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Brescia is a city in the region of Lombardy in northern Italy.
It is situated at the foot of the Alps, between the Mella and the Naviglio,
with a population of around 190,000.
It is the second largest city in Lombardy, after the capital, Milan.
The city is the administrative capital of the Province of Brescia,
one of the largest in Italy, with about 1,200,000 inhabitants.
The ancient city of Brixia, Brescia has been an important regional centre
since pre-Roman times and a number of Roman and medieval monuments
are preserved, among which is the prominent castle.
The city is at the centre of the third-largest Italian industrial area,
concentrating on mechanical and automotive engineering and machine tools.
Its companies are typically small or medium-sized enterprises,
often with family managements.
The financial sector is also a major employer, and the tourist trade benefits
from the proximity of Lake Garda, Lake Iseo and the Alps.
The plan of the city is rectangular, and the streets intersect at right angles,
a peculiarity handed down from Roman times, though the area enclosed by
the medieval walls is larger than that of the Roman town, which occupied the
eastern portion of the present one.
The Piazza del Foro marks the site of the forum, and the museum on its
north side is ensconced in a Corinthian temple with three cellae,
by some attributed to Hercules, but more probably the Capitolium of the city,
erected by Vespasian in AD 73 (if the inscription really belongs to the building,
which was excavated in 1823.
The museum houses a famous bronze statue of Victory, found in 1826.
Scanty remains of a building on the south side of the forum, called the curia,
but which may have been a basilica, and of the theatre, east of the temple, still exist.
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