Lake Iseo: nature, art, history

Lake Iseo or Sebino is one of the lakes of Lombardy, fed by the Oglio River, which is at the same time both influent and effluent.

The lake is located in the middle of the Alpine foothills and at the beginning of the Vallecamonica, which, despite its vast size (a surface of 65,3 square kilometers) derives its looks like a mountain lake, accentuated by the characteristic S-shape that means that at any point on the shore you can see the basin in its entirety.  At its center stands the imposing Monteisola which is both the largest and highest lake island in Europe, with north and south of the two satellite islets of Loreto and S. Paolo.

The Brescia side of the lake shows a gentle hilly landscape with flowers, cultivated with vineyards, orchards, olive groves (from which we get the famous extra virgin olive oil DOP of Lake Iseo), in which sprouting pretty villages, and the higher forests of fir and chestnut trees climb to the top of the mountains.

The most important town is undoubtedly Iseo, which gives its name to the lake, with its two fractions Clusane ( famous for baked tench) followed by Sulzano ( traditional embarkation point for Monteisola), Marasino, Marone with the tiny but charming village of Vello (famous for priests exorcists who once found refuge here.) From Marone you can reach up towards the mountain village of Zone, where you can admire the “Pyramids ” geological phenomenon due to erosion.

After Marone, on the north end of the lake, at the mouth of the Vallecamonica, we find Pisogne, another important center.

The so-called “Old Road” (formerly the old county road) is a picturesque road which leads to Pisogne from Vello of Marone, between curves and galleries overlooking the lake, beaches and

small clearings. The road, now reserved for nature lovers for his scenic beauty is definitely worth a trip.

On the Bergamo side the landscape is wild, with rocky cliffs plunging into the water (the famous so-called “orridi” Castro and Zorzino). Remarkable is the small town of Lovere from the beautiful square and the pretty lakeside promenade.

Very pleasant are lake boat trips, on line ferries or on rental boat, that allow you to enjoy surprising lakeviews and please the beauty of the landscape.