- Art & Culture
Lago di Iseo: history, nature and…
A client, the Faccanoni family, and an architect, Giuseppe Sommaruga, turned Sarnico into the highest, most constant architectural expression of Liberty style in the whole of Lombardy.
A pleasant exception in an area where there is no significant presence of noble residences. Three villas and a mausoleum built for the family and a nursery school.
Only the mausoleum in the town’s cemetery can be visited as Villa Surre (originally Villa Luigi Faccanoni) is today a conference centre accessible only on special occasions.
Lovere has ancient origins, and was described by English Lady Wortley Montagu as the most romantic town she had ever seen. It nestles like a huge amphitheatre between lake and mountain. The old town centre is well preserved and dominated by an impressive civic tower. Three towers still survive of the town’s medieval fortifications: Torre Soca (thirteenth-fourteenth century), Torre degli Alghisi (twelfth-thirteenth century) and the Torricella of the old town walls.The lakeside is home to elegant buildings, such
as sixteenth-century Palazzo Gregorini with its portico and second-floor loggia, Palazzo Marinoni, Villa Milesi, and Accademia di Belle Arti Tadini. The latter today houses the Tadini Art Gallery, with hundreds of modern and contemporary works of art on display, testifying to Italian and European artistic culture since World War Two through to very recent times.
Valle del Freddo valley
This is perhaps the most unusual natural phenomenon in the whole of the Bergamo area.
At just 360 metres above sea level, plants and flowers grow that are typical of areas in the high mountains, from rhododendrons to eidelweiss (which does not usually grow below 1700 metres asl). Mysteries of the Valle del Freddo, in the upper Val Cavallina valley, after the small lake Laghetto di Gaiano. The fact is that a complex
and very singular terrain structure means that large blocks of ice form underground during the winter, and in summer, air in the valley bottom passes through holes in these blocks and is cooled to a very low temperature (2-4°C). Visitors to the Valle del Freddo must stick to the path, in order not to disturb the delicate equilibrium of this extraordinary ecosystem.
Breath-taking sheer drops
The sheer drops of what is known locally as the “Bögn”, namely the Zorzino ravine. A very high rocky wall made of 200 million-year-old layers of dark limestone drop straight down into the lake, framiing a small bay in the Riva di Solto area.
Wild scenery that represents one of the most
important natural surprises on Lago di Iseo.
A Romanesque treasure trail
There are twenty Romanesque churches dotted throughout the lower Sebino area.
Credaro has two, one dedicated to the Saints Fermo and Rustico, the other to Saint George. The latter, on the outskirts of the town, features a cycle of frescos painted by Lorenzo Lotto in 1525. In the arch over the altar there is Saint George on horseback slaying the dragon and in a chapel along the norther side and also visible from outside, there are Nativity with Saints Rocco and Sebastian, and Eternal Father on the rib vault,
with figures of saints down the sides. Meanwhile, the small church of the Holy Trinity in Parzanica stands on the peak of Mut dèi Pagà, a wooded high plain that can be reached by following a path that winds right up to the top of the promontory.
The hard walk is generously rewarded by unbeatable views out over Lago d’Iseo.
5 reasons for...
1. Lido Nettuno in Sarnico. A long pier that reaches out into the waters of the lake is the
added value offered by Lido Nettuno in Sarnico, a municipal park covering 22,000 square metres that is connected to the town centre and Predore by a cycle path.
2. Sebino Nature Trail. This 17 km circular walk starts and finishesin Riva di Solto, taking
in mule tracks and paths through terraced vineyards and olive groves, and offering
amazing views of the lake.
3. Roman spa in Predore. An archaeological site has recently be found in the former Lanza factory area in Predore, with the remains of a spa building belonging to a bigger villa, dating back to the first century A.D. The most significant finds are on display in an antiquities museum and include coins, reconstruction of the heating system and many fragments of decorated plaster.
4. Lake cruises. A regular boat service on Lago di Iseo that offers a series of different mini-cruises for discovering picturesque villages. They also run at night, with dinner, music and entertainment on board.
5. Parco del Corno park in Predone. Two alternative walks take visitors across Corno, a rocky coastline that connects Predore with Tavernola. The higher path allows walkers to look out over the vegetation and enjoy views of the finalstretch of the lake.