The city of Brescia
Brescia has the largest Roman archaeological area in Northern Italy and hosts the monumental remains of the Lombards, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Brescia is also the city of art of the Mille Miglia, historic car race.
To know more about the city and where to go, visit: https://www.bresciatourism.it/en/visit-brescia/city-of-brescia/
Short history and places to visit
The city of Brescia,149 metres above sea level, lies at the foot of the hills below the Pre-Alps, almost at the mouth of Trompia valley . It is bordered to the north-east by Cidneo Hill, an extension of Mount Maddalena, which rises to the east. There are very pleasant panoramic roads which climb the slopes of the hilly zone of the Ronchi amid varied almost Mediterranean vegetation.
Brescia is known as the “Lioness of Italy” (Leonessa d’Italia) after ten days of popular uprising that took place in the city in the spring of 1849 against Austrian rule.
Since the beginning of the XX century, in the presence of vigorous industrial growth, the city has been expanding. The demolition of the city walls, which began towards the end of the previous century and the urbanization of the green areas which separated the old city centre from outlying villages, destroyed the original conformation of the town. The wide ring roads, built where the walls once stood, connect the different districts and ease the traffic in the town, which still has a historic city centre quite different from the newer parts.
Today the population of Brescia is about two hundred thousand. It is the second most important city in Lombardy and capital of a province with a population of over a million, and with a territory of which more than half is mountainous, it has become one of the most industrialised areas of Italy.
Brescia combines the efficiency of a modern town with the attractions of a historic city full of art treasures and offers the visitor the pleasure of strolling through a fascinating urban setting which reveals its past history. A number of judicious improvements have been made; from setting up pedestrian areas and providing plants and benches for gardens and streets to the work carried out in the quiet residential area surrounding one of the major museum complexes in Italy: Santa Giulia - the City Museum with 12,000 sq.m. of exhibition space - which was opened to the public in 1999 and since 2011 it is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List for the serial site Longobards in Italy. Places of the power (568-774 AD).
Mille Miglia is a race reserved to cars built between 1927 and 1957. Every year, it attracts thousands of car lovers from all over the world, especially during the car control procedures which are performed in the historic streets and squares of Brescia. Car lovers meet the racers (Formula 1 champions, celebrities, actors, and athletes) and discuss the route, placement expectations, and the race cars which will take place in this event across Italy.
Getting around the city
Everything is at walking distance in Brescia: the historic city centre is relatively small and it is easy to move around on foot.Using a car to get around Brescia is not advisable. You may get some useful maps and free city guides in several languages at our Infopoints: one is just outside the Railway Station, the other in the central Piazza Paolo VI (or Piazza Duomo, as the Bresciani call it), at the corner with Via Trieste.
By undergound or bus
City transport tickets (underground, orange or white bus)are sold at newsagents', bars and tobacconists. They cost € 1,20 and last for 75 minutes. You may find useful to buy a 24/hour ticket at the price of € 3,40. From the railway station take the underground (one station to Vittoria) or buses nr 1 and 2 to go to the town centre, while from the free car parks Castellini and Volturno take bus nr 18.
If you decide to come to Brescia by car the following information may prove useful. Given its historic nature, the city centre is clearly not designed for modern traffic needs and vehicles, and getting around by car may cause some difficulties. The area of greatest tourist interest coincides with the ZTL (Zona a Traffico Limitato), a restricted traffic area controlled by a network of video cameras. If you need to get to pre-booked accommodation, inform the hotel in advance and they will provide the details of your vehicle (number plate, etc.) to the local city police. For further information about the ZTL, visit www.ztlbrescia.it/ . To find the car park that is most convenient and suitable for your needs, visit the Brescia Car Parks website.
Taxis are white, can be called by phone at the number +39 030 35111. You may also hail one in the street by raising you hand, or pick one up at the various taxi ranks around the city. Customers are advised to read the information about prices displayed inside the vehicle. Please take also note of supplements for baggage and for night/festive rides. See also the taxi website: http://www.radiotaxibrixia.it/
Brescia is quite a small city, and most of the centre is pedestrian so we strongly recommend using your bike or renting one and exploring it on two wheels! You can rent a bike at:
- Parcheggio Bici (Bike Park) just outside the train station, on the right. It is open from Monday to Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. tel. +39 0303061224. Prices: 5 hours/2 euros - one day/4 euros. See the website of Parcheggio Bici
- Bresciainbici Youthpoint-CTS provides a repair kit and free maps with the bike rental together with guides for tours at 15 euros/one day (20 euros with packet lunch). Youthpoint-CTS Brescia, Via Tommaseo 2/a, tel. +39 03041889, open from Monday to Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m., Saturday morning only. See also www.bresciainbici.it
If you are staying at a hotel in Brescia, you may ask the reception for a BICIMIA card, and pick up/return bikes for free in more than 40 racks in the town centre.