Over the past four years of living in Italy I have been making my way through the Lakes located around Northern Italy. Lake Como, Lake Maggiore, Lake Garda & Lake Lugano are all beautiful destinations and interesting places to explore. I have loved each Lake in its own way – Como for its cobbled, lakeside towns, Maggiore for it’s islands and Garda for its beachy vibe. So when a friend recently told me Lake d’Iseo was her favourite lake I had to check it out.
(our view of the lake town from the boat)
How to Get There.
Lake d’Iseo is located in Brescia in the Franciacorte Wine Region. The easiest way to arrive would be by car. By train however is a little longer, you need to travel to Bergamo or Brescia by train and then connect to a local bus or regional train to take you to the lake. We took the train from Brescia and we really loved this option because the scenery leading up to the lake is beautiful and passes through many beautiful vineyards.
(the view from the train over the Franciacorte Vineyards)
Where to Stay.
There are many pretty villages perched along the lake shore and I think you could visit any without going wrong. We chose to visit the town Iseo which is famed for its cobbled streets and old medieval architecture. We loved strolling around the old town center, shopping in local boutiques and drinking Franciacorte Prosecco in the main piazza. As apposed to the other lakes I have visited which feel more like an Italian tourist spot, Iseo felt very authentic and local and it was easy to see the real way of life here.
Other towns on the Lake that are good to visit include Lovere, Portirone, Sulzano, Sale Marasino & Marone.
(lake side houses in Iseo)
What to Do.
A stroll along the lake front is a relaxing way to pass the morning whichever lake town you choose to visit. As is having coffee or prosecco to drink in cafes or bars in the main piazzas to see the local way of life.
Another fun idea is to take a public ferry boat or hire your own boat and head over to the island in the middle of the lake ‘Monte Isola. It is the biggest island lake in Europe and boasts a tall green mountain in the middle, giving the island it’s name. The ferry first stops in Perchiera Maraglio, an old fishing village where you can stroll along the promenades and see locals hand knitting fishing nets. From here it’s also possible to hike all the way around the island by following the ‘Olive Trail’ passing through the islands other rural villages along the way. Or hike or cycle up to the top of the mountain for panoramic views of the lake. We didn’t do this as we had limited time but I would love to come back and try this hike out next time!
(the view of Isola Monte & Perchiera Maraglio)
What to Eat.
The speciality of the lake is Sardines & Polenta and you can find this at countless local bars and traditional style restaurants. Otherwise any fresh pasta or risotto dish served with lake fish are delicious. Make sure to wash it down with a glass of wine from the region too!
Have you visited Lake d’Iseo? Let us know what you thought in the comments below…
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