On the western coastal road, ten minutes by car from Sarnico, after a couple of tunnels alternating with stretches of coastline with inlets and beaches, lies Tavernola Bergamasca with its pretty lakeside promenade. A terrace overlooking the port, on the opposite side of the road, leads to the old town, which stretches against the hill.
Once in Tavernola, the clock tower or Torre dei Fenaroli from the 14th century catches the eye, the only well-preserved building of the ancient medieval fortification, which was later raised and transformed into a bell tower. The rest has been lost over the centuries, especially in 1906 when a portion of the delta on which the village is built slid into the lake. From the tower it is possible to reach the historical centre where is located the parish church of Santa Maria Maddalena, built on the ruins of the castle. Inside, in Baroque style, there is a marble altar and paintings of the ‘500 – ‘600. A steep stone pedestrian road leads to the 13th century Romanesque parish church of San Pietro, where it is possible to admire frescoes by Romanino. Also worth mentioning is Villa Fenaroli which, dating back to the sixteenth century, has a large botanical park.
NOT TO BE MISSED
Frescoes by Romanino – At the beginning of the second decade of the 16th century, Romanino painted two wall paintings in the Romanesque parish church of San Pietro. The first, on the left wall of the presbytery, appears to the visitor as a large choral scene with the Virgin at the top, in the centre, between St. George and St. Maurice. On the lower register, Saints Peter and Paul complete the representation. The second painting, located at the top of the counter-façade, is an unfinished work, later covered with a layer of white plaster, under which, however, you can recognise a few fragments related to a Crucifixion.
Black cherry cake – Don’t forget to try the typical cake, made with short pastry and black cherries, in the village bakeries!
TOURS AND EXCURSIONS
Monte Isola – An excursion to Monte Isola, located right in front of Tavernola, is a must. The island can also be reached by boat in winter. Info and timetable: Navigazione Lago d’Iseo
Walk in Cambianica – A walk leading to the hamlet of Cambianica, an ancient medieval centre on a hillside; here there is the Romanesque church of S. Michele, known as San Michelone with internal and external frescoes; anyone wishing to do so can continue to the sanctuary of Cortinica, a temple created to commemorate the escape from the threatening plague of the 17th century, and then descend first to the church of S. Pietro and then along the promenade.
Walk in Gallinarga – Another pleasant walk is the one towards the hamlet of Gallinarga, a group of ancient houses, where it is interesting to visit the little church of S. Giorgio; it is advisable to reach the hamlet by taking a footpath halfway up the hill and then by via Moia.
HOW TO GET THERE
By bus – Tavernola Bergamasca is serviced by the company Bergamo Trasporti . Rout E, C40a, C40b – Info and timetable: Bergamo Trasporti
By boat – Tavernola Bergamasca is reachable also by boat. In winter, only one morning boat ride. Info: Navigazione Lago d’Iseo