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The Best Things to Do in Brescia, Italy

There are so many beautiful destinations in Italy to explore and Brescia is definitely one of them. Most travelers have never heard of Brescia because it is one of Italy’s best cities off the beaten path. Brescia is the most precious city during the day and night which is one reason we fell in love with the city. Moreover, there are so many incredible things to do in Brescia, such as visiting some Roman ruins, a gorgeous basilica, a peaceful piazza and a castle overseeing the city. It is also home to Italy’s leading culinary school, Cast Alimenti. With that being said, one of the best things to do in Brescia is indulging in their outstanding food. Brescia happens to have the best Italian pasticerria (pastry shop) with the country’s leading master pastry chef, Iginio Massari.

Brescia is in the Lombardy region and is situated at the foot of the Alps. So in addition to the many things to do in Brescia, you can also enjoy the city’s majestic scenery. Brescia is home to beautiful mountains surrounding the city with several lakes such as Lake Idro, Lake Iseo and Lake Garda all just a short drive away. Speaking of a short drive away, Brescia is also less than 90 minutes away from Milan. So if you have more than one day in Milan, a day trip to Brescia is more than doable. As you can see, it is a city more than worthwhile to add to your list of places to visit when you are planning your trip to Italy.

Here are the best things to do in Brescia, Italy that you cannot miss in this charming city.

The Castle of Brescia

Visiting the Castle of Brescia is by far one of the best things to do in Brescia, Italy. It also happens to be our favorite place in the entire city. This medieval castle sits on the summit of Cidneo Hill, in Brescia and can be seen from almost anywhere in the city. The castle overlooks the city from above, hence why it is called the “Falcon of Italy”. It is one of the largest fortified structures in Italy with 75,000 square metres enclosed within its surrounding walls. The castle has an amazing architecture that children only read about in fairytale books. To be honest, we are surprised it is not a kingdom in the famous HBO series, Game of Thrones.

Visiting the Castle of Brescia was one of our favorite things to do in Brescia, Italy!

Within the walls of the castle guests can find a tower, drawbridge, tunnels and two museums. The Luigi Marzoli Arms Museum can be found in The Visconti Keep and boasts 15th and 16th century arms and armor, as well as, 17th and 18th century guns. The second museum is The Museum of the Risorgimento, which can be found inside the Grande Miglio. This museum has historical documents, pictures, period prints, and relics on display that date back from the end of the 18th century to the late 19th century.

We thoroughly enjoyed exploring the grounds of the castle on our own. We felt like ants when we walked around the walls and towers because of their magnitude. It was exhilarating to walk and overlook the walls that has kept enemies at bay. You could feel the history and significance this castle played in keeping the city safe for more than four centuries.

We can understand why, the fortification of this castle is outstanding and worth protecting when the views from the top are magnificent. Watching the sunset from the castle can be quite romantic in the gardens with your favorite king or queen.

For a detailed map of the Castle’s ground click here.

The Castle of Brescia
Via del Castello, 9, 25121 Brescia BS, Italy
To walk the grounds is free, but to enter the museums is € 4,00 total
https://www.bresciamusei.com/castello.asp

Piazza della Loggia

This is the most beautiful piazza in Brescia. It is pretty during the day, but absolutely stunning at night. The two main focal points of the piazza is the Palace of Loggia, and an elegant 16th century mechanical Clock Tower.

One thing to do in Brescia that cannot be missed is enjoying Piazza della Loggia at night. It is simply stunning!

The Capitolium and Roman Forum

A Capitolium is a Roman temple with three cells dedicated to the gods Jupiter, Minerva, and Juno, it is also referred to as the “Capitoline Triad”. This temple was built in 64 A.D. by Vespasian in the heart of ancient Roman Brixia (Brescia). It is now listed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site. In addition to the temple, there is a theater and the remains of the city forum. Together they comprise the most important ruins and remains from the Roman Era in the Lombardy region of Italy. Seeing the ruins felt like we were back in Rome, it is definitely worth a visit.

 

The New and Old Cathedral

The New and Old Cathedral are situated adjacent from one another in the Piazza Paolo VI. Though they contrast each other in structure and architecture, they are both stunning cathedrals. The Piazza Paolo VI has a few restaurants with seating in the piazza, giving guests the ultimate view of these angelic cathedrals.

The Old Cathedral was built during the 11th century and dedicated to Santa Maria Maggiore. It is often called the Rotonda due to its unique shape.

The New Cathedral, or Duomo Nuovo, is the largest Roman Catholic church in Brescia, Italy and was built between 1604 and 1825. It is a sight not to be missed, which is hard not to because you can almost always see the beautiful green duomo from anywhere in the city.

Pasticceria Veneto – Iginio Massari

This was our other favorite thing to do in Brescia, eating delicious desserts from Italy’s best pastry chef, Iginio Massari. The pastry shop itself is gorgeous – when you step inside you feel like you walked into a luxurious mansion’s foyer. There is a crystal chandelier hanging from the ceiling, a glass case full of luscious chocolates, a display of the most beautiful cakes and pastries and a shrine of some of Chef Iginio’s awards.

We were extremely lucky to have the hook up here – our family host, Marco is close friends with Chef Iginio and set up a meeting for us to have the opportunity to meet him. Chef Iginio is a very kind man, he took the time out of his day to talk with us through Google translate. He also gave us a signed copy of one of his books and didn’t let us pay for a single pastry!

The pastries – the best Italian pastries we have ever had! Chef Ignio’s desserts are flawless – perfect layers in his cakes, every dessert was packed with flavor, amazing contrast of textures and more!

Pasticceria Veneto
Via Salvo D’ Acquisto, 8
25128 Brescia (Bs) Italy
Closed on Mondays
Tu – Sat: 7:45am – 8pm
Sun: 7:45am – 1pm and 3pm – 7:30pm
$$$
https://www.iginiomassari.it/en/pasticceria-veneto/

As you can see, Brescia is a hidden gem of Italy! There are so many amazing things to do in Brescia – Roman ruins, a castle, amazing pastries, beautiful cathedrals… what more could you need?!?!?!

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48 COMMENTS

  • Penny

    I’m officially jealous. Bresca is so beautiful and you are so lucky to call it home. The castle is magnificent. I could use such inspiration when writing my children’s stories!

    • oursweetadventures
      AUTHOR

      Aww, that is so cool that you write children stories! We were very lucky to live in Brescia with our Workaway hosts. It was one of our favorite cities during our entire trip.

  • Liz

    Brescia is a beautiful city. I think there are so many lesser known cities in Italy that have a lot of charme. Great post!

    • oursweetadventures
      AUTHOR

      Thank you! We completely agree. finding the cities that are almost untouched by tourists are the most charming to us.

  • Rajlakshmi

    The architect is class apart… Specially the tunnel kind of path in the first castle. Wow yes it should definitely be a part of Game of thrones. Loved this post.

    • oursweetadventures
      AUTHOR

      Haha right?!?! It belongs to the tunnels under Winterfell!

  • Maxine

    Holy crap! This city looks perfect! So beautiful and ancient ruins, your pictures are stunning. I love ancient Roman / Greek ruins so Brescia is being added to my list!

    • oursweetadventures
      AUTHOR

      We are delighted to hear you added Brescia to your list! And thank you for your kind words.

  • Italy is one of my all-time favourite places to visit. I love to travel to places outside the usual tourist trail, and it sounds like Brescia is the place to be! So much yummy food too!

    • oursweetadventures
      AUTHOR

      yes, it most definitely is! We hope you are able to visit the next time you are in Italy.

  • Missy

    The architecture all over Italy is so stunning, and then you add pastries and and desserts? How could a person say no to that? I can’t wait to go back, and maybe this will be a new destination to add to the list!

    • oursweetadventures
      AUTHOR

      Aww YES! We hope you make it here during your next visit. You will not be disappointed.

  • Raksha Rao

    Lovely! First time I heard about Brescia. Totally in love with the pictures! The castle is so beautiful 🙂

    • oursweetadventures
      AUTHOR

      It is hard not to fall in love with Brescia 🙂

  • Julie

    I’ve never actually heard of Brescia Italy, but now I want to go! Looks like such a cute town! Would love to check out that castle!

    • oursweetadventures
      AUTHOR

      We had never heard of it either, until we found our hosts. We are so thankful we found and lived in this charming city. We hope you get to visit Brescia soon.

  • Emma

    I’ve been to Italy a few times, but never to Brescia! The architecture and history are so interesting. Thanks for the great information!

    • oursweetadventures
      AUTHOR

      Our pleasure! We hope you are able to visit the next time you are in Italy.

  • NieNie

    Beautiful photos. It looks a like quieter here than the touristy towns which I love. Thanks for sharing!

    • oursweetadventures
      AUTHOR

      Yes! It is almost untouched by tourists. The authenticity and cultural experience is everywhere in Brescia!

  • Great post. Love the photos. Will definitely add to our Italian itinerary next year!

    • oursweetadventures
      AUTHOR

      Thank you so much, we are delighted to hear that.

  • Ania | Snow to Seas

    Brescia is simply picture-perfect! I would love to pay the town a visit – especially after I learned that it’s in Lombardy and in close proximity to the mountains. Thanks so much for sharing!

    • oursweetadventures
      AUTHOR

      Our pleasure! We are delighted to hear you enjoyed this post and want to visit Brescia now 🙂

  • ARIANA DEL RIO

    The piazza with the giant clock is truly beautiful. I especially love that it has its own style independent of other cities in Italia, maybe even more well known cities. I think you did a great job highlighting what it has to offer. Desserts look delicious, lots of history (ROMAN temples, come on!!), and just that italian charm as well.

    • oursweetadventures
      AUTHOR

      Aww thank you for your beautiful comment, we greatly appreciate it!

  • Ashlee

    Wow this city looks lovely! It wasn’t on my radar before, but now I’ll have to make it there one day. Small cities are the best 🙂

    • oursweetadventures
      AUTHOR

      Yes they are! We hope you do make it to Brescia soon!

  • Hang Around The World

    Last time we was in north Italy we didn’t visit Brescia and now we are reading that we missed a lot. The visit at the Castle is a must as well as Piazza della Loggia!
    Hope to visit Brescia later this year 🙂

    • oursweetadventures
      AUTHOR

      The castle truly is magnificent and the piazza is magical at night. We hope you do make it here this year 🙂 We would love to hear what you thought!

  • Maria

    I love Italy. Your pictures look amazing, and it definitely look like a place for the bucket list. You said in the start your “family host”, does that mean you stayed with a private family? How does that work, and where do you find people to stay with?

  • Bee

    From the Piazza to the ancient ruins, Brescia has it all. This town is beautiful and the food options look delightful. I agree the castle looks like it should be in GOT!

    • oursweetadventures
      AUTHOR

      Right?!?! Looks like it belongs in Winterfell.

  • Eddie

    Great review! Castle of Brescia definitely looks like it should be on GOT. I love the decorative details in the old clocks, so beautiful. That’s so awesome that you got to chat with Chef Iginio! What a great way to have a real local experience.

    • oursweetadventures
      AUTHOR

      It was amazing to be able to meet him. I only started following him two years ago for my pastry career, so it was an honor to meet him in person.

  • Claire Summers

    You are lucky to live in such a lovely place! Great guide to one of Italy’s hidden gems. I have never heard of it before but I would really like to go one day!

    • oursweetadventures
      AUTHOR

      We did get extremely lucky! We love finding hidden gems – don’t get us wrong, we love going to the touristy cities too, but finding cities that are almost untouched by tourism is so unique.

  • Carola

    It’s funny how you sometimes feel connected to a place, even if you’ve just been for a short period of time, isn’t.
    I never went to Brescia during my Italy explorations but your story reminds me a lot of my relationship with Vicenza, where I was lucky enough to do a few of housesits for a lovely American couple.

    I hope you enjoy the rest of Italy just as much as you enjoyed Brescia!

    Buoni viaggi continuati!
    C

    • oursweetadventures
      AUTHOR

      Aww we are delighted to hear that it relates to you! We love sharing and hearing about other people’s travel and experiences. It does sound like we had similar Italian experiences.

  • Italy is such a beautiful country. Every city and every town there is so beautiful. I’ve been to 4 cities there, but haven’t been to Brescia. So thanks for this virtual tour. The Castle looks awesome and those pastries are making me drool!!!

    • oursweetadventures
      AUTHOR

      Our pleasure! We are glad you were able to experience the city through our post. Hopefully you can see it in person one day!

  • SindhuMurthy

    I have never heard of Brescia and wonder how! The city has so much to explore and yet not often head among the regular tourists. The castle looks amazing with its tunnels and towers. The draw bridges across many castles are being replaced by permanent structures and I was glad when I read that the castle has a draw bridge. Your pics do complete justice to the beautiful town.

    • oursweetadventures
      AUTHOR

      Aww thank you so much for your beautiful comment. We had never heard of Brescia either, but are so happy we were able to live there for two weeks to explore and familiarize ourselves with the city. It gets easily missed in the Lombardy region because of Milan and Lake Como.

  • Eve Kay

    Looks like a beautiful city! I’ve only been to the major cities in Italy but haven’t explored smaller cities/towns like this. Definitely should do it next year. And those pastries are TO DIE FOR!!

    • oursweetadventures
      AUTHOR

      We really wanted to immerse ourselves in the Italian culture, which gave us the opportunity to live in unknown cities like Brescia, but still venture out to the popular cities. If you are in the Lombardy region of Italy next year do make your way to Brescia and Lake Garda if you haven’t already visited it!

  • Alberto C.

    When I visited the north of Italy I went from Bergamo to Verona without stopping in Brescia, and I kinda regret it now after reading your post! Brescia looks like a great place to visit with plenty of tourist attractions, hopefully I can make it there one day!

    • oursweetadventures
      AUTHOR

      Aww bummer! We went to Verona, but not Bergamo. We hope you make it to Brescia one day too and us Bergamo! 🙂

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