Top thing to do in Iseo town Italy – Sit on a bench to observe the panorama: the boats go by, the birds that fly very close to the water without ever getting wet. Iseo is a place to relax while observing nature but also to be discovered from a historical point of view.
A walk along the lakefront of Iseo is always pleasant, better if with a good ice cream. Iseo is also an excellent starting point for visiting Montisola and nearby towns.
What to see in Iseo? Here is our Top 10!
- Iseo lakefront
- The historic center of Iseo
- Iseo Castle
- The House on the Water
- Torbiere del Sebino Nature Reserve
- The Franciacorta road
- Shopping in the beautiful shops in the center
- The beach
1. Lungolago Iseo
Lungolago d’Iseo offers a beautiful walk. So let’s enjoy this virtual walk in Iseo with the following series of videos!
Exhibitions on the lakefront
The Iseo lakefront has hosted several exhibitions of works of art on several occasions, some of which are quite curious. These exhibitions enrich Iseo and give those who come to visit the possibility of being able to appreciate them and take a different photo than usual.
Below you can see an example of an exhibition in Iseo. These works exhibited in the summer of 2021 are very curious as they represent fruit and vegetables in a giant format! They give these places a real touch of color and one more reason to take a picture.
2. Iseo Historical Center
The center of Iseo is not very large but has a beautiful square, various shops and characteristic buildings.
Looking at the arcades and buildings that border Piazza Garibaldi, one can guess that Iseo has a long history behind it. Watch the following video and activate the subtitles. The subtitles in the video tell you the story of Iseo.
History Iseo Lake Iseo Italy
The origins of Iseo are lost in antiquity: its banks were inhabited since prehistoric times, as documented by the archaeological discovery of structures from the Bronze Age (13th century BC), which took place in the years 1999-2000 along the Via per Rovato.
However, the name seems to derive from the cult of the goddess Isis which refers to the Roman era; here in Iseo, in fact, the floors of a domus or villa have been found, in the upper part of the town, dating back to the 1st century AD. c.
Iseo’s fortune began in the early Middle Ages when the presence of the Pieve, the port market and the Castle promoted the town as the most important center of the Sebina area.
The first mention of the presence of a castle in Iseo dates back to the end of the 9th and beginning of the 10th century. However, it is from the first centuries of the late Middle Ages that the castle, located on a rocky outcrop at the southern edge of the historic centre, came to constitute the pinnacle and fulcrum of the defenses of the medieval town.
The town was accessed through three gates: the Porta del Campo on the Via per Rovato, the Porta delle Mirolte, facing the mountain, and the Porta del Porciolo on the Via for the Sebina Riviera and Valle Camonica.
Between the 12th and 14th centuries, the town was involved in the wars with the Municipality of Brescia and in the disputes between the empire and the papacy, experiencing dramatic moments such as in the case of the siege and sack that took place on 28 July 1161 by the army of Federico Barbarossa.
However, Iseo retained a high level of wealth such as to allow the construction of religious buildings of great quality (pieve di S. Andrea and church of S. Silvestro) and the diffusion of civil building in stone that can still be found in the districts today of Sombrico and Campo.
In 1454 Venice stably extended its possessions to the provinces of Brescia and Bergamo, a dominion it will keep for about three and a half centuries. While remaining within the fourteenth-century walls, the town renovated its buildings, especially in the central part of today’s Piazza Garibaldi, and slowly conquered building land by subtracting it from the lake.
The years between 1820 and 1860 were characterized by a strong economic expansion: spinning mills, factories and tanneries were located on the shore of the lake to take advantage of the water necessary for manufacturing processes and for the ease of transporting goods by barge.
Another source of wealth for Iseo was the port, which was expanded, and the market which took place twice a week.
In 1840 the medieval gates were demolished and, in the same years, the architect Rodolfo Vantini built the new Palazzo dei Grani (now the Town Hall) and completely restructured the interior of the parish church of S. Andrea.
At the end of the 19th century, the Brescia-Iseo railway line was built and connected to the port (now Viale della Repubblica) by demolishing the medieval houses in the Campo district.
After the Second World War, Iseo regained its economic centrality in the Lower Sebino area, above all thanks to the rediscovery of its tourist vocation.
3. The Castle of Iseo
A few steps from the square of Iseo, we find an interesting castle that houses the Municipal Library and sometimes free exhibitions and shows take place.
Seeing the castle of Iseo is a great way to learn more about this place’s history and an excuse to get away from the usual route.
The fortified castle complex is one of the best preserved examples of late medieval military architecture in the province of Brescia. The castle is traditionally called Oldofredi due to the presence in Iseo of this noble family of the Ghibelline side, favoring the Visconti and Scaligeri and bitter opponent of the Venetian Republic.
4. The house on the water
Following the lakefront, to the left of the pier looking at Lake Iseo, we come to a very characteristic and extremely photographed house.
The house overlooks the water directly and has an arch-shaped bridge in front of it to allow the passage of boats. This is the same bridge that you walk along the lake.
5. Monte Isola
Among the waters of Lake Iseo is the majestic island of Monte Isola. The name makes you well imagine the appearance and conformation of this island. Monte Isola is in fact a mountain in the middle of the lake as well as being the largest lake island in Italy.
See the following post: The largest lake island in Italy: Lake Iseo Monte Isola what to see?
How to reach Monte Isola?
How to reach Monte Isola? Reaching Monte Isola is very simple thanks to the boat service on Lake Iseo. To take the boat, just go to the Iseo landing stage and buy the boat ticket directly on site at the ticket office.
A return ticket for an adult from Iseo to Monte Isola costs around 8 euros.
Where to get off in Monte Isola? Monte Isola, as we have just said, is very large and it is possible to go down by boat at several points. However, the best choice is to get off at Peschiera Maraglio as it is a town with its own lakeside promenade, bars, shops and other services.
What to do in Monte Isola?
What to do in Monte Isola? A visit to Monte Isola is a pleasant trip both for those who want to relax in front of the lake and for those who want to take a nice walk or explore the island. Here’s what to do in Monte Isola:
- Walk or sightseeing in Peschiera Maraglio
- Walk towards Località Sensole
- Tour of the island by bicycle
Peschiera Maraglio is a very characteristic village where it is pleasant to take a walk along the lakefront or relax with a coffee in one of the bars along the lakefront.
Walk towards Località Sensole
From Peschiera Maraglio, a beautiful walk takes you outside the town center towards Località Sensole. If you leave the town behind you and have the lake on your left, you can start this walk and arrive at a space equipped for picnics with wooden tables and benches. In this area you will also find a playground for children.
Continuing the walk, you also come to a bar/ice cream shop.
Idea: Between Peschiera Maraglio and the Sensole area we have a beautiful walk along the lakeside. About halfway along this walk, there is also an ice cream shop. If you had lunch in Iseo and want to have a coffee on the island, you can get off at Peschiera Maraglio and then you can take the opportunity to take a walk and in about ten minutes or a quarter of an hour maximum, you will be at the ice cream shop.
Tour of the island by bicycle
One of Monte Isola’s most beautiful and characteristic activities is the complete tour of the island by bicycle. Bicycles can be hired in Peschiera Maraglio; therefore, bringing your own to the island is unnecessary.
To find bicycles to rent, just walk along the lakefront of Peschiera Maraglio and you will easily notice several shops or businesses where you can rent them.
Monte Isola bike rental prices
How much does it cost to rent bicycles in Monte Isola? Prices are roughly as follows:
- 4 euros for the first hour
- 3.50 euros for the following hours
- 12 euros for 4 hours
- 18 euros for the whole day
Sunset and Evening in Iseo
The perfect end to the day? A pizza or pasta dish with a glass of Franciacorta bubbles. What more do you want?
The whole thing is made more beautiful by a wonderful sunset, as seen in the following short videos.
7. Torbiere del Sebino Nature Reserve
The “Torbiere del Sebino” Nature Reserve is a Reserve of the Lombardy Region and is located a few minutes drive from Iseo. This natural reserve is a beautiful place to go for walks in nature.
8. The Beach
Here in Iseo, near the centre, there is a small beach where you can lie down and relax by the lake.
9. Downtown shops
A little shopping doesn’t hurt and especially for women, browsing the shops is a great pastime.
10. Franciacorta road
The Franciacorta road is easily accessible from Iseo as well as from Sarnico. Here is the map of the road to follow.
Top thing to do in Iseo town Italy
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