The Piazza del Foro was in Roman times the center of the political life of Brixia, as Brescia was called at the time. The square is framed by ancient palaces and residences. From Roman times date the Tempio Capitolino and the Basilica, which served as a courthouse at that time. The Roman columns that are still standing, used to be in front of shop spaces. The Palazzo Martinengo is graced by the Fountain of Neptune and the statue of Cesare IV Martinengo.
Piazza del Foro Brescia
History and description
The Piazza del Foro was the central point of the civil and religious life of Roman Brixia. It is still the most important archaeological complex in Lombardy and is located in the center of present-day Brescia.
The first excavations took place between 1823 and 1826, but only uncovered an area of 40 by 120 meters. However, these were some of the most important buildings in the square, including the Capitolium and the Roman Theater, both on the north side. On the south side the basilica was excavated and on the east side parts of the portico.
From the balustrade of Via dei Musei to the Capitolium, pieces of the ancient decumano can be seen, as well as a wall that bordered the sacred temple ground.
Leaving the Piazza del Foro on the south side one comes to the Piazzetta Labus. Here stands the building of the Soprintendenza Archeologica, in which parts of the ancient basilica are incorporated.
Excavations show that people were already living here as early as the Iron Age.