Brescia - A historical city nestled amongst three lakes and surrounded by the Alps
Location: At the Foot of the Alps and surrounded by lakes Garda, Iseo, and Idro
The second largest city and commune in the region, Brescia is located at the foot of the Alps, between the rivers Naviglio and Mella. It is also a reasonably short drive from Milan and Verona. Situated a few kilometers away from three beautiful lakes, it is known for its green hills, charming waterside marinas, and ski slopes. Its Gallic and Roman past also makes it the site for the best-preserved Roman public buildings, monuments, and castles in Lombardy.
Business: One of the Biggest Manufacturing Centers in Italy
As the third largest Italian industrial area, Brescia is known as a manufacturing center. The city has produced top-notch metal works, weapons, cutlery, and kitchen accessories for decades. It is home to vehicle manufacturer OM. Finance is also a big industry, as it is home to UBI Banca Group, the largest bank in Italy.
Culture: UNESCO World Heritage Monuments
As city founded by the Gauls and, later on, conquered by the Romans, Brescia is steeped with a rich historic past. It is home to several UNESCO World Heritage Monuments. Definite must-sees include the Republican Sanctuary, a first-century B.C. structure with mosaic floors and wall frescoes. The Capitolium, built in 73 A.D., is also worth a visit. Once the most important temple of ancient Roman “Brixia,” it houses a portico, a bronze statue of Ancient Victory, and a pediment dedicated to Emperor Vespasian. Lastly, there is also the Roman Theater, built in the era of Emperor Flavius. It is an impressive semi-circular structure with a capacity for 15,000 people.
Activities: Wine, Dine, and Take a Train Back to the Medieval Ages
Once you’ve had your fill of ancient Roman structures, it’s time to enjoy the fun side of this wonderful city. Make sure you squeeze in time in your itinerary to sample Brescia’s local fare. Have a bite of casoncelli (homemade tortellini with beef cooked with butter and parmesan cheese) while you enjoy the lakeside views of the marinas or after a day of paragliding or skiing. If you love the fruit of the vine, follow the delicious wine trail to the Franciacorta region. Finally, hop on the train to Valcamonica, and take a scenic route through old medieval villages - perhaps with a glass of wine or a plate of polenta taragna (polenta with cheese and butter) on hand!