Every year since 2014, the Italian Ministry of Culture honors a city with the title “Città della Cultura”: a capital of Italian culture. Typically, one city is chosen. But for 2023, two cities in neighboring provinces, Brescia, and Bergamo, have been awarded this distinguished title.
Brescia and Bergamo are in the Lombardy region of Northern Italy, of which Milano is the capital. Both are easily accessible, and within easy reach of multiple European train stations. Both feature dramatic scenery and architecture, spectacular views of the Pre-Alps, historic and cultural attractions, and a dynamic infrastructure combining agricultural and manufacturing industries. Impressively, each boasts a UNESCO World Heritage site.
If a visit to Italy is in your future for 2023, we at Discover my Italy, suggest an excursion to experience these two cities that exemplify the best of contemporary Italian culture and community.
With its hilly landscape, olive groves and vineyards, Brescia evokes the essence of Italy’s history – side by side with a bustling modern environment.
Founded as “Brixia”, more than 3,000 years ago, Brescia’s archeological collections boast many of northern Italy’s best-preserved Roman buildings and artifacts. In fact, the city’s old town houses the largest urban vineyard in Europe, where a local white grape grown by the Romans is still cultivated for winemaking.
But traces of Roman civilization feel almost au courant, compared to the astonishing variety of more than 14,000 petroglyphs created over 8,000 years, on view in the nearby Camonica Valley. These astonishing drawings led the area to be named the first UNESCO World Heritage Site in Italy.
For a more cosmopolitan mood, stroll the stylish Art Deco Piazza della Vittoria, savor local dishes like the famed casoncelli bresciani pasta—taste any of five local wines, including the sparkling Franciacorta—or discover Brescia’s role in the history of violin making and musicians.
Or, if you’re into fast-track fun, from June 12-17, 2023, in honor of Brescia’s selection, the legendary “Mille Miglia” car race returns for the first time since 1957, with 405 cars racing a course that includes Brescia’s sister Capital of Culture, Bergamo.
See our upcoming newsletter for our hot-take guide to Bergamo!
Italy travel expert dedicated to opening the real doors to my native country, so that you may have a truly authentic experience… and fall in love with Italy as your own. In every corner of my Italy, I’ve sought out the beauty and the pleasures of its landscapes, cities, villages and people. Many are famous or popular, but many others remain undiscovered or rarely experienced. I know them all well though, and I’m eager to share my knowledge with you.
Contact me for more information about booking a spectacular and affordable small group tour or designing an affordable custom tour of your dream trip to Italy.
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