Twin City since 1991
The city of Brescia, ca. 192,000 inhabitants and twinned with Darmstadt since 1991, lies in the very heart of Lombardy, at a charming site near the Lakes of Garda, Iseo and Idro. Brescia comprises a very large area characterized by a variegated landscape. The Po Valley extends in the south, the hills build picturesque rings around the Lakes, and in the north there are the high mountains.
The name Brescia comes from Brixia derived from "brig", what means an elevated place. The town's core originated on the hill Cidneo where today the Citadel is found.
The history of the former Roman colony is closely linked with the fortune of the Langobards, who reigned out of Brescia in the 6th and 7th centuries.
Numerous churches and other sights testify to the rich history of the important centre of the Langobards. The monastery complex of Santa Giulia today – after an eventful history – hosts the Town Museum, really worth a visit. The Citadel with its medieval core and the round towers from the epoch of the Venetian Republic once counted among the largest fortification complexes in northern Italy. The Piazza della Loggia is the centre of the town with its impos-ing Renaissance palace Palazzo della Loggia, the seat of the municipality. The Place of the Cathedral and the Capitol with the Roman Theatre are worth seeing as well.
Brescia is also considered a thriving economic centre. Metal working and engineering are strongly represented. A role no less important is played by both agriculture and cattle raising. The local wine Franciacorta and the typical cheeses are well-known, even beyond the borders of Italy.
Among the many functions, the already legendary "Mille Miglia Storica" (Thousand Miles Race) in May is certainly one of the most famous ones. The race, marked by the mythical at-mosphere of a "driving automobile museum" is unique in the whole world. Already a classic is the "Festival Pianistico Internazionale di Brescia e Bergamo" taking place in Teatro Grande every spring, since 1964. The program of the summer events is very dense. Brescia and the surrounding spa towns are hosts of theatre and concert performances, sports events, festivals, historic costume parades, parish fairs, gastronomic and folkloristic functions.
Since the year 2001 – the tenth anniversary of the twinning – the City of Brescia organises a Partnership Feast in September, that meanwhile has gained a fixed position in the series of town functions. Music groups from both towns, as well as gastronomic specialities from Darmstadt and Brescia, attract many people to the convention place in the Citadel of Brescia.
Today's spectrum of encounters between the two towns ranges from exchanges between schools and youth organisations, over sports meetings, up until concerts and the participation in the town feasts, and this is actively supported by institutions like the Italian cultural society Dante Alighieri.