As in many Italian cities, the main buildings and other attractions are located around Brescia‘s central squares. Piazza del Foro was the main square in Roman times, while Piazza della Loggia and Piazza del Duomo were in the Middle Ages. The Piazza della Vittoria was built during the fascist era.
Piazza della Loggia
Inaugurated in 1433, the Piazza della Loggia used to be a market square. It was intended as the civic counterpart to the Piazza del Duomo. Its architecture shows that the Venetians held power in the city while the square was being constructed. Palladio’s influence, with its emphasis on rigorous perfection of proportions, is especially evident.
Piazza della Vittoria
The Piazza della Vittoria was constructed between 1926 and 1932 by the architect Marcello Piacentini. Like everything else built at the time, it was done along rigorous fascist lines. The most striking building in the square is the Palazzo delle Poste.
Piazza Paolo VI or Piazza Duomo
Piazza Paolo VI was still called Piazza del Duomo in the Middle Ages. It is framed by a number of historically important buildings, including the City Tower (Torre Civica), the Broletto, the Duomo Nuovo and the Duomo Vecchio. The Fountain of Minerva takes up central position in the square.
Piazza del Foro
Piazza del Foro was the center of the city’s political life in Roman times. It is outlined by a number of ancient palaces and residences. The Tempio Capitolino and the Basilica, which used to serve as a court at that time, are leftovers from the city’s Roman past. There columns, that used to stand in front of shops, also date back to Roman times. The Palazzo Martinengo is graced by the Fountain of Neptune and the statue of Cesare IV Martinengo.
Piazza del Mercato
The Piazza del Mercato is located southwest of Piazza della Vittoria. It was laid out in the 15th century, but underwent several transformations until the early 20th century. The porticos on the south side date back to the 15th century, while the central fountain is an 18th century addition. Interesting buildings include the Madonna del Lino Church, the Palazzo Beretta and the Palazzo Martinengo Palatini. There are also a number of Fascist-era buildings along the square.
Piazza del Vescovato
Piazza del Vescovato owes its name to the Episcopal Palace, which was built in several phases between the 15th and 18th centuries. It would finally be completed by Gian Battista Marchetti in 1737. The same architect constructed theadjoining library 10 years later. The square itself is graced by trees and an 18th century fountain.
Piazza Moretto is dedicated to the 16th century local painter Alessandro Bonvicino, whose nickname was Moretto (“little Moor”). The statue placed in the square in 1898 was made by Domenico Ghidoni. The female figure at the base of the statue symbolizes painting. Behind the centuries-old Lebanon cedars you can see the Palazzo Martinengo da Barco, which serves as the seat of the Tosio Martinengo City Pinacotheque.
Piazza Tebaldo Brusato
The Piazza Tebaldo Brusato was constructed in 1173 next to the Santa Giulia Monastery. Previously, there was a vegetable garden on this spot. It was then the only public square in the city and was still called Piazza del Mercato Nuovo. The presence of the market led to the construction of several houses for merchants and artisans. Mansions were also built, including the Palazzo Cigola, which was later renamed Palazzo Fenaroli.
Named after a local clergyman, Piazzale Arnaldo is flanked by a long building with a portico. It was constructed to provide housing for the grain market, which was first held in Piazza della Loggia and later in Via San Faustino. The statue depicts the 12th century cleric, who opposed the feudal and secular nature of the church.
This small square is located at the intersection of Via Moretto and Corso Cavour. It serves as the church square of the Sant’Alessandro Church. In addition to this church, there are a number of buildings of various colors erected in different periods. A baroque fountain forms the central point of the Piazzetta Sant’Alessandro.
Piazza Bruno Boni
Piazza Bruno Boni was inaugurated in 1998. The statue in the center depicts this former mayor of the city. It is framed by a portico that used to belong to the old Hotel Gambero. Other buildings worth noting are the Teatro Sociale and the 18th century Palazzo Bettoni Cazzago. The square replaces the former garden of this last building.