Il Rivale in Città (BS)

by Lavinia Colonna Preti
Il Rivale in Città (BS) — Lombardia Secrets

Among fantastic animals and wonderful frescoes, inside an eighteenth-century palace in the center of Brescia, a gourmand restaurant that transports us to a world of delicious Savoyard flavors and refined aesthetic suggestions.

Located on the first floor of the Palazzo of the Martinoni Caleppio counts, who have lived there since 1836, and previously of the di Rosa family since its construction in the 18th century, Il Rivale in Città combines history and haute cuisine in a unique concept studied down to the smallest detail.

After a refined restoration completed in collaboration with the interior designer Nicola Falappi, the wonderful private residence was taken over at the end of 2022 from the previous management by the brothers Ivan and Paolo Favalli, together with their partner and historic collaborator Stefano Bignotti, an absolute guarantee in terms of 5-star hospitality.

Il Rivale in Città (BS) — Lombardia Secrets
Il Rivale in Città (BS) — Lombardia Secrets

With Il Rivale in Città we wanted to offer our guests the pleasure of experiencing a place rich in history, combining a high quality gastronomic offer.

(Favalli brothers and Stefano Bignotti)


The two brothers, in fact, created the Favalli Group in 1992, a company born in the Garda area of Brescia and which today includes various companies of excellence, including the 5-star Splendido Bay and Il Rivale al Lago, the “lake” brother of Il Rivale in Città, which takes its name from a Riva Yacht model, all united in the search for the maximum expression of Made in Italy in all its forms.

And, in this case, the setting of Il Rivale is truly a hymn to Italy and its artistic production. The marvelous original details of the building, from the wooden doors to the ceiling frescoes, from the Venetian-style floors to the fireplaces, have been finely restored and placed alongside ethnic-deco inspired furniture, such as the beautiful sofa made with a Kilim and the wicker furnishings of the main hall. In the background, we find the fab frescoes created by the famous Brescia artist Giovanni Bressana using ancient pictorial techniques.

Il Rivale in Città (BS) — Lombardia Secrets

In the kitchen, chef Luigi Bossini, part of the group for over 14 years, in particular as sous chef of the Aquariva restaurant, orchestrates a seafood and land cuisine sublimated in taste through advanced but never extreme cooking techniques that preserve the original flavors of the most noble ingredients.

On the menu we find the great dishes of Italian cuisine, particularly Lombard with accents inspired by the Savoy era and its links with nearby France, such as the potato millefeuille with scampi tartare, caviar, hazelnut mayonnaise and Franciacorta sauce or the Piedmontese Fassona beef tartare seasoned at the table, but also dishes where the protagonist is the raw material such as the San Massimo reserve risotto served on the plate on small fish and shellfish and the Japanese Wagyu sirloin steak. The dessert trolley is marvellous, a true old-fashioned ritual served at the table by the pastry chef.

Il Rivale in Città (BS) — Lombardia Secrets
Il Rivale in Città (BS) — Lombardia Secrets

An attention to detail that concerns not only the aesthetics of each dish, but also every other aspect of the restaurant, from the white-gloved service worthy of a grand hotels of the past to the background music, embracing the 5 senses.

The Secret

The palace has a truly important history: Santa Maria Crocifissa di Rosa, the patron saint of Brescia and founder of the Ancelle di Carità, was born here in 1813. Even today, the order of the Ancelle meets periodically to visit the place that gave birth to their creator.

Useful Info

Il Rivale in Città
Via A. Gramsci 10
25122 Brescia
Tel. +39 030 6365984

Tasting menus: from 68 euro, wine excluded
Starters: 18 —  33 euro
First courses: 18 —  28 euro
Second courses: 25 —  42 euro

Discover the Secret Places closest to you