Brescia Off The Beaten Path

  • Peaceful cloisters
    Peaceful cloisters
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    Almost photographic images
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  • Frescoed corridor
    Frescoed corridor
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Most Recent Off The Beaten Path in Brescia

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    Bar

    by Redang Updated Dec 19, 2011

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    Brescia (Italy)

    At the exit (or before the main entrance) of the Castle, there is a bar which name I really don't know, but I bring it just to tell you that it has a very nice terrace and it's a good place for a drink or a snack after visiting the Castle. Great place to relax.

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    Torre d'Ercole

    by leics Written Jun 29, 2011

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    Torre d'Ercole
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    Tower houses (tall, square structures up to 7 or 8 storeys high, sometimes more) were all the rage in northern Italy during the 1100s. they were a way of showing your neighbours just how wealthy and powerful your family was.

    I'm fascinated by them...fascinated by their construction at a time when technology was so limited, and fascinated by the way so many of them still survive (although mostly with their top storeys removed) and are still lived-in.

    The Torre d'Ercole is one the corner of Piazza del Foro, at the extreme right with the temples behind you. It lies on Via Laura Cereto.

    It caught my eye not only because it was the only tower house I came across in Brescia (though they may be more, and were certainly plenty in the 11/1200s) but also because its base is made up from many, many chunks of Roman masonry obviously scavenged from the remains of the Forum and temples.

    All Brescia's tower-houses were reduced in size in 1258, when the Ghibelliines took over the area..the order was given by one Ezzelino d Romano, to make sure that his power over local wealthy families was very clearly displayed. At that time the Torre d'Ercole may have belonged to the Palazzi family.

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    • Historical Travel

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    Palazzo Martinengro: the excavations

    by leics Updated Jun 26, 2011

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    Palazzo Martinengro
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    Again, somewhere I came across entirely unexpectedly.

    I wandered along Via dei Musei on my way to see the roman temples and theatre. A sign the 16th/17th century Palazzo Martinengro (now used as fuction rooms and suchlike) invited me in Italian to visit the archaeological excavations, free.

    So of course I did so!

    It is absolutely fascinating. The excavations, carried out during the 1990s as part of repair work to the palazzo, go down through layers of Medieval Brescia to Roman and then to the earliest settlement, from the Iron Age (pre-Roman, maybe 3000 years ago). Of course what you see if fragmentary and, if you have no archaeological knowledge, may be difficult to understand...but there are volunteer guides at hand and I was lucky enough to have one whose English was absolutely excellent. If your guide hasn't got such good English there is an excellent (and free) written guide available.

    As well as fantastic stratigraphy, which shows you *exactly* how the layers were built on top of each other over the millennia (it really does show you how much higher modern surfaces are!) there are also smaller bits of excavation, showing mosaics and wells, drains and tiles.

    A small collections of artefacts found on the site is displayed in cases.

    Little of Roman Brescia remains visible, so this place really is a gem...and it really does help you to understand how settlements grow and change over the centuries.

    A definite must-see, imo, so make sure you go in if that sign is outside the Palazzo when you pass by!

    The sign says the excavations are open Monday> Friday, from 0900 to 1300, but whether that means all year round I do not know.

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    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • Archeology

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    Chiesa e Convento di San Giuseppe

    by leics Written Jun 26, 2011

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    Peaceful cloisters
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    I came across this place quite unexpectedly, by walking under the Porta Bruciata (a Medieval tower-gate to the north-east of Piazza della Loggia) and then taking one of the narrow side-streets...Vicolo San Giuseppe. My eye was first caught by the lovely fresco, apparently painted on wood, which is on the convent exterior (see photo 5) and it was when I walked down the narrow street to see it more clearly that I came across the convent and church.

    The church of San Giuseppe dates from the early 1500s and it gradually expanded to include 3 sets of cloisters (I saw two) as

    The huge wooden door was open, and through it I caught a glimpse of cloisters. So I went in...

    The cloisters are lovely, shady and green. Their arcade walls are covered with frescoes, some of which seem to show many other monasteries and convents around Brescia. They are fascinating, almost photographic, glimpses into how these various buildings appeared during the 1500s.

    The ex-convent now houses the Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art and, I think, a specialised library as well.

    I couldn't visit the church itself: it was closed. But wandering the cloisters alone makes seeking out San Giuseppe well worthwhile.

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    Chiesa Santa Maria della Carità

    by Redang Written Sep 5, 2009

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    Chiesa Santa Maria della Carit�� (Brescia, Italy)
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    This church was built between 1.429 and 1.479. Don't miss the beautiful marble portal, decorated with bas-reliefs

    Address
    Via Musei, 41
    25122 Brescia

    How to get there:
    Either from Piazza Loggia or Piazza Paolo VI, take Via Musei; it's on the left side of the street.

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    Chiesa di San Giovanni Evangelista

    by Redang Written Sep 5, 2009

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    Chiesa di San Giovanni Evangelista (Brescia,Italy)

    According to tradition, there has been a church on this site ever since 402. The building was first altered in the 16th century when the Holy Sacrament Chapel was built.

    Address
    Contrada S. Giovanni, 12
    25122 Brescia

    How to get there:
    From Piazza Loggia, take Corso Mameli until you find Contrada S. Giovanni on your right.

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    Chiesa di San Francesco d'Assisi

    by Redang Written Sep 5, 2009

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    Chiesa di San Francesco d'Assisi (Brescia, Italy)
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    Romanesque style, it was finished in 1,265, has a gabled façade with a magnificent rose window in the centre. The church has a nave and two aisles, divided by pointed arches supported by cylindrical pilasters.

    Address
    Via San Francesco
    25123 Brescia

    How to get there:
    From the railway station, walk along Vial Stazione until you reac Piazzale della Repubblica. Once there, take Corso Martiri della Libertá and after some meters, on your left, you will find a street (I can't remember the name, soryy) and ths church is at the end of it.

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    Tempietto di San Marco

    by croisbeauty Written Jul 20, 2005

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    San Marco
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    The small church of San Marco is almost hidden by the toller houses in its surroundings and not easy to find. It is situated in the immediate vicinity of the Torre d'Ercole, just a few meters in direction of south.
    The thirtheen century San Marco is an interesting example of late Romanesque architecture. It has simple plan in its interiors, which preserves valuable 14th century frescoes.

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    Torre d'Ercole

    by croisbeauty Written Jul 20, 2005

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    Torre d'Ercole

    The twelve century Torre d'Ercole is the best preserved example of tower-house, a medieval form of private dwelling of the Palazzi family. The tower takes its name from the ancient place "Vicus Herculis".
    Ezzelino da Romano had its top chopped of in 1258, as a tengible sign of the Ghibelline conquest.

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    Roman Theatre

    by croisbeauty Written Jul 20, 2005

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    Roman Theatre

    The ruins of the Roman Theatre, still under the excavation works, stands next to the Capitolium. According to its proportions, the town of Brescia was important settlement in the Roman times.
    Unfortunately, I couldn't seen any progress in the reconstruction works since my last visit of the site which was more then a year ago.

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    Roman Forum

    by croisbeauty Updated Jul 20, 2005

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    Roman Forum
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    The temple of Capitolium stands at the north end of the Roman Forum, of which remains of porticoes can be seen in the square, beside a stretch of the paved "decumanus maximus".
    On the right of the temple are the neglected remains of a Roman amphitheatre. By the time of my visit to Brescia, it was closed and under major reconstruction works.

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    Capitolium

    by croisbeauty Updated Jul 20, 2005

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    Capitolium
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    Capitolium is a Roman temple erected by the emperor Vespasian A.D. 73, which stands on a high stylobate approached by the steps, 15 of which are original. The temple has a hexastyle pronaos of Corinthian columns with a colonnade of three columns on each side. The three cellae were probably dedicated to the Capitoline Trinity, Jupiter, Juno and Minerva.
    The temple was excavated in 1823 and reconstructed in brick in 1939-1950. Beneath it is a republican sanctuary, dating from 89 BC, with mosaics of small uncoloured tesserae.

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    Capitolium

    by croisbeauty Updated Jul 20, 2005

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    Capitolium

    By the 3C B.C. the city of Brescia had come under Roman rule. Most of the old city centre still have traces of the crisscros Roman street plan. However, not much of the Roman building have left in the town.
    Via dei Musei leads you to the imposing Capitolium, remnants of the large temple from the Roman times.

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