Brescia, Italy, is known for its lakes, mountains, hills, art and wine, according to Alessio Merigo, CEO of Bresciatourism. Located in Regione Lombardia, Brescia is halfway between Venice and Milan.
Venice is less than a two-hour drive from Brescia. The art cities of Milan, Bergamo, Mantua, Verona and Cremona are less than one hour from Brescia.
On a Lake Garda holiday, you can go sailing, windsurfing and kite surfing in Limone del Garda, relax at Sirmione spas and thermal baths, explore the gardens of Gardone Riviera and visit the Villa Vittoriale Museum and historical villas. Golfers can play three golf courses on the west coast of Lago di Garda.
Lake Garda is also a beautiful backdrop for the Vittoriale theater in Gardone Riviera. More than 350 sailboats participate in the Centomiglia regatta on Lake Garda every September.
Lake Idro is the highlight of Valle Sabbia. Visitors enjoy sailing, hiking, rock climbing, paragliding mountain biking and canyoning. The most popular activity on Lake Iseo is a boat cruise to Montisola, the largest inhabited lake island in Europe.
Monte Guglielmo, and other mountains surrounding Lake Iseo, offer panoramic views of the lake and Padana Plain.
Brescia City tour
The history of Brescia goes back more than 10,000 years. The largest Roman archeological site in Northern Italy surrounds the Roman Forums and Capitoline Temple, from the Roman city of Brixia. Santa Giulia Museum displays Roman mosaics, frescos and more than 11,000 objects.
The population of Brescia is 190,000. It includes many students from Brescia universities. Medieval Brescia Castle dominates Mount Cidneo, and offers views of the city.
Inside Brescia Castle is the Risorgimento Museum, featuring the history of the unification of Italy, and the Marzoli Museum of ancient arms. Today, Brescia is still known for sporting and hunting gunmakers, the manufacturer, Beretta, and bulino engraving, which transforms rifles and pistols into works of art.
The old town of Brescia has three famous piazzas. In Piazza Paolo VI, you can see the 11th-century Romanesque Old Cathedral and the New Cathedral, which has the third highest dome in Italy.
Mille Miglia race
Every May, Piazza Vittoria is the location where 300 classic car crews register for the Mille Miglia race. The 1000-mile (1600-km) automobile championship route to Rome begins and ends in Brescia.
In Piazza Loggia, is the Palazzo della Loggia, famous for its Venetian Renaissance architecture, town hall and clock with bronze statues.
"Brescia is also the land of hills," says Alessio Merigo. Franciacorta vineyards stretch from Brescia to Lake Iseo. Vintners produce white, red and sparkling Franciacorta DOCG wine.
Lake Garda wineries also make high-quality wines, such as Groppello, Rosso Superiore, Lugana and Garda Classico. Lake Garda whitefish, Lake Iseo sardines and Lake Idro trout are only a few of the popular lake fish.
Grana Padano cheese
The Province of Brescia is known for its famous cheeses, including Grana Padano, Bagoss and Rosa Camuna. It also produces DOP extra virgin olive oil (Gargna, Garda and Sebino).
Brescia cuisine features traditional dishes like spiedo (spit-roasted beef) served with polenta, manzo all'olio (beef cooked in oil) and casoncelli (meat-filled ravioli, served with melted butter and grated cheese).
A one-hour drive from Brescia is Valle Camonica, home to The Rock Engravings, the first UNESCO World Heritage Site in Italy. Dating back to 7000 BC, the millions of rock engravings depict daily life of the ancient Camuni people. You can take guided or self-guided walks to view the engravings.
Valle Camonica is also known for winter sports and the ski resorts of Ponte di Legno-Tonale, Cortena-Aprica, Borno and Montecampione. Besides 150 kilometers of ski trails, winter visitors will find cross-country skiing and dog sledding.
Gabriele D'Annunzio Airport in Montichiari is only 15 kilometers away. Brescia is also close to Verona-Villafranca, Bergamo, Venice, Milan, Linate and Malpensa Airports.