‘It’s better to see something once than to hear about it thousand times.’
Brescia is a town in the north of Italy, located in the region of Lombardy between Milan and Verona. It is less famous for its history and art than for its role as a primary manufacturing center. The large factories produce weapons (including the famous Beretta pistols) and cutlery/kitchen accessories. The industry has brought the city tremendous wealth and prestige in the last 50 years, to the point that an entire second city- imaginatively named Brescia-2 has sprung up on the south side of the city’s original boundaries.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, in the presence of vigorous industrial growth, the city has been expanding. The demolition of the city walls, which began towards the end of the previous century and the urbanization of the green areas which separated the old city center from outlying villages, destroyed the original conformation of the town. The wide ring roads, built where the walls once stood, connect the different districts and ease the traffic in the town, which still has a historic city center quite different from the newer parts.
The largest of the four great Eastern Lombard towns, Brescia is also the most Roman of the quartet. Indeed, the settlement known in antiquity as Brixia guards the most important Roman ruins in northern Italy. Backing them up is a huge monastic complex founded in the 8th century, a museum dedicated to a marathon car race and not one but two cathedrals residing side-by-side in the main square.
Brescia combines the efficiency of a modern town with the attractions of a historic city full of art treasures and offers the visitor the pleasure of strolling through a fascinating urban setting which reveals its past history. A number of judicious improvements have been made; from setting up pedestrian areas and providing plants and benches for gardens and streets to the work carried out in
the quiet residential area surrounding one of the major museum complexes in Italy: Santa Giulia – the City Museum with 12,000 sq.m. of exhibition space – which was opened to the public in 1999 and since 2011 it is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List for the serial site Longobards in Italy. Places of the power (568-774 AD).
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