Bergamo Brescia Capital of Culture 2023: what to see and where to stay

Welcome to Bergamo, welcome to Brescia, and welcome to Lake Iseo!

2023 is the year of Bergamo Brescia Capital of Culture. It is the first time that this recognition has been awarded to two cities together.

What better occasion to discover two places of discreet charm, known for their industriousness, but which also have so much to offer in terms of history, art and culture?
Get ready, the Lioness of Italy and the City of the Thousand are ready to amaze you with their beauty.

And we are ready to welcome you…. to Lake Iseo.

Located in the centre of the two provinces of Brescia and Bergamo, half an hour’s drive from both cities and only an hour from Milan, Lake Iseo is easy to reach and is the ideal place to stay if you are planning a visit to Bergamo Brescia Capital of Culture 2023.
With its two shores (or ‘banks’), one of which is Brescia and the other Bergamo, it is the natural link between the two Lombard capitals.
Staying overnight on Lake Iseo can be the ideal solution if, in addition to culture, you also want to be in touch with nature and some relaxation.
You can choose from various options such as holiday homes, B&Bs, or charming structures that combine comfort and elegance.
Sleeping on Lake Iseo has never been so beautiful!

What to see in Bergamo Brescia Italian Capital of Culture 2023

As you can imagine, it promises to be a year full of initiatives!

There are dozens of events proposed by museums, theatres, and foundations. We at Visit Lake Iseo have identified some of the top ones that are not to be missed. Here is our selection!



A visit to Bergamo Brescia Capital of Culture cannot ignore the two most important cultural poles: the city’s museums. Keepers of beauty, containers of past eras, they are the starting point for a journey of discovery of a historical and artistic heritage that will not disappoint.

The Accademia Carrara in Bergamo, located at the foot of “Bergamo Alta”(The higher part of the city), houses a collection of paintings ranging from the Renaissance to the end of the 19th century. Among the artists on display are Raphael, Titian, Lotto, Moroni, Tiepolo and Canaletto. All in a new exhibition designed especially for the Year of Culture.

Our advice? Get there on foot by walking down from the Cittadella along Bergamo’s ancient Venetian Walls, a UNESCO heritage site.

On the other hand, the Santa Giulia Museum in Brescia is located at Via dei Musei 81, along the ancient east-west street of the Roman Brixia, inside the Santa Giulia monastery built by King Desiderius in the Longobard era.

It houses the city’s treasures that have made Brescia’s history from the third millennium B.C. to the Renaissance era, including the precious Cross of Desiderio.  Discover the new Roman Age section, which is immersive, multimedia and accessible.

And, on your way from the centre to the museum area, stop in Piazza del Foro to admire the Capitolium, the Roman temple located within the wonderful Archaeological Park, one of the most significant and best-preserved in Italy, which is also registered, together with the monumental complex of San Salvatore – Santa Giulia, among the UNESCO-promoted sites.



The Teatro Grande is Brescia’s main theatre, located halfway along Corso Giuseppe Zanardelli, and welcomes you with its 18th-century foyer, entirely frescoed.

Here, you can relax and take a break and even enjoy a glass of Franciacorta in the adjacent Teatro Grande Berlucchi café.

The Donizzetti Theatre, on the other hand, named in memory of the Bergamasque composer Gaetano Donizzetti, is located in the heart of the Lower Town and has a long history of tradition and innovation.

Take advantage of the guided visits and tours to discover the landmarks of theatre and music in Bergamo.

Picture Visit Brescia


Special initiatives on Lake Iseo

In the year of Bergamo Brescia Capital of Culture, Lake Iseo will also provide the backdrop for some outstanding artistic and cultural events.

In spring it will be the turn of Michelangelo Pistoletto, Italian artist, painter and sculptor, and exponent of the arte povera current, expected in Monte Isola, with his installation ‘Third Energy Paradise’. A work that will actively involve visitors starting from the concepts of “network” and “connection”, exalting the figure of man as the creator of energy.

Monte Isola, which acts as a point of union, together with Lake Iseo, between the two provinces, is a stage within a stage: one of the most beautiful villages in Italy that must be seen.

During the summer, on the other hand, the protagonist will be classical music with the Onde Musicali Festival which, from June to September, will draw many great artists to Lake Iseo, together with those of the most promising interpreters of the new international music scene. Before each concert, a recitalist will narrate the history of the place concerned. A podcast itinerary will then be available as a legacy of BgBs2023.

From 1 July to 1 October in Lovere, in the Galleria dell’Accademia Tadini, the exhibition “Cesare Tallone. Portraits of Society” can be seen. It will be together with the permanent exhibition, which brings together the 19th-century collections that belonged to Count Luigi Tadini, and permanent masterpieces such as the stele by Antonio Canova.

Available soon, is an artistic itinerary linking the two capital cities to the provinces following the works of Renaissance painter Girolamo Romanino.

But that's not all...

If it is true that Brescia and Bergamo are historic rivals, the time has come to think again… and what better way to do it than at the table with a menu that everyone can agree with.

Here is what we recommend you try if, once the intellectual marathon is over, you also want to immerse yourself in the two provinces’ culinary, wine, and food culture.

The ‘Pirlo‘: the Brescian aperitif par excellence, is a pleasant drink based on Aperol or Campari with a sweet and delicate flavour.

Casonsei a la bergamasca‘ (casoncelli alla bergamasca): a typical first course of traditional Bergamo cuisine, prepared with a delicious meat or cheese filling and seasoned with butter and sage.

Polenta: typical of both Brescia and Bergamo, it is a simple dish prepared with corn flour and water. To be enjoyed as a second course with fish, cheese and meat.

Have we convinced you yet?

Book your stay on Lake Iseo now!


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Bienvenue à Bergamo, bienvenue à Brescia, bienvenue sur le Lac d’Iseo!

2023 est l’année de Bergamo Brescia Capitale de la Culture. C’est la première fois que ce prix est attribué à deux villes en même temps.

Quelle meilleure occasion pour découvrir deux lieux au charme discret, connus pour leur operosité, mais qui ont beaucoup à offrir aussi du point de vue historique, artistique et culturel.

Préparez-vous, la Leonessa d’Italia (Lionne d’Italie) et la Città dei Mille (Cité des Mille) sont prêtes à vous étonner avec leur beauté.

Et nous, nous sommes prêts à vous accueillir… sur le Lac d’Iseo.

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