Located in the north of Italy, the town of Brescia is a historic wonderland of authentic culture and arresting architecture. Here, travellers can experience Italy at its most authentic by mingling with locals and sampling the sublime local specialities. Due to its close proximity to Verona and Milan, many travellers bypass this cultural gem in favour of its more conventional neighbours; however, those seeking a secretive and serene sojourn without the commercialisation of tourist traps will be surprised and seduced by this ancient treasure.
The town’s most ancient structure, the Duomo Vecchio, is dwarfed in size by its imposing neighbour the Duomo Nuovo; however the smaller cathedral offers a rich and captivating history guaranteed to win over tourists. The 11th century buildings reigns supreme with remarkable Romanesque architecture and its interior glitters with elaborate décor and the remains of Roman mosaics that were preserved from earlier building sites.
Housed in the sacred structure of the Santa Giulia Monastery, the Museo della Citta’s captivating collections span across 10 centuries. Brecia’s colourful past is depicted with remarkable relics from all periods of history; archaeological finds, roman ruins, ornate tapestries and dramatic religious paintings are just a selection of the treasures visitors can enjoy within.
The region’s rich cultural heritage and bounteous environs are evident in the classic cuisine served in the town; typical dishes include the sublime sheep sausage and an herb infused cheese mixture known as Bagoss. Enjoying a regal location between two of the city’s most prominent palaces, the Osteria Al Bianchi is one of Brenzone’s most acclaimed restaurants; the rustic ambience and revered respect for classic Italian cooking make this restaurant a culinary gem. Signature dishes that simply must be sampled include rich donkey stew, salted cod and malfatti spinach. (Via Gasparo da Salò, 32, 25122 Brescia)