Don't know Lake Iseo yet? The time has come to rectify this and to visit this truly magical place that is already quietly appreciated by tourists who choose Italy for their holidays.
Lake Iseo is located in Lombardy, 90 km east of Milan, and is less well known but no less charming than nearby lakes Maggiore, Como and Garda.
Smaller and less busy, situated in the picturesque pre-Alpine setting, it will surprise you with its quiet villages and beautiful landscape.
Coves, landscapes and panoramas, art and history, food and wine and sport, but also relaxation and romance.
Shall we go?
Two days between villages and traditions
There are many things to see on Lake Iseo, but everything is close by so two days is enough to see the main ones.
Our two-day tour starts from Iseo, the “capital” of the lake, with its cosy, well-kept and elegant historic centre. Shoppers should not miss the shop windows in Via Campo, the archways of “La Filanda” and Largo Zanardelli. History lovers, on the other hand, should visit Piazza Garibaldi with its first statue dedicated to the hero of two worlds and the nearby Chiesetta del Mercato. A few minutes further on, the Pieve di Sant’Andrea, with a fabulous fresco by Francesco Hayez, and the Oldofredi Castle.More
Iseo is often the starting point for various destinations on the lake on foot, by bicycle or by boat, as in our tour to discover Monte Isola. Undoubtedly a must if you are staying on Lake Iseo, it is a place of traditions, curiosities and taste, concentrated in a perimeter of 9 km.
We disembark at Peschiera Maraglio, the most touristy and lively village on the island, with bars, restaurants, souvenir shops and typical products. We recommend a stroll through the narrow streets of the centre because every corner is a deep-dive into the past.
The most common walk is towards Sensole (off the boat on the left), which takes just 30 minutes, all flat between the olive trees and the lake, with a close-up view of the small island of San Paolo. But undoubtedly the best thing is to reach the top of the mountain, the Santuario della Ceriola, and its fabulous view (about an hour and a half for 400 m of elevation gain).More
We return to dry land and spend the night in Iseo, and the next morning we are ready to leave: an hour’s drive and we arrive in Lovere, on the north-western edge of the lake.
In addition to the beautiful Basilica of Santa Maria in Valvendra, with its 16th-century interior entirely covered in frescoes, we recommend a stroll through the streets of the old town centre, which is of unparalleled sophistication. On the promenade dedicated to the English writer Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, who in 1749 described Lake Iseo as “the most romantic place I have ever seen in my life”. While strolling, you can go as far as the Accademia Tadini, whose gallery houses the Stele Tadini, the last work by Antonio Canova. For lunch, we recommend a restaurant on the lakefront so you don’t miss a minute of the incredible views.More
In the afternoon, we continue our tour and in ten minutes we get to Pisogne, on the eastern shore, one of the best-known destinations on Lake Iseo. It is home to another artistic jewel: the Church of Santa Maria della Neve. The array of frescoes by 16th-century Brescian painter Girolamo Romani, known as Romanino, will leave you speechless. The church is defined as the “Sistine Chapel of the poor“, due to the humble, popular and mountainous appearance of the figures portrayed. Not to be missed in Pisogne is also the beautiful and very long lakeside promenade, which is particularly attractive at sunset and during the flowering of the Japanese cherry trees between March and April.
In fact, you know what, let’s have dinner here and finish our wonderful stay on Lake Iseo on a high note. The first of many, we’re sure you will be back!More