Museums Brescia

For a relatively small city, Brescia has an impressive array of museums. There is both an archaeological museum and museums that highlight particular events in the city’s history. In addition, there are several art museums, two of which are dedicated to photography.

Museums Brescia

Santa Giulia Museum

Croce del Desiderio, Santa giulia Museum Brescia
Croce del Desiderio, highlight of the Santa Giulia Museum

The Museo Di Santa Giulia is housed in an originally Longobardic monastery. The monastery had been constructed on the site where there used to be a Roman Domus. The museum includes the San Salvatore Basilica, the Romanesque Santa Maria in Solario Oratory, plus the crypt and cloister. The collection covers the entire history of Brescia and surroundings.

Pinacoteca Tosio Martinengo

The Pinacoteca Tosio Martinengo (Piazza Moretto 4) was donated to the city by its former owner. The inauguration of the 25-room pinacotheca took place in 1908. Important local Renaissance painters such as Foppa, Romanino, Moretto and Savoldo are highlighted here. However, famous non-local painters such as Raphael (“The Angel”), Tintoretto and Giacomo Ceruti aka Pitochetto are also represented.

Museo della Mille Miglia

The Museo Della Mille Miglia (Via della Parrocchia – 25135) is located in the old Benedictine Sant’Eufemia Convent. This museum exhibits everything related to this race. The main attractions are of course the antique cars themselves, but there are also trophies and other relics on display. It also highlights the history of this “Thousand Mile” race from Brescia to Rome and back.

Modern Art Museum

The Museo D’Arte Moderna documents the major art movements of the 20th century. There is, of course, a strong focus on Italian artists such as De Chirico and Sironi. Famous non-Italians include Chagall, Dalì, Matisse and Giacometti. Address: Via Alessandro Monti, 9.

Weapons Museum

The Museo Delle Armi “Luigi Marzoli” (Via del Castello, 10) is one of the museums in the castle of Brescia. Most of the 1,300-strong collection of arms was made in the city itself. Both so-called “cold weapons” and firearms are on display.

Photography Museum

The Photography Museum (Museo Nazionale della Fotografia) highlights the history of photography. It uses photographic and film cameras from the end of the 18th century to the present day. Also on display are thousands of photographs and a library with more than nine thousand books on photography.

Ken Damy Contemporary Photography Museum

There is also a second museum dedicated to photography in the city. The Ken Damy Contemporary Photography Museum is housed in the Loggia delle Mercanzie. In addition to being an exhibition space, it is also used to teach courses. The museum was founded in 1990 by the photographer for whom it is named.

Museum of Sacred Art

The Museo Diocesano D’Arte Sacra (Via Gasparo da Salò, 13) is located in the rooms next to the cloister of the San Giuseppe Monastery. Highlights are the 30 book 12th to 16th centuries books decorated with illuminations. The bishop’s treasury consists mainly of liturgical objects, furniture and tapestries. The collection of paintings was made between the 16th and 18th centuries.

Museo del Risorgimento

The Museo Del Risorgimento (Via del Castello, 10 – Brescia) is located in the city’s Castle and highlights the most important events in Italy’s struggle for freedom. In particular, the “10 Days of Brescia”, a popular uprising in which the city’s inhabitants defended themselves particularly heroically, receives much attention here.

Musical Instrument Museum

The Museo degli Strumenti Musicali e della Liuteria (“Museum of Musical Instruments and Violin-Makers”) is housed in an 18th century building erected by the Martinengo Cà di Villa family. The musical instruments on display come from all over the world. It consists of four sections, namely ethnic instruments, mechanical instruments, classical European instruments and a violin maker’s workshop.(Address: Via Trieste, 34/A. Phone: +39 0303776040)

San Zenone all’Arco

The former San Zenone All’Arco Church is located behind the Palazzo della Loggia on the street of the same name. This Romanesque church, decorated with 13th century frescoes, was desecrated at the beginning of the 20th century. Today the space is used as an art gallery for modern art exhibitions.