Comune di Brescia tourism website: useful information about what to see and where to go.

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Piazza del Foro

Mon, 22/10/2012 - 15:20 -- Chiara
Piazza del Foro, a rendering
When Brescia was under Roman rule, this square was the centre both of religious and political life.  The Capitolium temple, prominently situated at the north end, had an arcade with a double order of columns, as can be seen from the remains of the arches on the former ground level.  The Basilica (the law courts) was situated on the south side: remains of this edifice can be seen incorporated into the nearby houses in Piazza Labus.
The magnificent Piazza del Foro was traversed by the “Decumanus Massimus” (nowadays Via dei Musei) which ran from Bergamo to Verona.
The Church of San Zeno in Foro faces onto this road. It has a small churchyard enclosed by railings with statues of intertwined dolphins; inside the church a collection of paintings deserves attention.
The imposing Palazzo Martinengo Cesaresco al Novarino, opposite the church, was built in the XVIIth century. Important Roman remains which were found underneath it are now on display in the basement. A statue representing the former owner, Cesare IV Martinengo, stands in the courtyard. The Palace houses is used to house exhibitions of contemporary art.
Other ancient palaces in the neighbourhood are worthy of note: the XVIth-century Palazzo Lana at 1, Via A. Gallo, attributed to the architect Lodovico Beretta; Palazzo Uggeri, on the corner of Vicolo San Zanino and Via dei Musei, probably by the same architect; next to it, at number 45, Palazzo Maggi di Gradella, with its XVIth century façade.