We pride ourselves in exposing our guests to some of Italy’s hidden gems. For instance, in prehistoric times, a unique culture developed at the foot of alps, halfway between Milan and Venice; one that discovered iron ore in the foothills of the nearby Dolomite Mountains. By the time the Romans came along, a well-developed civilization had already flourished in a city that would later become an important part of the Roman Empire. The city is the lovely Lombardian treasure, known today as Brescia.
Brescia boasts a world-class museum built around a monastery, which was started by one of Charlemagne’s wives (a woman he cast off!). Over the years, as the area around the monastery was restored, a Roman villa was discovered, which is incorporated in the museum of Santa Giulia. In the hills to the north of Brescia, one can find prehistoric stone carvings. To the west is Lago d’Iseo and to the east, Lago di Garda—the largest fresh water lake in Europe. Nearby and well worth the visit is Bergamo, where the old upper city is like a trip back to the Renaissance. Verona is a short train ride to the east. Mantua is a short drive to the southeast. Though one could make an entire trip of exploring the town of Brescia, it is also a very cost effective base for exploring Northern Italy’s Lake Region, the Dolomites, Milan, Verona, Vicenza, and the Veneto and Lombardia.
Brescia embodies what the Italians do so well: maintaining ties to the past and honoring the roots of their civilization whilst tastefully embracing the modern. Brescia was home to Bartolomeo Beretta, and the company that bears his name is still headquartered there.
Brescia is a city you’ll fall in love with quickly. Yet, most Italian tour companies do not even mention, let alone visit, this wonderfully compelling place. Include Brescia in your Sassi Italy Tour! You will be enamored by how fruitfully the Bresciani juxtapose the modern and the ancient.