In short, yes it is…but there is definitely more to be said. Not only is Brescia a wonderful little town, with castles and museums, it’s got some lovely restaurants and has a really local feel to it which we loved. It’s scenic and it has a really relaxed atmosphere. Brescia is a great place to stay if you’re planning on visiting Lake Garda, Lake Iseo, Verona or Milan, without overspending on accommodation. Anyway lets get into it, why we think Brescia is worth visiting.
Where is Brescia, what’s there to do?
Brescia (pronounced Bresha) is a town in the north of Italy, located in the region of Lombardy between Milan and Verona. It’s a historical city with good public transport and motorway links which makes a good jumping-off point for Lakes Garda and Iseo.
The town does get visitors, but it’s not on the main tourist list of places to go which was exactly what we were looking for. Its main pull as a visitors point is its vicinity to so many lovely destinations: Lakes Iseo and Garda, Verona and Vicenza.
But like Bergamo and Treviso (The home of Tiramisu), Brescia is worth visiting in its own right: best in combination with one of the more traditional holiday destinations nearby, which is what we did. Just to give you a taster of what you could be experiencing, check out the video below.
Every day feels like a Sunday, which to be honest was exactly what we were looking for. If you’re looking for an authentic Italian destination with some great food then this is the place for you.
Brescia Castle for instance is absolutely worth checking out, boasting incredible views of the local town. There are some UNESCO world heritage sites and churches that are worth checking out too.
Where to eat in Brescia?
Take note of the following places if you’re looking to chow down. The best way to get to know a country is by eating and drinking it.
Get ready for some authentic Italian food- including gnocchi, obviously pasta, wines, the list goes on and on, and we haven’t even started talking about deserts yet.
Osteria del Savio is a bit hard to find, but definitely worth the hunt, and with google maps you’ll get there eventually. Besides, getting lost on holiday is when you really experience the country you’re in, would you agree? The restaurant is known for signature dishes including an excellent risotto. Open for dinner every night bar Mondays; open for lunch at weekends.
Trattoria Mangiafuoco is a traditional northern Italian family owned restaurant specialising in locally made cheese and meat from the owner’s cattle farm. Typical dishes include chianina sirloin with balsamic vinegar and honey sauce. Open daily bar Mondays and Sunday nights.
Most of the best gelato is found in Italy, and Brescia’s Gelateria del Biondo is a good place to try it. Both traditional and unusual flavours are on offer, and there’s a vegan variation available. Open daily. We went to this place literally every day.
We cannot stress how important it is to take note of lunch opening times, as usually between after the hours of 2pm and 6pm it is a struggle to find anywhere to eat.
Lakes Iseo and Garda
Brescia as mentioned above is a great central location to stay in of you’re looking to travel between Lake Iseo and Garda, or of you want to hop on a train to Milan.
Travelling to Lake Iseo was honestly an amazing experience. It’s worth mentioning that whilst we were in Brescia we rented a car. You can take a train, but driving for us was an incredible experience. Mainly because of the scenic routes and tunnels carved through the mountains. It was truly awesome. If you want to explore your options rome2rio is a great website to find fares etc.
Lake Iseo is just a beautiful place. The best thing to do when you get there is to visit Monte Isola. Monte Isola is the island in the middle of Lake Iseo and is well worth the boat trip on its own.
We jumped on a boat straight away and found a cafe, looking out. Lake Iseo was our favourite lake because it was less commercial than Lake Garda, and because it was so much smaller, you get to take it all in its entirety. Try to eat some of the lakes fish if you can. Again, be careful of restaurant opening and closing times.
Lake Garda on the other hand, is another experience all together. Yes it’s more commercial, but we enjoyed it all the same. We attempted to take a trip to Sirmione, a town which borders Lake Garda, which is known for its idyllic views.
Unfortunately we experienced parking issues and were unable to take a walk around, so our advice would be to get to Sirmione before 10 am if you are visiting.
The cable car trip to Monte Baldo should not be missed. Definitely the highlight of our trip to Lake Garda, the views were nothing short of spectacular, and will probably be your best view of lake Garda.
It’s not cheap, costing around 22 Euros per person, but well worth it. The cable car has about three stops, and can get a little cramped but, it’s fine.
You’ll see lots of people para-sailing from the top of the mountain, so if that’s something you’d like to try it’s definitely a great place to do it.
Hiking up the mountain is worth trying as well. If we’d had time, we would have. Apparently some people ski on it in the winter months too. Safe to say then, as far as mountains go, Monte Baldo seems to have it all.
Where to stay & Where to fly in
Ok where to stay – We decided to stay on the outskirts of Brescia in an Airbnb apartment. Hotels, we found in Brescia were pretty expensive, around 72 euro per night.
if you do have a car, you obvioulsy have more options of where to stay. Parking is however expensive in and around Brescia, so try and find a place that has parking. We booked through Airbnb. when booking it’s worth taking into consideration, the following factors:
- Parking – As mentioned above – parking is expensive. Also safety of your car is paramount, so it’s always worth trying to get parking included with your accomodation.
- Close proximaty to the AutoStrada (Toll Motorway) – We knew we’d be travelling to the Lakes so this was important.
- Local restaurants, supermarkets – If you are booking an AirBnb – You’ll need to go hunt and gather so to speak.
Where to fly in? – So there are a few airports in close proximaty to Brescia, but we flew into Bergamo Airport, which turned out to be an excellent choice. Not only is Bergamo a great place to visit, but it’s only 40 minutes away from Brescia, which was perfect for us.
We really hope you found this post useful, Brescia is a great place to visit, for the reason that it’s often overlooked as a tourist hotspot. Because of that, it’s retained it’s authenticity. Not only is Brescia a great central location to travel from, it’s a great place too. If you want to practice you’re italian, this is a good place to do it. Lake Garda and Lake iseo
We love Italy in general, visting 2 times in the space of 6 months, visting Venice earlier this year. We’re still not bored. If you’ve got any useful information about Italy, please let us know in the comments below. we’d love to hear from you.
Want more Information?
Hopefully we have answered your questions, but if there is more information you need feel free to ask us in the comments below, or check out the following links which we think offer a great guide to Brescia as well as Italy in general. Happy travelling guys!
Untold Morsels – Katy Clarke has done a great blog on Brescia – 9 reasons to explore Beautiful Brescia, offering a really in depth review, as well an an Italy guide that you can subscribe to.
Trip Advisor – It’s the go to place to see what people think of places, we use it (and we’re sure you do to) to get a feel for what people are saying about a particular place or location, so always worth checking out for sure.