Gardone Riviera (Brescia) - “The Vittoriale of the Italians”, Cheli Room: the dining room of Gabriele D'Annunzio.
2 - Roast rabbit with polenta.
3 - The Coregone baked in tinfoil with vegetables.
Somebody may not perfectly know that the visit throughout the wine
and gastronomy path in the territory of Brescia is offering a lot of surprises.
Early traditions are restored in matter of food taste, colours and aromas and are
proposed nowadays with ingredients belonging to a broad territory, made of
mountains, large lakes and fertile planes, offering a vast specific assortment of
D'Annunzio, the famous poet, who long lived on the Garda Lake and enjoyed the good living, always
spoke about this particular food as a simple reality, but in the same time complicated, so difficult to
combine together the different ingredients, while keeping their own single characteristics of tasty and
The Brescia tradition had the merit to keep alive the many varieties of
products and therefore to offer a unique flavour food, in the numerous typical
country restaurants, as well as in the most famous city ones, both able to
communicate the pleasure of the good food with secure and natural products.
7/8 - Franciacorta (Brescia) - Farmhouses and vineyards.
An old motto says that “wine generates friendship and joy”.
Nobody doubts this; so it is reasonable to remember that Brescia speaks highly of a top
quality production of wines.
Eight consortiums guarantee the quality of the DOC Botticino, Capriano del Colle,
Cellatica, Garda Classic, Lugana, S. Martino della Battaglia, Terre di Franciacorta, and
DOCG Franciacorta; wines that are the boast of local producers and a accurate guarantee
One of the most famous areas in Italy for wines is with no doubts the Franciacorta, a small
area extending from the nearby of Brescia to the sides of the Iseo lake.
Since the year 1800, a writer remembered that “no visitor of the most beautiful and happy
areas in Italy and no gourmets ignore the Franciacorta...” The importance of this land is
given by the exceptional quality of its wines, mainly the whites of the classic method
“Champenoise”: a taste fine and delicate, as well as the excellent flavour make of it a
superb sparkling wine, present on the tables of the most celebrated international restaurants.
During the harvest, the wine shops of the most prestigious producers open their
doors to welcome meetings, events and to propose guided wine tasting. It is a rendezvous
no visitors will miss, both for the scene where they are organized (old country residences,
palaces, villas open to the public for these events), and for the special occasion to know
and buy sparkling wines and red and white wines of the Franciacorta, cleverly combined
with typical cold meats and cheeses, in a “merry go round” of music and exhibitions.
The combination of culture, environment and products is exalted by associations
proposing historical and cultural tours, among vineyards, hills and caves of the area; these
initiatives represent a recall for the tourists, an obligation for the experts and an enjoyment
for the new.
Another important area for the production of wines is the south-centre of the
Garda Lake, extending from the hill of the Valtenesi to the hinterland of Sirmione.
The quality DOC of the products of the Garda area, and in particular of the Valtenesi, has
been mentioned as “Classic”, an adjective gathering many meanings among the experts,
since this denomination is given only to the very old cultivation vineyard areas and which
imposes that all producers must be conscious that in their caves only top quality wines must
The variety of the white and red wines harmonically combines with a highly
charming landscape, among hills, olive trees and Mediterranean gorgeous vegetation. In
this land also the “Chiaretto” is produced, “the one night wine”; this name comes from
the particular and unique system of vineyards (with a special procedure effected in one
night) by every producer and which gives to this wine a particular and unique colour,
perfume and fragrance.
The excellent combination of this wine to lake fish and extra quality olive oil (all products
of the Garda area) make for one day the tourists become expert sommeliers, involved in
the comparisons of the different kinds of Chiaretto, in the middle of the deep beauty of
the landscape, that stimulates the people to wonderful voyages on the lake,
Confining with the Valtenesi, there is a small area on the back of Sirmione, called Lugana.
The wine produced here has colourful reflects (from the bright yellow to most golden
tonalities) combined with a unique aroma, immediately recognised for the delicacy and
harmony of its taste, rich in personality. To speak about this wine is quite difficult and
the best thing to do is to discover the Lugana with a good plate of lake fish.
The presence of such important wine has developed the birth of the “Wine Roads”,
associations proposing to give value to both products and territory. The “Wine Roads”
constitute a source of precious information for the visitors, and are in the position to
supply updated news and to give qualified assistance on caves visits, cultural excursions
and shopping of excellent products.
The “Wine Roads” are a cultural trend, although promotional, quickly developing in all
Italy and representing an important element for territorial value.
11 - Lugana, Red, Chiaretto: the Garda wines. • 12 - Vineyards in Valtenesi. • 13 - Vineyards of the Lugana area.
Brescia is a province among the most important in Italy for the production of milk and speaks
highly of an ancient dairy tradition. Many are the kind of cheese everybody can taste, from
those internationally protected and patented, to the most simple handcrafted, generally
supplying the local market.
To this matter, the mountains of the Brescia territory is a real paradise for the
passionate who wants to enjoy the discovery of kinds of cheese almost impossible to find
and of a unique taste; nevertheless, many selected products of top quality are commonly
distributed and since long the market shows to definitely appreciate them.
One of them is the Grana Padano, surely the most known and diffuse.
Its origins go back to the beginning of the second millennium, when a work of drain of these
lands favoured livestock breeding and generated a large availability of milk.
Nowadays, this cheese is produced in a territory including the whole Po Valley and its
harmonic and unmistakable flavour is a primary component of the gastronomic Italian
15 - The “Grana Padano”.
16 - Production of robiola cheese.
17 - The caprino cheese (made of goat milk) of the Camonica Valley.
18 - The triumph of Brescia province cheeses.
Another excellent cheese of the Brescia territory tradition is the Bagoss, typical cheese of the
Sabbia valley; hard and low in fat, mature and characteristic of this area, it represents one
of the most interesting and researched products, also thanks to its unmistakable flavour.
We suggest the buy of the Bagoss directly at the dairy producing places, among the lakes,
forests and mountains, forming an environment of great charm and transferring to this
cheese the unique savours of its land.
Also the mountain area of the Camonica valley offers, since early times, a number
of dairy goods. Their names are sometimes unknown (not only to foreigners): small cheese
forms but very aromatic, delicate cheese, mature products evocating mountain flavours,
combined with thousands of other savoured goods, created in mountain farms and taking
to exciting and particular discoveries.
19/22 - The Bagoss and the Bagoss counter.
20/21 - The Taleggio and the Dish of Cheeses.
23 - The olive harvest.
The hills of the Garda and Iseo lakes present a primary production of excellent olive oil, with
their harmonic structure and fruity and low acidity taste.
From the numerous olive trees, fundamental components of the lake landscape,
a perfect oil is created, characterising the local as well as the international food.
This is a product of top quality, even though of a limited output, appreciated by the experts
and present everywhere. The growing international demand has given a push to the
cultivation of olive trees and to an increase in its production, although developed in the
respect of the environment with strict control rules; but it is this protection effected to
grant quality and origin in the Brescia province that makes its production limited.
It is better then to hurry the buying of this product, maybe during the nice and folkloristic
events that accompany the time for the oil maturation, combined with particular food and
involving tourists and experts.
It is never to forget that the use of the olive oil in the restaurant cooking is something
more than a genuine and quality ingredient, but it becomes a gift, as well as an ambassador
of the Brescia tradition.
27 - The Coregone with polenta.
28 - The Brescia province different kinds of meat.
29 - The pheasant with polenta.
What are, then, the main characteristics of the Brescia cooking, with such a number of products
The good food and the nice company are soul well-being.
We immediately say that the typical Brescia food is antique, tasty and rich in personality;
it could wisely combine its land products to delightful proposals. And it is just in this
delicate balance one of the secrets of its sensational success: tradition and innovation are
always bound to its territory.
It is curious to see that every area in the territory has nevertheless its own feature, based
on local tradition and ingredients, keeping strong their relationship.
In the low land, south to Brescia, (area of hunting, rivers and fertile country plains)
excellent cold meat, salami and river fish food are proposed; Garda, Iseo and Idro have
a food mainly based on the lakes fishes, dressed with olive oil and proposed in different
ways; while the mountain valleys have pork meats, salami, cheese, pasta flavoured with
herbs and woods perfumes.
A particular chapter could be dedicated to meat (many breeding are present in the territory)
that is certified and strictly controlled in all phases from growing to distribution, in warranty
of its quality and for consumers’ protection.
Another important chapter should be dedicated to the cultivation of the spealt,
present in the Brescia plain since early times and lately subject to an interesting cooking
recovery. Another to the many kinds of cakes, incredible temptation for children and
grown ups... but in this way it is impossible to come to an end.
Then, what is the element distinguishing the food in the Brescia area?
Simply the fact to be rich in aromas, genuine, but never informal. The food here
is not archaeology, but it always adapts to man and his needs. Maybe, it stands in this
simple truth the only secret of a large success that has taken Brescia among the most
important destinations of the most refined gourmets, who appreciate the combination of
healthy products and the respect of a local culture, proposed in a modern way and with
Azienda Speciale della CAMERA DI COMMERCIO di Brescia
In co-operation with:
Ascom e Confesercenti di Brescia
Clerici & Associati (Brescia)
Archivio de “Il Vittoriale degli Italiani” (4)
Lonati (1, 2, 3, 6a, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 20, 21, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29)
Pini (5, 6b, 12, 13, 19, 21, 22, 23)
Work Media (Brescia)
Staged (Brescia) - June 2002