with all year round.
Learn more: 12 things to see on Lake Iseo and Franciacorta.
Where pristine nature meets local traditions and millennium-old history. This is Lake Idro and Sabbia Valley, a land full of beauty. This is an ideal destination for those who are seeking a quiet holiday while exploring local customs and stunning monuments like Rocca d’Anfo perched over the lake waters. The most relevant local cultural sites are Resistenza and Folklore Museum in Pertica Bassa, Etnographic Collection House – Museum of Associazione “Habitar in sta terra” in Bagolino, and Valvestino Etnographic Museum in one of the traditional Cima Rest barns. Mountain hiking enthusiasts can visit Cima Ora Fort built during World War I.
Learn more: 14 things to see on Lake Idro and Sabbia Valley.
Known as the “Valley of the Signs” thanks to its immense rock engraving display, with as many as 8 parks registered as UNESCO site no.94, “Rock Art in Camonica Valley”, Camonica Valley preserves and protects cultural sites of primary importance. Among these are the 14 chapels of Via Crucis Shrine in Cerveno, with 198 full-size wooden and plaster statues (18th century) by Beniamino Simoni, Minerva Shrine in Breno, and Annunciata Shrine in Piancogno built on the plateau which connects Ossimo to Borno and with a stunning view of the valley. Several buildings boast frescoes by renowned artists, for example S. Maria Assunta Church in Esine and S. Giovanni Battista Church in Edolo.
Learn more: 14 things to see in Camonica Valley.
For centuries, Trompia Valley’s economy revolved around mining and iron extraction. In recent years, the valley has increased his tourism attractiveness by extensively working on a project promoting local history and at the same time giving a new twist to its cultural offering. Indeed, you will find brand new mine hiking opportunities inside the former mines of Pezzaze and Sant’Aloisio as well as traditional museum displays showcasing the valley’s past, like the Museum of Arms and Arms Making in Gardone Val Trompia and the Furnace Museum in Tavernole sul Mella. In addition to evocative centuries-old religious sites and famous institutions such as Paul VI Collection and Birth House, these sites make Trompia Valley a more and more popular tourism destination.
Learn more: 14 things to see in Trompia Valley
From castles to churches, from religious sites to archaeological collections, Brescia’s Plain finds its rightful place in Brescia’s cultural offering thanks to its surprising attractions. In addition to the famous Padernello Castle and Bonoris Castle in Montichiari, other sites worthy of a visit are Montichiari’s Romanesque San Pancrazio Church boasting works by Romanino, Paolo da Caylina and Callisto Piazza and the two Tiepolo canvases of San Lorenzo Basilica in Verolanuova. For those who love history and archaeology, don’t miss Manerbio’s Archaeological Museum and the Civic Archaeological Museum of Remedello hosted in the lovely, beautifully frescoed former Disciplini church.
Learn more: 14 things to see in Brescia’s Plain.