The Santa Giulia Museum is housed in a former monastery in Brescia. It is also known under the name Museo Civico (“City Museum”). The permanent exhibition spans the entire history of the area, from prehistoric times to the present day. The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions. The highlights is the Cross of Desiderio in the Santa Maria in Solario Church, which is part of the museum.
Santa Giulia Museum Brescia
Address: Via Musei 81/b – Brescia. Phone: +39 030 2977833 or 2977834. Opening times: From 10:00 till 18:00. Closed: Mondays. Ticket price: 13 Euros; ages 14-18 and over 65, 8 Euros; ages 6-13, 6 Euros; ages 0-5, free. Public transport: Metro: Vittoria. (Note that prices and hours may be subject to change.)
History and description
The seat of the Santa Giulia Museum is the former monastery of that name, founded in the 8th century by the Lombard King Desiderio.
Monastery and Santa Maria in Solario Church
A big part of the exhibition is taken up by the various parts of the monastery itself, including the Santa Maria in Solario Church, its Crypt and the Coro delle Monache (“Nun’s Choir”). It highlights the history of the complex, from its foundation to the 18th century, when it was suppressed.
Other historical highlights are the Basilica of San Salvatore and the Domus dell’Ortaglia.
Central position in the Church of Santa Maria in Solario is taken up by the ancient “Cross of Desiderio”, the biggest surviving piece of Lombard goldsmiths’ artistry, decorated with 212 gems, cameos and stained glass ornaments.
The ground floor of the Museo di Santa Giulia is dedicated to the city’s past, starting in prehistory. There are sections dedicated to the iron age, to the Roman period, the Lombard and Carolingian dominations, all the way to the present.
A special section is dedicated to the local impressionist painter Francesco Filippini (1853-1895).