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Brescia
—  Comune  —
Comune di Brescia
Panorama of Brescia

Coat of arms
Brescia is located in Italy
Brescia
Location of Brescia in Italy
Coordinates: 45°32′N 10°14′E / 45.533°N 10.233°E / 45.533; 10.233Coordinates: 45°32′N 10°14′E / 45.533°N 10.233°E / 45.533; 10.233
Country Italy
Region Lombardy
Province Brescia (BS)
Frazioni Fornaci, Sant'Eufemia, San Polo, Urago Mella, Sant'Anna, Mompiano
Government
 - Mayor Adriano Paroli (PdL)
Area
 - Total 90.7 km2 (35 sq mi)
Elevation 150 m (492 ft)
Population (June 2009)
 - Total 191,352
 Density 2,109.7/km2 (5,464.2/sq mi)
 - Demonym Bresciani
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 25100
Dialing code 030
Patron saint Sts. Faustino and Giovita
Saint day February 15
Website Official website

Brescia About this sound listen (Italian pronunciation: [ˈbreʃʃa, -ɛ-], Lombard: Brèsa) is a city and comune in the region of Lombardy in northern Italy. It is situated at the foot of the Alps, between the Mella and the Naviglio, with a population of around 191,000. It is the second largest city in Lombardy, after the capital, Milan. Brescia is called "the Lioness of Italy" after ten days of popular uprising that took place in the city in the spring of 1849 against Austrian oppression.

The city is the administrative capital of the Province of Brescia, one of the largest in Italy, with about 1,200,000 inhabitants. The ancient city of Brixia, Brescia has been an important regional centre since pre-Roman times and a number of Roman and medieval monuments are preserved, among which is the prominent castle. The city is at the centre of the third-largest Italian industrial area, concentrating on mechanical and automotive engineering and machine tools, as well as the Beretta arms firm. Its companies are typically small or medium- sized enterprises, often with family managements. The financial sector is also a major employer, and the tourist trade benefits from the proximity of Lake Garda, Lake Iseo and the Alps.

The plan of the city is rectangular, and the streets intersect at right angles, a peculiarity handed down from Roman times, though the area enclosed by the medieval walls is larger than that of the Roman town, which occupied the eastern portion of the present one. The Piazza del Foro marks the site of the forum, and the museum on its north side is ensconced in a Corinthian temple with three cellae, by some attributed to Hercules, but more probably the Capitolium of the city, erected by Vespasian in 73 AD (if the inscription really belongs to the building[1]), which was excavated in 1823. The museum houses a famous bronze statue of Victory, found in 1826. Scanty remains of a building on the south side of the forum, called the curia, but which may have been a basilica, and of the theatre, east of the temple, still exist.

Contents

History

Ancient era

Remains of the Roman Capitolium.

Different mythological versions of the foundation of Brescia exist: one assigns it to Hercules, while another attributes its foundation to Altilia ("the other Ilium") by a fugitive from the siege of Troy. According to a further myth, the founder was the king of the Ligures Cidnus, who had invaded the Padan Plain in the late Bronze Age. Scholars attribute the foundation to the Etruscans.

Invaded by the Gallic Cenomani, allies of the Insubres, in the 4th century BC, it became their capital. The city became Roman in 225 BC, when the Cenomani submitted to Virginia. During the Carthaginian Wars 'Brixia' was usually allied with the Romans. In 202 BC it was part of a Celtic confederation against them, but, after a secret agreement, changed side and attacked the Insubres by surprise, destroying them. Subsequently the city and the tribe entered the Roman world peacefully as faithful allies, maintaining a certain administrative freedom. In 89 BC Brixia was recognized as civitas ("city") and in 41 BC its inhabitants received Roman citizenship. Augustus founded a civil (not military) colony there in 27 BC, and he and Tiberius constructed an aqueduct to supply it. The Roman Brixia had at least three temples, an aqueduct, an amphitheater, a forum with another temple built under Vespasianus, and some baths.

When Constantine advanced against Maxentius in 312, an engagement took place at Brixia in which the enemy was forced to retreat as far as Verona. In 402 the city was ravaged by the Visigoths of Alaric I. During the invasion of the Huns under Attila, the city was again besieged and sacked in 452 while, some forty years later, it was one of the first conquests of the Gothic general Theoderic the Great in his war against Odoacer.

Middle Ages

The castle of Brescia.

In 568 or 569 Brescia was taken from the Byzantines by the Lombards, who made it the capital of one of their semi-independent duchies. The first duke was Alachis, who died in 573. Later dukes included the future king Rotharis and Rodoald, and Alachis II, a fervent anti-Catholic who was killed in the batte of Cornate d'Adda (688). The last king of the Lombard, Desiderius, had been also duke of Brescia. In 774 Charlemagne captured the city and ended the existence of the Lombard kingdom in northern Italy. Notingus was the first (prince-)bishop (in 844) who bore the title of Count (see Bishopric of Brescia). From 855 to 875, under Louis II the Younger Brescia become de facto, capital of Holy Roman Empire. Later the power of the bishop as imperial representative was gradually defied by the local citizens and nobles, Brescia becoming a free commune around the early 12th century. Subsequently it expanded in the nearby countryside, first at the expenses of the local landholders, and later against the neighbouring communes, notably Bergamo and Cremona. Brescia defeated the latter two times at Pontoglio, and then at the Grumore (mid-12th century) and in the battle of the Malamorte(Bad Death) (1192).

In the successive struggles between the Lombard cities and the emperors, Brescia was implicated in some of the leagues and in all of the uprisings against them. In the Battle of Legnano the contingent from Brescia was the second in size after that of Milan. The Peace of Constance (1183) that ended the war with Frederick Barbarossa confirmed officially the free status of the commune. In 1201 the podestà Rambertino Buvalelli made peace and established a league with Cremona, Bergamo, and Mantua. Memorable is also the siege laid to Brescia by the emperor Frederick II in 1238 on account of the part taken by this city in the battle of Cortenova (27 November 1237). Brescia came through this assault victorious. After the fall of the Hohenstaufen, republican institutions declined at Brescia as in the other free cities and the leadership was contested between powerful families, chief among them the Maggi and the Brusati, the latter of the (pro-imperial, anti-papal) Ghibelline party. In 1258 it fell into the hands of Ezzelino da Romano.

In 1311 Emperor Henry VII laid siege to Brescia for six months, losing three-fourths of his army. Later the Scaliger of Verona, aided by the exiled Ghibellines, sought to place Brescia under subjection. The citizens of Brescia then recoursed to John of Luxemburg, but Mastino II della Scala expelled the governor appointed by him. His mastery was soon contested by the Visconti of Milan, but not even their rule was undisputed, as Pandolfo III Malatesta in 1406 took possession of the city, but in 1416 bartered it to Filippo Maria Visconti, who in 1426 sold it to the Venetians. The Milanese nobles forced Filippo to resume hostilities against the Venetians, and thus to attempt the recovery of this city, but he was defeated in the battle of Maclodio (1427), near Brescia. In 1439 Brescia was once more besieged by Francesco Sforza, captain of the Venetians, who defeated Niccolò Piccinino, Filippo's condottiero. Thenceforward Brescia acknowledged the authority of Venice, with the exception of the years between 1512 and 1520, when it was occupied by the French armies under Gaston of Foix, Duke of Nemours.

Modern era

Map of Brescia in the early 18th century.

Brescia has a major role in the history of the violin. Many archive documents testify that from 1585-95 Brescia was the cradle of a magnificent school of string players and makers, all called with the title of "maestro" of all the different sort of strings instruments of the Renaissance: viola da gamba (viols), violone, lyra, lyrone, violetta and viola da brazzo. So you can find "maestro delle viole" or "maestro delle lire" and later, at least from 1558, "maestro di far violini" that is master of violin making. From 1530 the word violin appear in Brescian documents and spread all around north of Italy.

Early in the 16th century Brescia was one of the wealthiest cities of Lombardy, but has never recovered from its sack by the French.

It subsequently shared the fortunes of the Venetian republic until 1796, when it came under Austrian dominion.

In 1769 the city was devastated when the Church of San Nazaro was struck by lightning. The resulting fire ignited 90,000 kg of gunpowder being stored there, causing a massive explosion which destroyed one sixth of the city and killed 3,000 people.

After the end of the Napoleonic era, Brescia was annexed to the Austrian puppet state called Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia. Brescia revolted in 1848. It distinguished again for the revolt called the Ten Days of Brescia (march 1849), for which the poet Giosuè Carducci called it "Leonessa d'Italia" ("Italian Lioness"), being the only Lombard town to rally to King Charles Albert of Piedmont in the latter year; but was taken after ten days' obstinate street fighting by the Austrians under Haynau.

In 1859 the citizens of Brescia voted overwhemingly in favor of its inclusion in the newly-founded Kingdom of Italy.

The city was awarded a Gold Medal for its resistance against Fascism, in World War II.

On May 28, 1974, it was the seat of the bloody Piazza della Loggia bombing.

Main sights

Piazza della Loggia, with its Venetian influences.
Old Cathedral.
New Cathedral.
  • Piazza della Loggia, a noteworthy example of Renaissance piazza, with the eponymous loggia (the current Town Hall) built in 1492 by the architect Filippino de' Grassi. On May 28, 1974 the square was the location of a terrorist bombing.
  • Duomo Vecchio ("Old Cathedral"), also known as La Rotonda. It is an exteriorly rusticated Romanesque church, striking for its circular shape. The main structure was built in the 11th century on the ruins of an earlier basilica. Near the entrance is the pink Veronese marble sarcophagus of Berardo Maggi, while in the presbitery is the entrance to the crypt of San Filastrio. The structure houses paintings of the Assumption, the Evangelists Luke and Mark, and Feast of the Paschal Lamb , and Eli and the Angel by Alessandro Bonvicino (known as il Moretto); two canvasses by Girolamo Romanino, and other paintings by Palma il Giovane, Francesco Maffei, Bonvicino, and others[2].
  • Duomo Nuovo ("New Cathedral"): Construction on the new cathedral began in 1604 and continued till 1825. While initially a contract was awarded to Palladio, economic shortfalls awarded the project, still completed in a Palladian style, to the young Brescian architect Giovanni Battista Lantana, with decorative projects were directed mainly by Pietro Maria Bagnadore. The facade is mainly owed to the designs Giovanni Battista and Antonio Marchetti, while the cupola was designed by Luigi Cagnola. Interior frescoes including the Marriage, Visitation, and Birth of the Virgin, as well as the Sacrifice of Isaac, were frescoed by Bonvicino. The main attractions is the Arch of Sts. Apollonius and Filastrius (1510)[3].
  • The Broletto, formerly the Province Hall. It is a massive building of the 12th and 13th centuries with a lofty tower.
  • In Piazza del Foro is the most important array of Roman remains in Lombardy. These include the Capitoline Temple, built by Vespasianus in 73 AD.
  • The monastery of San Salvatore (or Santa Giulia), dating from the Lombard age but later renovated several times. It is one of the best example of High Middle Ages architecture in northern Italy.
  • Santa Maria dei Miracoli (1488–1523), with a fine façade by Giovanni Antonio Amadeo, decorated with bas-reliefs and a Renaissance peristilium.
  • The Romanesque-Gothic church of St. Francis, with a Gothic façade and cloisters.
  • The castle, at the north-east angle of the town, commands a fine view.
  • Church of San Nazario e Celso, with the Averoldi Polyptych by Titian.
  • Church of San Clemente, with numerous painting by Alessandro Bonvicino (generally known as Moretto).
  • Church of San Giovanni, with a refectory partly painted by the Moretto and partly by Girolamo Romanino.
  • The Pinacoteca Tosio Martinengo, the local art gallery hosts works of the painters of the classical Brescian school, Romanino, Bonvicino, and Bonvicino's pupil, Giovanni Battista Moroni.
  • Biblioteca Queriniana, containing rare early manuscripts, including a 14th-century manuscript of Dante, and some rare incunabula.

The city has no fewer than seventy-two public fountains. The stone quarries of Mazzano, 20 km east of Brescia, supplied marble for the Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II in Rome.

Sports

Brescia is the start and the arrival of the historical car race Mille Miglia that takes place every year in May and also the now defunct Coppa Florio, one of the first ever sport motor races. It is also the home of Brescia Calcio football club and Rugby Leonessa 1928.

Famous citizens

International relations

Twin towns—Sister cities

Brescia is twinned with:

See also

Sources

This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain. This article incorporates text from the public-domain Catholic Encyclopedia of 1913. [1]

References

Notes
  1. ^ cf. Th. Mommsen in Corp. Inscrip. Lat. v. No. 4312, Berlin, 1872
  2. ^ Duomo Vecchio
  3. ^ Duomo Nuovo.
  4. ^ Town Twinnings and international relations (from the official city website. Accessed 2008-08-11.)

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Brescia is a city in Lombardy, Italy

Understand

Brescia is a rich industrial city between Lake Garda and the Valtrompia in the foothills of the alps, about 100 km east of Milan. It is less famous for its history and art than for its role as a primary manufacturing center. The large factories produce weapons (including the famous Beretta pistols) and cutlery/kitchen accessories. This industry has brought the city tremendous wealth and prestige in the past 50 years, to the point that an entire second city--the imaginatively named Brescia 2--has sprung up on the south side of the city's original boundaries.

Brescia is also the capital of the Lombardian province of the same name, which incorporates numerous beautiful and historic towns, the Valtrompia, and parts of the lakes.

Get in

By plane Brescia has a very small airport located 20 Km from the city centre in Montichiari. It serves only few destinations:Girona Barcelona,London Stansted ( both Ryanair flights), Olbia ( Sardinia ), Rome, Napoli, Crotone ( all air-bee flights ). However you can reach Brescia from Milan Orio al Serio Airport which is in province of Bergamo (50 Km away) and it serves a lot of low cost airlines such as Ryanair, AirItaly, Transavia, MyAir, etc. Brescia is also easily reachable via Verona VillaFranca Airport (50 Km away) Milan Linate (100 Km away) and Milan Malpensa airport (150 Km away).

By train You can reach Brescia by any train from the expensive Eurostars to the cheap and slow Regionale commuter trains. It is about an hour from Milan (costing €6 on the Regionale), and other cities including Bergamo, Verona, Venice, etc. are within an hour or two.

Get around

The smallish historical center of the city has an autobus system that works well for inhabitants and other commuters. Much of the rest of the area, including the Franciacorta wine district and nearby museums such as that of the Mille Miglia automobile race, is more easily accessible by car. Brescia has a subway under construction that will make it the smallest city in the world with an underground train system. It is due for completion in 2013, although such schedules are dubious, and in the meantime tremendous traffic congestion is caused at station construction points.

See

Brescia is home to several great museums. However, since it is not a primary tourist city, very few English translations are provided, and even if they are, translations are often so poor that you may prefer to try the Italian explanations.

  • Tempio Capitolino: Old Roman ruins, the last remains of what once was the city's forum during the Roman Empire, built by the emperor Vespasian. Historical placards are well translated in English.
  • Old and New Duomo: The unique pre-renaisance church has a massive stone dome and 12th century crucifixes. Next door is the city cathedral, built 150 years ago, with the third largest dome in Italy. The local hero is former Pope Paul VI, a native Brescian. Don't expect good English translations.
  • The Castle: Dating to pre-Roman times and last fortified by the Venetian overlords of the 16th century, the city's stronghold houses museums of armory and of the Risorgimento (Italy's first struggles for independence and unification), and provides eccelent views of the Valtrompia, the alps, and the city itself.
  • Santa Giulia's cloister: This museum and former convent houses a massive collection of art and archeology dating back more than 10,000 years and exploring the region's history from pre-history to Roman occupation to the Lombard invasion, etc. The museums also contain foundational remnants of Brescian houses from various periods. The permanent collection of religious art is one of the best in northern Italy, and the city prides itself in attracting traveling exhibits of excellent and prestigious collections. It is currently displaying over 100 of Van Gogh's early sketches, designs and paintings (2008-April 2009). Some English translations will be found throughout the museum, but they will be inconsistent and poorly translated.
  • La Loggia: The city hall and center of regional government, this large and oddly shaped building presides over the city's central square, where you'll often see political demonstrations, concerts, and markets. You can enter the building and look around in the main halls, enjoying the architecture and decor, but it remains primarily functional. The Loggia (lodge) also marks the northern end of the city's retail shopping district.
  • Mille Miglia: Until the auto industry made its dirty, cliffside roads, hairpin turns, and spectator presence far too dangerous, the Mille Miglia, which starts in Brescia, was one of the world's top automobile races. Since it was discontinued as a real race 40 years ago (following numerous driver and spectator deaths), it has continued as a museum of automobile history. The actual race, now a parade of refurbished and custom designed cars that slowly winds its way through 1000 miles of northern Italy, starts in May of each year.
  • Valtrompia: Though police are beginning to crack down, the eponymous highway through the valley is home to one of Europe's largest centers for transvestite prostitution. Travelers on a casual daytime drive will spot many of these and other more traditional sex workers, but look out--cars will often pull over quite suddenly, causing accidents. This, and not the fact that many of the workers are kidnapped from eastern Europe and elsewhere and enslaved by unscrupulous pimps and drug dealers, is in fact the cause of the crackdown. Sociologically interested tourists may find the drive quite fascinating.

Do

Brescia is close to Lakes Iseo and Garda. Travelers in possession of a car will find scenic drives there and elsewhere around the city. The Franciacorta region south of Lake Iseo boasts opportunities to taste some of the finest (and most expensive) wines in Italy, as well as tour vineyards and cantinas. Hiking and biking in the alpine foothills around the city are open to more physically fit and adventurous travellers. The city's medieval historical center, with shopping districts, open markets (try Via San Faustino and Piazza della Loggia on Saturdays), gelaterias, etc., is a good example of city life untrampled by tourism. Travelers might find interesting that, due to the city's industry, Brescia is however a major immigrant center. The Via San Faustino neighborhood, with its cheap housing for both immigrants and university students, is an example of cultural integration that you won't find anywhere else in Italy.

Learn

If you are truly fascinated by the nearly endless parade of invaders that oppressed the city for the past 2000 years--the Romans, the Lombards, the Venetians, and the French, to name the longer-lasting ones--you'll find many historical sites and museums. The city's collection of religious art is housed by several museums. You can buy a yearlong, unlimited pass to the museums for 20 Euro, 15 for students. Brescia has a very old and well regarded university. The medical school, due to its proximity to the large regional hospital, is particularly well regarded. Brescia is not a common or canny destination for study abroad students.

Buy

The historic center of the city has an active shopping district, with numerous clothing and jewelry stores. City residents enjoy strolling through the stretches from the Portici (shopping porticos built literally on top of their similarly styled and utilized Roman antecedents in the heart of the downtown) to Piazza della Loggia.

Eat

Try the true "bresciano" food, including casoncelli (called in Brescian dialect "casonsei"), homemade tortellini with beef, served with "Burro versato" (dropped Butter) and sage with sprinkling of Parmigiano. Try the polenta ( in winter only )a mush made with durum wheat, Polenta taragna is mixed with homemade cheeses and butter. Try the amazing SPIEDO ( in Winter only ) roasted larks and pork meat cooked for 6-7 hours in oven with butter and flavours or on grill. It's very typically Bresciano !!!

As with most of Lombard cuisine, Brescian cooking features more beef and butter and more hearty, German-style dishes than the rest of Italy. Excellent pizzerias abound, including Al Teatro (by the theater and portici on the corner of Via Giuseppe Mazzini and Via Giuseppe Zanardelli) and the South-American styled Tempio Inca Pizzeria (Piazzale Arnaldo). Authentic Brescian osterias and trattorias are common on the north side of the city center, but you will find that the best are out of the way and, purposefully, rather hard to find. Try to find the Contrada Santa Chiara, a dark side street parallel to Via San Faustino, where just off Via Dei Musei (close to the Roman Ruins and Santa Giulia), you'll find several highly authentic and inexpensive osterias including the Bianca. Cafe culture is just as prominent here as elsewhere, and there are several great coffee and aperitivo spots. Try the Due Stelle on Via San Faustino (also a great restaurant), or any of several cafe/restaurants just north of the Duomos between the Piazza Paulo VI and Via Dei Musei, which feature drinks and unlimited gourmet aperitivo buffets for under 6 Euro.

Drink

Franciacorta wines are easily found. They're excellent, world famous, and very expensive. Try some of the non-DOC labels, which avoid EU regulations in order to preserve centuries-old vineyard traditions. Brescia is also one of the most night-active city in the whole Italy, because of the industrial wealth. Brescian youths (and Lombardians in general) are famous for partying the night way--every single night. Many hotspots for locals can be found outside the city; in the center try Piazzale Arnaldo on the eastern edge and Borgo Pietro Wuhrer about 5 km east of the center on Via Venezia.

Viselli's: A small bar with an ancient proprietor who owns the copyright to his cocktails. It's a must in Brescia to try the Viselli's Champagnone (very good but very strong). Near P.le Arnaldo. Look for the crowds and ask somebody. Borgo WÜHRER: lots of beautiful bars such as Nacio, Hico de puta, BW Cafè, Pappavero, and more.

Sleep

Because it's not a primary tourist destination, Brescia is a bit short on hospitality, especially in the budget range. You'll find a few budget hotels in shadier parts of the city, and some nicer ones close to the train station. For hostels, you're out of luck, and bed and breakfasts are recommended but only if you have a car, as they're usually found in the surrounding towns.

  • Ai Ronchi Motor Hotel [1] Viale della Bornata 22 Brescia, Tel.+39.030.362061 · Fax+39.030.3366315. Presents 4 stars hotel located only few steps from city centre of Brescia,

on the main road that leads to beautiful Garda Sea. Friendly english speaking staff.

  • Continental Hotel, [2], Via Martiri della Libertà 267 Roncadelle Brescia, Tel.+39.030.2582721 · Fax+39.030.2583108. A renovated, modern and functional ambience here along with top quality services and excellent comfort.
  • NH Jolly Igea, Viale Stazione, 15, +39 030 44221 [3]. Situated in the heart of the historic and financial centre, the NH Jolly Igea offers 87 rooms, with every modern comfort to guarantee a peaceful and relaxing nights sleep.

Get out

You can take trains and buses to the lakes, but Brescia is so close to other cities more proximate to natural beauty (e.g. Iseo, Milan, Como, Verona, Mantua, and many more), that you may want to just use one of them as a base.

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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Contents

English

Proper noun

Singular
Brescia

Plural
-

Brescia

  1. Province of Lombardy, Italy.
  2. City and capital of Brescia.

Translations

  • Bulgarian: Бреша (1,2)
  • French: Brescia (1, 2)
  • Italian: Brescia (1) , Brescia (2) f.

Anagrams


Italian

Wikipedia-logo.png
Italian Wikipedia has an article on:
Brescia

Wikipedia it

Proper noun

Brescia f.

  1. Brescia (province)
  2. Brescia (town)

Derived terms


Simple English

Brescia is a city in northern Italy. Brescia is in the Lombardy Region, with a population of 192,165 inhabitants.[needs proof]








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