Brescello

Brescello is situated alongside the main leeve of Po River; it is the town of "Don Camillo and Peppone", and capital of the "little world" described by writer Giovanni Guareschi.

Information and contacts

Altitude: 24 metres
Inhabitants: 5.625 updated to December 1, 2018
Post code: 42041
Patron Saint: San Genesio August 25th
Hamlets: Lentigione, Ghiarole, Sorbolo a Mane
Weekly market day: Thursday
+39 0522.482511 Municipality
Municipality of Brescello

How to get there

National Road SS 62 (Mantua to Parma).
By train from the train station of Reggio Emilia: train to Guastalla and then train Suzzara-Parma

Historical notes

The ancient Roman settlement of Brixellum was already inhabited in pre-historic times (as shown by the items recovered in the Motta Balestri archaeological excavations). It was one of the main centres of the Reggio Emilia area in Roman times. In the 4th century St Ambrose listed it as one of the partially destroyed Italian towns which he had visited in the Po valley when the Roman Empire was in full decline. As a Byzantine military centre it soon became the concentration of resistance against the Lombards. It was almost completely destroyed in the struggles that followed, enjoying a renaissance in the 10th century under Adalberto Atto of Canossa. Since then, it continued to maintain its military importance. It united with the Parma Commune, later forming part of the lands of a series of noble families and states: the Viscontis, the Venetians, the Sforzas and, from 1479, the Este family. Alfonso II D’Este fortified the town in 1553 with a pentagonal city wall that was destroyed in 1703. It was the home town of the philosopher Mario Nizzoli and the librarian Antonio Panizzi (founder of the famous British Museum Library in London). The town still retains much that recalls its past. A statue of Hercules stands in the main town square, commissioned by the Este family from Sansovino in 1552, the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore contains works by Zatti (a 19th-century painter from Brescello). It also houses the “Natività di Maria” (Nativity of Mary) and “Cristo Portato al Sepolcro” (Christ Carried to the Sepulchre) by A. Gualdi, a 16th-century Emilian painter. In the nearby local government building is a small but important collection of archaeological finds excavated in the area. The other church in the town is dedicated to San Giorgio and has an important Romanesque bell tower dating back to the 12th century.

Much of the fame of this town is connected to its portrayal in film based on the stories of the Parma writer Giovanino Guareschi (1908 to 1968). All the films featuring “Don Camillo and Peppone” were filmed on location in Brescello itself. Visitors can see the “Museo Peppone e Don Camillo” (the Peppone and Don Camillo Museum ). There are guided tours round the “Museo Archeologico” (the Archaeological Museum). It is also possible to take a boat-trip on the River Po during the spring and summer.

The ancient Roman settlement of Brixellum was already inhabited in pre-historic times (as shown by the items recovered in the Motta Balestri archaeological excavations). It was one of the main centres of the Reggio Emilia area in Roman times. In the 4th century St Ambrose listed it as one of the partially destroyed Italian towns which he had visited in the Po valley when the Roman Empire was in full decline. As a Byzantine military centre it soon became the concentration of resistance against the Lombards. It was almost completely destroyed in the struggles that followed, enjoying a renaissance in the 10th century under Adalberto Atto of Canossa. Since then, it continued to maintain its military importance. It united with the Parma Commune, later forming part of the lands of a series of noble families and states: the Viscontis, the Venetians, the Sforzas and, from 1479, the Este family. Alfonso II D’Este fortified the town in 1553 with a pentagonal city wall that was destroyed in 1703. It was the home town of the philosopher Mario Nizzoli and the librarian Antonio Panizzi (founder of the famous British Museum Library in London). The town still retains much that recalls its past. A statue of Hercules stands in the main town square, commissioned by the Este family from Sansovino in 1552, the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore contains works by Zatti (a 19th-century painter from Brescello). It also houses the “Natività di Maria” (Nativity of Mary) and “Cristo Portato al Sepolcro” (Christ Carried to the Sepulchre) by A. Gualdi, a 16th-century Emilian painter. In the nearby local government building is a small but important collection of archaeological finds excavated in the area. The other church in the town is dedicated to San Giorgio and has an important Romanesque bell tower dating back to the 12th century.
Much of the fame of this town is connected to its portrayal in film based on the stories of the Parma writer Giovanino Guareschi (1908 to 1968). All the films featuring “Don Camillo and Peppone” were filmed on location in Brescello itself. Visitors can see the “Museo Peppone e Don Camillo” (the Peppone and Don Camillo Museum ). There are guided tours round the “Museo Archeologico” (the Archaeological Museum). It is also possible to take a boat-trip on the River Po during the spring and summer.

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