Museo della Città

Museo della Città information

Brescia , Italy
Address
Street Via dei Musei 81b
Telephone
+390 30 297 78 34
More information
www.bresciamusei.com
Prices
admission adult/child €10/free, temporary exhibitions extra
Opening hours
10.30am-7pm Tue-Sun mid-Jun–Sep, shorter hours rest of year
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Lonely Planet review

The jumbled Monastero di Santa Giulia and Basilica di San Salvatore is Brescia's single most intriguing sight. Inside this rambling church and convent complex, the Museo della Città houses collections that run the gamut from prehistory to the age of Venetian dominance.

The building of the monastery, which started as early as the 8th century, absorbed two domus (Roman houses), which were left standing in what would become the monk's garden (Ortaglia) near the north cloister. The remains have thus come to be known as the Domus dell'Ortaglia and have been protected by the monastery walls from outside interference or bulldozers through the centuries. Raised walkways allow you to wander round the Domus di Dioniso (so called because of a mosaic of Dionysius, god of the grapevine) and the Domus delle Fontane (so called because of two marble fountains in it). The beautiful floor mosaics and colourful frescoes in these two domus rank among the highlights of the monastery-museum.

The other star piece of the monastery collections is the 8th-century Croce di Desiderio , an extraordinary Lombard cross encrusted with hundreds of jewels.