Brescia ItalyBrescia is literally just down the road from Lake Garda, about 35km along the SS45bis. It is a fair-sized city with 190,000 residents and is situated at the foot of the Alps. It is often referred to as the Lioness of Italy in reference to its fierce spirit with a 10-day popular uprising that took place in the city in the spring of 1849 against Austrian oppression.
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Roman RemainsBrescia, or Brixia as it was originally known, dates back to Roman times and there are a number of Roman and Medieval sights for visitors to see. The city has retained its grid of streets, inherited from Roman times and the original city still has its medieval city walls although it has long outgrown them. The Piazza del Foro marks the site of the forum, and the museum on its north side is located in a classic Corinthian Temple which may have been built by Hercules, but more probably by Vespasian in 73 AD. There is an inscription in Latin on the building. The museum houses a famous bronze statue of Victory, unearthed in 1826. There are some scanty remains of buildings near the forum, called the curia, which may have been a basilica and a theatre.
Other Sights in BresciaThe Town Hall with its frontal arches called loggia can be found on the Piazza della Loggia and was built in 1492 by architect Filippino deGrassi. Fortunately it was not damaged by the anti-fascist terrorist bombing which took place in the piazza in 1974.
The Old Cathedral is easy to identify with its rotunda shape. The Duomo Vecchio was built in the 11th century and is full of beautiful paintings of the Assumption and other works by Alessandro Bonvicino. In contrast, the Duomo Nuovo or new Cathedral was built between 1604 and 1825. It was begun by the great architect Palladio and completed by Giovanni Battista Lantana. More traditional in design, with a cupola, it again has a fine collection of frescoes inside.
Visitors may wish to see the Broletto, a massive 12th century building with a high tower; the medieval castle and the art galleries in Brescia. Alternatively, seek out some of the 72 public fountains which can be found around the city!
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