• Lakes

Lago di Iseo: the pleasant isle

It is the biggest lake island in Europe, and can be reached by boat from all the main towns around Lago d’Iseo.

For three weeks during 2016, it was also possible to walk there—preferably with
bare feet to feel the movement of the water—on the Floating Piers by Christo. In addition to the link with dry land, between Sulzano and Peschiera
Maraglio, the orange, or rather dahlia yellow, walkway by the Bulgarian artist
also reached the island of San Paolo, which for the occasion was given a sort
of beach.

Best foot forward
Walking, cycling or buses are the only modes of transport for visitors to Monte
Isola island, home to some of Italy’s most beautiful villages, and they must keep a
sharp eye out for residents on mopeds. A round trip of the island is a ninekilometre walk. The starting point is generally Peschiera Maraglio, where the boats arrive from Sulzano. Here the seventeenth-century church of San Michele is worth a visit. Some
of Monte Isola's internationally famous net factories are still in business (with
a dedicated museum in Siviano), as are boatyards where expert carpenters and master shipwrights hand build wooden boats. A walk around the lakeside brings you
to Sensole, directly opposite the island of San Polo, where you can visit the small seventeenth-century chapel, with a painting of the Virgin Mary on the portal. The elevated position of Siviano makes it a must-visit panoramic location with
views of the Bergamo side of the lake. Once again on the lake is Carzano, an old fishing village that looks out towards upper Sebino, opposite the island of Loreto.

The other islands
San Paolo is a private island, home to a villa with garden, but with no beach. Thanks
to the installation by Christo it has been included today in an art catalogue. Loreto is another private island, the smallest. On it stands a neo-gothic style castle with a park of conifer trees and tiny harbour. A tower, battlements and pale stone walls make this a wonderful complex, with a perspective that can be enjoyed from the side, thanks to its position on top of an outcrop that plunges into the lake. Boat trips are organised around both islands.

Shrine with a view
The Santuario della Madonna della Ceriola shrine stands on the top of the mountain and
offers unparalleled views of the whole of Sebino. The last stop on the bus is Cure, and an easy walk of about one kilometre then leads to the shrine. Alternatively, it can be reached along the mule track up through the Peschiera Maraglio woods. The shrine is 23 metres long, 7.5 wide and 10 high and has a single nave with barrel vault and many
votive offerings for grace received. It would seem to owe its name to a log of Turkey
oak into which a likeness of the Virgin Mary was carved in the twelfth century.

A walk in the woods
For those wanting to quietly discover a Monte Isola off the beaten track, we suggest the walk from Siviano to Masse, both on the top part of the island. Once out of the town, the path  winds through nature with extraordinary views. Another nice walk is from Menzino to the Rocca Martinengo fortification, and the path starts at the end of the town towards Sensole.


5 reasons for...

1. The Santa Croce festival, Carzano. Held every five years, the wonderful Festa
di Santa Croce is linked to a votive offering made to ward off an epidemic.The town and village of Novale are decorated with arches covered in pine branches and paper flowers, all strictly made by hand by locals, who have handed down the technique from one generation to the next. The next festival will be in 2020.

2. Montisola salami. Beware of imitations: Montisola salami is only produced out in the middle of the lake, with almost no fat, flavoured with wine and garlic and then lightly smoked.

3. The Net Museum, Siviano. The Net Museum in Porto is housed in the island’s oldest net factory and it houses a collection of documents, historic photos and articles linked to an activity essential for the island’s economy. Visits must be booked.

4. Fish in the sun. Perch and shad (here erroneously called sardines) are put out in
the sun to dry and make them easier to preserve. The special arched wooden supports used for this purpose, a tradition that has led to the most widespread surname on
the island: Archetti.

5. Ere beach, Peschiera Maraglio. Clear waters and shady olive trees make Ere beach, just a few hundred metres from the town, irresistible. Natural recycling of the water is thought to be due to underwater springs

On the same topic

5 lakes to be explored

Not just big lakes: discover 5 other small stretches of fresh water in Lombardy
  • Lakes
Lago d'Idro

Visit Monte Isola

It is perhaps unsurprising that Monte Isola was given the name it was.
  • Lakes
Monte Isola

Lago d'Idro Clear cool water

At the foot of the Piccole Dolomiti mountains, and surrounded by their wooded slopes, this is almost a mountain lagoon.
  • Lakes
Lago d'Idro Fresche e dolci acque

Centomiglia, sailing challenge on the Garda

Centomiglia: the most important sailing event in Garda and known throughout Europe.
  • Lakes
Centomiglia, sailing challenge on the Garda

Lago di Varese a jewel in the Alps

Just six kilometres away, this natural city break offers unexpected views, from water to mountains.
  • Lakes
Lago di Varese Un gioiello tra le Alpi

Lago Maggiore Old stories

Finds from the Iron Age, evidence of the Ice Age, monuments of industrial archaeology, dolls from the eighteenth century to date: lower Lago Maggiore (the Verbano area)
  • Lakes
Lago Maggiore Storie antiche

What to do in Lake Iseo

  • Lakes
What to do in Lake Iseo

Lake Iseo Photo Gallery

A way to get to know landscapes, places, characteristics and peculiarities of a vast and very varied territory.
  • Lakes
Lake Iseo and Valcamonica from A to Z

Lago di Iseo: prehistory and bubbles

The Valle Camonica rock engravings are as famous worldwide as the wine made in Franciacorta. On a journey of discover what else this area has to offer
  • Lakes
Lago di Iseo Preistoria e bollicine

Lago di Como: charmingly seductive

Described by Stendhal as ‘voluptuous’, the south-western branch of Lake Como charms with its gardens, villas and breath-taking views.
  • Lakes
Lago di Como: sedotti e affascinati

Canoeing - Rafting

The perfect activity for nature-loving people looking for excitement and spectacular landscapes
  • Lakes
Foto di Ass. Canoa Club Valtellina

Lake Como in 5 Villas

Como, Varenna, Bellagio. Go for Villas on Lake Como, discovering enchanted gardens and work of art
  • Lakes
Lake Como in 5 Villas

5 Thing-to-do in Gravedona

Visit Gravedona ed Uniti, a cozy town in North Lake Como
  • Lakes
gravedona

A host of surfboards on Lombardy lakes

From wakeboarding to flyboarding, kitesurfing to SUP: the on-trend water sports on the lakes of Lombardy
  • Lakes
Un esercito di tavole da surf sui laghi lombardi

Lago di Garda: the shadow of D’Annunzio

From the Vittoriale degli Italiani to the fifteenth-century Cathedral in Salò, via the Valle delle Cartiere valley in Toscolano Maderno: all the spectacular sights around Gardone Riviera
  • Lakes
Lago di Garda, lungolago Zanardelli

Lemon Groves and Olive Oil in Limone del Garda

The small pearl of the Western Gardesana.
  • Lakes
Limonaie e Olio di oliva a Limone del Garda

Iseo Lake’s activities

Culture, nature, sports, beaches and good food on Lake Iseo.
  • Lakes
Iseo Lake: culture, nature, sport, beaches and good food

Lago Maggiore Artist’s brushstrokes

Trompe l’oeil frescos, five centuries of pictorial cycles, spontaneous and organised murals: colour is everywhere in and around Laveno Mombello
  • Lakes
Lago Maggiore Pennellate d'artista

Canyoning in Valmalenco

A unique canyoning route in the Alps
  • Lakes
Speleocanyoning nel torrente Cormor in Valmalenco

From Como to Bellagio by Boat

Traveling between the two shores of the lake, between splendid coasts and the majestic frame of the Pre-Alps
  • Lakes
From Como to Bellagio by Boat