It’s only an hour or so from Milan, but Brescia’s a world away from the fast-paced fashion capital. Whether you’d rather hike its gently rolling hills, lounge at a luxury spa near Erbusco, take to the water on glittering Lake Garda or sip sparkling Franciacorta wine while gazing at the grapes, Brescia’s got the goods. Life here is an invigoratingly Italian experience: fairytale-fabulous islands in Lake Iseo, mediaeval merriment at traditional festivals and, of course, food and wine to die for.
Areas in Brescia
When to go
Winters in Northern Italy can be cold – Brescia sits at the foot of the Alps, and ice, snow and fog are common. Summers can be very hot: pack your sunscreen. Spring and autumn are the most comfortable seasons.
PlanesCaravaggio Airport Bergamo Orio al Serio – often referred to as Milan-Bergamo – is near Brescia in the neighbouring province, Bergamo. It has direct flights to a host of other European destinations, including London, Leeds, Manchester, Paris, Berlin, Madrid and Moscow (www.sacbo.it).
TrainsThe most convenient major railway station is Milano Centrale, has daily services throughout Italy and beyond, including Barcelona, Paris, Vienna, Munich, Zurich and Geneva. From there, local trains run regularly to towns in the province, including Ospitaletto, Travagliato, Rovato, Lonato del Garda, Calcinato, Desenzano del Garda, and the town of Brescia itself (www.trenitalia.com).
AutomobilesRent a car to explore Brescia’s vine-covered hills, Unesco historic sites and picturesque lake shores. The town of Brescia is about an hour and a half east of Milan. Desenzano del Garda, on the southwestern shore of Lake Garda, is roughly halfway between Milan and Venice, about two hours’ drive from each.