Going around Montisola

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I welcome autumn by the Lake Iseo.
I must confess: it is my favorite among the Lombard lakes. It has for me a certain mystery mixed with nostalgia, that reminds me of my homeland.


I will stay in a tent in Marone, a village with just over 3000 inhabitants.
I chose the Camping Vela.

If you prefer silence and quiet as I dothis is the right place: a small campsite by the lake where tranquility reigns. Here you won’t find harassing animators or noisy kids at the bar with music until late! Here you will hear only the sound of water and of your thoughts.


Not far from the campsite – a walk of about twenty minutes – ther’s the Sale Marasino’s pier from where leaves, day and night, the ferry that leads to Carzano at Monte Isola. It’s also possible to reach Monte Isola day and night from Sulzano, but docking at Peschiera. This short journey costs € 2.00 with a surcharge of € 2.60 for evetual bicycle.

Unfortunately, the season is over, but from mid-March to the end of September it’s possible to take a trip around the all lake – from Pisogne to Sarnico – with a € 5.50 ticket valid for 3 hours; while the daily, for those who want to make intermediate stops, costs €13.50 (€19.50 if you have a bicycle with you). You can find these and other interesting information at the following link: http://www.navigazionelagoiseo.it/

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Imbarcadero di Sale Marasino

I leave land on board of the ferry from the dock of  Sale Marasino towards Carzano

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The island divides Lake Iseo in two: Brescia shore on the east side, Bergamo shore on the west side . It has a total area of 12,8 km² and has about 1.750 inhabitants. Is the largest lake island in Italy and the highest in all Europe reaching an altitude of 600 meters above-sea-level. In 2007 it became part of the ranking of the Borghi Più Belli D’Italia. Here’s what we read on the website of the valuable guide:

The wonder of Montisola, the first that jumps to the eyes together with the breathtaking view, is that there are no cars. No noise (only the resident’s motorcycles), no smog, no stress. All on foot or by bike: the only means allowed are the municipal bus, to reach the twelve villages. But the advice is backpacking and walk through the solitary paths that line the lake or climb to the hills, and let go to the rêveries as novels Rousseau. The shores of the lake are cheered up by gardens, olive trees, flowers, large terraces planted with vines, and on the beach you can converse quietly without getting caught up in time wheezing.

… and I will follow their advice!


From the port of Carzano I head south and immediately I find myself in front of these beautiful sculptures, in the motorcycles parking lot. I’m sorry not having information about it. Aren’t they extraordinary?


Just further on, on the only road leading to Peschiera Maraglio, stands the enchanting church of San Giovanni Battista. The stop is mandatory!
This small baroque church dates back to the first half of the eighteenth century and its interior is, to say the least, remarkable.


The road by the lake that leads from Carzano to Peschiera is devoid of houses but adorned with these small newly planted Taxodium. They will reach 30 meters in height. This tree is native from the United States (imported into Europe for the first time in the seventeenth century). The aquatic environment is perfect for them. It is a very long-lived plant reaching 1.000 years!

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After about forty minuts walk-throughs, here I am in Peschiera Maraglio, once inhabited almost entirely by fishermen and artisans of fishing nets. Today it’s the most touristic place on the island and it’s not surprising.



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Continuing the road along the lake, I turn around the corner and, being lunchtime, I decide to stop at “Ai Tre Archi” a restaurant in Sensole that I already know and that I highly recommend as well as for food, also for the kindness and competence of the owner who, you see, loves her job. I recommend the appetizer of the lake and, if you love to experiment, the sardines of the lake. You know they are extremely tasty because they go from salting to drying before being put in oil – I love them! Be careful, however, not to make mistakes – The complex is divided into two restaurants, the “Ai Tre Archi” is the one with orange nets where you will eat well by spending less than fair.


I take the road to the west and here is the souvenir of Floating Piers!
I can’t do without the tipical picture…
As you probably know, the Floating Piers was a temporary artistic installation by the artist Christo, conceived as a walkway that crossed the shores of Lake Iseo for a total length of 3 kilometers.


The road of Sensole unravels among the olive trees, in an incomparable peace, in this season.


At the top of the hill behind me ther’s the Martinengo Fortress and there’s where I’m directed.


Long journey you will realize something wonderful: A heavenly refuge for cats name “Gatti al Sole”. The colony has existed for about 20 years. The little ones are cared for by volunteers and a loving veterinary. Anyone who wants to help can make a donation by clicking on the DONATION button on their facebook page and / or, passing here, directly in the “tube” .

From the gulf of Sensole you can easily see the beautiful island of San Paolo, privately owned by the Beretta family since 1916.
It seems that, until the end of the 1800s, the island was, from here, accessible on foot, in some periods of the year.


I leave Sensole and… the uphill road is not over yet!


At the top, where the Bergamo side begins, the view is breathtaking. Too bad the day is not clear …
I rest a moment near these Jerusalem artichoke flowers.


In this wonderful viewpoint I admire these stone mills called “molazze” belonging to the first stone mill for cold pressing of the olives of Monte Isola, operating in the village of Siviano from the year 1957 to the year 1962. Following the closure of the crusher , while the millstones were brought to the mainland to be sold, they fell sinking into the lake having been recovered in 1996 by the Sub Group of Monte Isola who donated it to the Municipality. They have been exhibited here in September of the year 2017


Arrival in Menzino and among the large stone houses stands out this shabby building, fortunately under renovation. This seventeenth-century building – Palazzo Zirotti – was donated to the Municipality at the beginning of the twentieth century by the owner Gianna Zirotti Richieri, fully furnished with outpatient facilities and medical equipment, to establish an independent medical conduct, then non-existent on the island. Since then this house became for the inhabitants “la cà dèl dutur”.


A little further on, there is a little gem that, approaching it, makes me feel a character of the books of Jane Austen: the Church of San Carlo, built for a vote after the plague epidemic of 1630

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From the uphill road that runs along the inner side of the island, we arrive at the Oldofredi castle, built in the fourteenth century on a rocky spur facing the Bergamo shore, from where it was possible to control the whole lake from north to south.Find detailed information here

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Arrival in Siviano. There are few places to admire the lake view…


…but this speed limit makes this place a heaven on earth!


In 1928 the municipality of Siviano was merged with Peschiera Maraglio, forming the new municipality of Monte Isola, embracing the entire lake island.
The church of Saints San Faustino and Giovita, dedicated to the Holy Martyrs of Brescia, built in the 16th century, was rebuilt in the same place between 1735 and 1754. Blessed in 1759 and definitively consecrated in 1946.

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Enchanting the local florist


The road is now downhill, and here it’s certainly the fairy’s place.


As soon as I turn the corner … there it is … my personal passion: the island of Loreto


The view is not exceptional, I know, but I have a picture I’ve taken previously: This marvelous small castle was built by Vincenzo Richeri, a captain of a ship in the Royal Navy and his wife, Giannina Zirotti of Sale Marasino (already mentioned above) in 1910.

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Continuing down the hill and I’m back again in Carzano


I Walk along the port waiting for the ferry



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I already find the posters hanged for the next Festa di Santa Croce:
In Carzano, every 5 years renews an ancient tradition where, for 4 days, between the sacred and the profane, a village adorns itself with flowers hand-made by the inhabitants. The ol festù del deaol (the festoon of the devil) so they call it in the “neighborhood” at Sale Marasino to underline the pomp considered excessive considering the possibilities of the fishermen, it is a party awaited and famous throughout the Sebino recalling, without exaggeration, thousands of tourists. Appointment in September 2020


On the ferry it is quite cold but I don’t give up on sitting outside


I greet “my” island but I know I’ll be back soon


The beautiful Sale Marasino welcomes me,  reflected in the waters of the lake


Last look at the lake sunset before return to my camping


I greet you, tired I must confess, from my sleeping-bag, wishing you enjoyed being around with me


To you the map of the island, the path I made is the outer one, in red from Carzano to Peschiera and in blue from Peschiera to Carzano


If you have questions and suggestions, write me in the comments
Ciao from yours Crackita