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e-borghi travel 6, Lakes and villages: Lake Iseo, attraction between the Camonica Valley and Franciacorta

It’s a little piece of Heaven set between the province of Brescia and the province of Bergamo: the stone villages, the old parish churches, the castles, the monasteries, the villas and the fortresses frame the lake’s shores which is also one of the best destinations of the gourmet travellers. You can have a toast by drinking the white wine from the Franciacorta area while you are tasting the delicious risotto with the perch, the fried aole, the eel that is cooked in many different ways and the roast char. The lake is also known by the name of lake Sebino, it’s the sixth widest lake in Italy and it hosts the widest lake island of Europe: Monte Isola which literally rises in the middle and it’s spread with tiny villages rich of history and traditions like Senzano or Cure where the production of the handcraft “salame” is continued. It’s nice to reach the sanctuary of Madonna della Ceriola at the top of Monte Isola since you can enjoy a breathless view on a bright day. Breathless sceneries from the ferry The best way to enjoy the beauty of the lake is by sailing with the perennial snow of Adamello in the distance which feeds the lake’s water through the river Oglio. On board of private boats or by the several ferries that cross the lake you can enjoy the different landscapes surrounding this charming stretch of water that is featured by a very ancient history. The sceneries are shaped by the water, by the wind and by the erosion that has been happening along the centuries as well as by the human intervention: there are rocky walls that plunge into the lake and gentle slopes, the peatland areas that move towards the hills of Franciacorta and the three islands that sound floating on the lake’s water. It’s not by chance that the International artist Christo designed his installation called “The Floating Piers” in this area, it was an installation that enabled the visitors to walk on the water’s surface between the village of Sulzano and the three islands: Monte Isola and the two private islands of Loreto and San Paolo. A jewel set in the green There are three natural reserves along the river’s banks that deserve to be visited. First there’s the little Cold Valley near the village of Solto Collina at 360 metres of altitude where the plants and the flowers that are generally present at 1.500 metres of altitude grow. For the birdwatching lovers the peatland areas of Sebino are stretched along 360 hectares of cane fields and stretches of water covered by the water lilies where 17 different species of birds like the reed warblers, the little grebes and the cukoos nest. You can’t miss the natural reserve Piramidi di Zone, where high soil columns of morainic soil stand out, they are 30 metres high and they are topped by huge stones that were created by the corrosive action of the water. The gorge of Bögn di Zorzino is particularly interesting too, it’s a rocky wall featured by high layers of limestone overlooking the lake. Villages, traditions and works of art The lake and its surroundings tell about a thousand-year-old history that is featured by some very ancient civilizations: the Camuni (the National Park of Rock Carvings of Naquane can’t be missed, it’s a site belonging to the Unesco’s Heritage). The exploration of the lake through the land can ideally start with visiting the Medieval village of Iseo, the ancient centre overlooked by the Oldofredi Castle and by the Parish Church of Saint Andrews. The lakefront in the nearby Pisogne is the best place to enjoy the colours of the sunset falling into the water after admiring the frescos by Romanino, the painter from Brescia that are kept in the church of Santa Maria della Neve. Other works by the same artist can also be seen in Capriolo, Bienno and in Breno. A stop at Lovere can’t be missed, it’s one of the most beautiful villages of Italy thanks to its church of Santa Maria in Valvendra and the track that leads to the sanctuary of Saints Vincenza Gerosa and Bartolomea Capitanio. The Tadini Art Galley of Lovere deserves a visit too, some works by Antonio Canova are kept there. A lake to be discovered in the open air You can walk along the sixty kilometres of the coastal road by the river banks, you can also cycle or ride your motorbike surrounded by breathless views and historical villages to be lived all year through. There are many interesting routes like the ancient Valeriana which connects the village of Pisogne with Pilzone along thirty kilometres in the forests that are sided by the old farmhouses; the old road Vello-Toline that runs along the lake and the ring track around the villages of Lovere, Bossico and Ceratello, it’s a route featured by steep slopes that reach the shore in the province of Bergamo. Moreover there are many scheduled events in Summer to experience all the traditions related to the lake. The “Festival of casoncello (a type of filled pasta) is held in Castro, the “Week of tench” is held in Clusane and the “Bià del pes” is held in Monte Isola, they are two days dedicated to the marinated fish.

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  • #adamello
  • #bergamo
  • #bienno
  • #brescia
  • #capriolo
  • #franciacorta
  • #lagod'iseo
  • #madonnadellaceriola
  • #monteisola
  • #thefloatingpiers
  • #vallecamonica


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