Famous for hosting Italy’s Mille Miglia classic car rally, this city is also home to historic sights including Roman ruins and Romanesque churches.
Although it’s more well-known for being a manufacturing center than it is for being a tourist town, the city of Brescia has no shortage of compelling attractions. Discover some of the best-preserved Roman ruins in the province, learn about the famous Mille Miglia classic car race and visit museums and monuments where historical collections are displayed.
Start your explorations in the historic center of Brescia where most of the city’s attractions are located. It was here that the ancient Roman city, known as Brixia, was situated. Venture to the Brixia Parco Archeologico site to see the ruins of the Tempio Capitolino, built by Emperor Vespasian in A.D. 73, and the Teatro Romano, which in its 2nd-century heyday was able to welcome up to 15,000 spectators.
The historic center of town is also where you’ll find Santa Giulia, a monastic complex that is now home to the Museo della Città. Browse the extensive exhibits, which cover eras from pre-history right through to the present day. Inspect authentic Roman mosaics, medieval jewels and 18th-century paintings.
Ascend the hill in the historic center to reach Brescia Castle, the city’s old defensive fortress. The castle estate now contains two museums: the Museo delle Armi Antiche devoted to weaponry and the Museo Civico del Risorgimento, which chronicles the story of Italian unification.
Don’t leave town without visiting the Museo Mille Miglia. This museum tells the story of the original Mille Miglia race, which took place from 1927 to 1957. In the 1970s, the race was revived as a classic car rally.
Consider taking a side trip from Brescia to nearby Lake Iseo or Lake Garda. Sail on the lake, relax in charming lakeside towns and soak up the stunning mountain scenery.
Brescia is in the Lombardy region of Northern Italy, about an 80-minute drive east of Milan. Ride the high-speed train from Milan to get here in under an hour. The town is also reachable from Verona and Venice by train. The historic center of Brescia is easily explored on foot.