Explore Lake Iseo
Tour of Lombardy
Lake Iseo...not the most famously known lake in the north of Italy and compared to Lake Como it is not the most popular tourist destination. However Lake Iseo can perhaps boast one of the most charming and mesmerizing sights that Italy has to offer.
Lake Iseo is the fourth largest lake in Lombardy, Italy. Being 16km in length and 250mts deep, the lakes real charm is that whichever side you are situate on you can always see the towns on the other side. It is supplied by the Oglio River which keeps the lake a beautiful rich colour with which comes some of its most exquisite scenery.
The Lake separates the two cities Brescia and Bergamo which divides the area into two regions. There are many towns that surround the lake, all of which produce spectacular sights and properties. In the Brescian region are the towns Iseo, Pilzone, Sulzano,Marone, Sale Marasino and Pisogne. In the Bergamo region are the towns Sarnico, Predore, Tavernola Bergamasca, Riva di Solto, Castro and Lovere.
All the towns surrounding the lake boast excellent property and culture, which has not been disturbed by the tourist industry. It is remarkable then that Milan, with all its tourism is only a short hop away from Iseo, with the city of Bergamo being on the main train line from Milan and once there Lake Iseo is only 20 minutes away.
Any trip to Lake Iseo should include a picturesque train journey from Pisogna down to the bottom of the lake to the actual village of Iseo. Voted amongst Italy's top 20 villages, it sits along the lake with a large pedestrian area behind. Many people from the surrounding area go down to sit outside a bar sipping a cocktail and watching the sun set behind the mountains reflected in rays of orange and red across the lake.
Possibly one of the astonishing things about Lake Iseo is Monte Isola. Monte Isola is proclaimed to be the largest island of any lake in Europe. There are also two more islands in Lake Iseo but these are privately owned. There are three main small towns on Monte Isola: Siviano, the capital town, Carzano, and Peschiera Maraglio.
There are also eight smaller villages amongst olive groves, vineyards and chestnut woods. In the highest spot of the island, 1.968,50 feet above sea level, stands the Madonna della Ceriola Shrine. On the Monte Isola cars have been abolished with the exception of emergency services and the occasional taxi.
Instead the residents use mopeds to get to work and tourists are expected to either rent a cycle cike from one of the two shops on the island or to walk. The absence of cars in Monte Isola makes it a very tranquil and picturesque place, which is a superb destination if the aim of your holiday is to relax and sightsee.
In Carzano, every five years there is a feast giving thanks for the end of an epidemic of cholera. To prepare this feast, every inhabitant of the village and the inhabitants of the small village Novale prepare with patience and passion thousands of paper-flowers with which to decorate the village. It is truly an inspiring sight to see and if you happen to be there at the right time of year it is unmissable.
Although Lake Iseo lacks the visit of a few celebrities unlike Lake Como, it is undeniably a beautiful and tranquil place, which offers superb natural beauty and scenery for all to enjoy. It is also rich in culture and has many activities to enjoy on the lake from fishing to windsurfing.
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