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Iseo - Paradise on a lake.

Peschiera Maraglio on Monte Isola. - Lago d' Iseo

Peschiera Maraglio on Monte Isola. - Lago d' Iseo

Iseo.

We bought a travel pass for the Lombardy Region on our last visit to Italy and noticed that we could travel on the boats on Lake Iseo free of charge. Add that to the fact we were based in Brescia, located around twenty-five minutes away from Iseo by train and we were bound to visit. And visit we did. On our first visit we found this lake and surroundings so beautiful that we changed our travel plans in order to visit Lake Iseo again. We were not disappointed.

On visit number one, we explored the lovely town of Iseo, the largest place on the lake. We explored the main square, castle and a beautiful church. Then we took a boat to Peschiera Maraglio on the wonderful island of Monte Isola. After wandering the shoreline and exploring the church, we took a boat to Sulzano back on the mainland.

Ferry on Lago d'Iseo. - Lago d' Iseo

Ferry on Lago d'Iseo. - Lago d' Iseo

On visit number two, we returned to Iseo and explored another stunning church. Then we took a ferry to the tiny village of Sensole, nestling under its hilltop castle, back on the Island of Monte Isola. We walked from there along the shoreline past a cat sanctuary and rows of drying fish back to Peschiera Maraglio. From there we returned to Sulzano for a more leisurely look around than on our first visit. We wandered around the lakeside and then up to the church before departing by train back to Brescia.

Peschiera Maraglio, Monte Isola. - Lago d' Iseo

Peschiera Maraglio, Monte Isola. - Lago d' Iseo

Lake Iseo is located between Lake Garda and Lake Como. It is a long, narrow and surrounded by mountains. For some reason it is not as well known as the other two lakes and is therefore mercifully peaceful to visit.

Iseo Village

Iseo is the name of the lake but it is also the name of the biggest town on the lake. Iseo town has a population of around 9,000. You can get there easily by train from Brescia and it has a ferry service to other places on the lake. Iseo's main square is the Piazza Garibaldi. There is a statue of Garibaldi in the centre of this square. Some of the houses on this square still have fragments of the frescoes that were once painted on their walls. There is a second square with a statue down by the waterfront and the tourist office is supposedly near this square, though we did not visit it. Iseo has an old castle which contains a small war museum. Iseo has several very beautiful churches.

Iseo Village

Iseo Village

Iseo Village

Iseo Village

Iseo Village

Iseo Village

Iseo Village

Iseo Village

Iseo Village

Iseo Village

Oldofredi Castle

We walked up the hill away from the lake until we came to Oldofredi Castle. This castle was built at the end of the 11th century. It was named after the Ghibelline Oldofredi family who originally came from Iseo. It was burnt down by Barbarossa during his war with Italy and later restored by Giacomo Oldofredi in 1161. In 1586 the castle became a monastery for Franciscan friars. Nowadays it is a war museum. I was surprised to see how large the castle windows were at the back, not really in keeping with its style. The war museum inside is free entry and apparently interesting, but as we arrived at lunch time it was shut and we did not go inside.

Oldofredi Castle

Oldofredi Castle

Oldofredi Castle

Oldofredi Castle

Oldofredi Castle

Oldofredi Castle

Our Lady Of The Snow

Next to the castle there is a lovely church called the Our Lady of the Snow. This church was built on the remains of an older church called the church of St. Stephen. In 1655 a crippled man regained his ability to walk after praying in front of a fresco of the Holy Family on the wall next to the old church.This miracle prompted the rebuilding of the ruined church and it was renamed as Our Lady of the Snow. This church was beautifully decorated and very peaceful inside.

Our Lady Of The Snow

Our Lady Of The Snow

Our Lady Of The Snow

Our Lady Of The Snow

Our Lady Of The Snow

Our Lady Of The Snow

Our Lady Of The Snow

Our Lady Of The Snow

Garibaldi Square

This is the main square in the town of Iseo. In the centre of this square there stands a statue of Garibaldi. He is in front of the town hall, which was the former Vantini Palace. This is a nice area to take a rest in.

Garibaldi Square

Garibaldi Square

The Parish Church Of S. Andrea

On our second visit to Iseo, we visited the parish church of S. Andrea. This church is quite plain on the outside, but beautiful on the inside. I especially loved the nativity scene which even had sound effects such as running water, baaing sheep and cockerels crowing. This church was founded in the 6th century by Bishop San Vigilio. It has an unusual bell tower. There is a tomb on the outside wall of the church. There are several lovely paintings inside the church.

The Parish Church Of S. Andrea:

The Parish Church Of S. Andrea:

The Parish Church Of S. Andrea:

The Parish Church Of S. Andrea:

The Parish Church Of S. Andrea:

The Parish Church Of S. Andrea:

The Parish Church Of S. Andrea:

The Parish Church Of S. Andrea:

The Parish Church Of S. Andrea:

The Parish Church Of S. Andrea:

Walk Along The Lake Front.

There is a walkway along the lakefront which is very pleasant to stroll along. From here you can enjoy beautiful lake land scenery. There are many boats on the waters. There are also lots of ducks and swans.

Walk Along The Lake Front.

Walk Along The Lake Front.

Walk Along The Lake Front.

Walk Along The Lake Front.

Walk Along The Lake Front.

Walk Along The Lake Front.

Peschiera Maraglio

Peschiera Maraglio is a stunningly lovely little fishing village on Monte Isola. We strolled along its waterfront and climbed up its steep narrow streets to its attractive church. The church was beautiful inside, but we could not photograph it as there was a service going on. Near the ferry pier some old photos of women repairing fishing nets were on display. The waterfront was beautifully decorated for Christmas. From Peschiera Maraglio there are great views towards Sulzano and its surrounding mountains. There is quite a frequent ferry service between Peschiera Maraglio and Sulzano.

Peschiera Maraglio

Peschiera Maraglio

Peschiera Maraglio

Peschiera Maraglio

Peschiera Maraglio

Peschiera Maraglio

Peschiera Maraglio

Peschiera Maraglio

Peschiera Maraglio

Peschiera Maraglio

Peschiera Maraglio - Steep,Narrow Streets.

We left the waterfront to climb up to the lovely old village church and really enjoyed wandering Peschiera Maraglio's steep narrow streets. There was a service going on in the church during our visit.

Peschiera Maraglio - Steep, Narrow Streets.

Peschiera Maraglio - Steep, Narrow Streets.

Peschiera Maraglio - Steep, Narrow Streets.

Peschiera Maraglio - Steep, Narrow Streets.

Peschiera Maraglio - Steep, Narrow Streets.

Peschiera Maraglio - Steep, Narrow Streets.

Peschiera Maraglio - Steep, Narrow Streets.

Peschiera Maraglio - Steep, Narrow Streets.

Peschiera Maraglio - Steep, Narrow Streets.

Peschiera Maraglio - Steep, Narrow Streets.

Peschiera Maraglio - The Church

As you approach Peschiera Maraglio from the water, you well see its skyline is dominated by a beautiful yellow church. This is the Church of S. Michele. It was consecrated in 1648. The church is wonderful inside and has many frescoes on its walls and ceiling. As there was a service on when we visited, we could not photograph the inside of the church.

Peschiera Maraglio - The Church

Peschiera Maraglio - The Church

Peschiera Maraglio - The Church

Peschiera Maraglio - The Church

Peschiera Maraglio - The Waterfront.

Peschiera Maraglio has a walkway along its waterfront from which you can enjoy some absolutely stunning scenery. Our visit coincided with one of the few moments of this holiday when the sun came out, but there was lots of snow on the surrounding hills adding to the wonderful views.

Peschiera Maraglio - The Waterfront.

Peschiera Maraglio - The Waterfront.

Peschiera Maraglio - The Waterfront.

Peschiera Maraglio - The Waterfront.

Peschiera Maraglio - The Waterfront.

Peschiera Maraglio - The Waterfront.

Peschiera Maraglio - The Waterfront.

Peschiera Maraglio - The Waterfront.

Peschiera Maraglio - The Waterfront.

Peschiera Maraglio - The Waterfront.

Christmas On Peschiera Maraglio

I liked the Christmas decorations along the waterfront and around the town at Peschiera Maraglio, too. It is always wonderful to visit Italy at Christmas. I especially adore nativity scenes and there are always plenty of these around.

Christmas On Peschiera Maraglio

Christmas On Peschiera Maraglio

Christmas On Peschiera Maraglio

Christmas On Peschiera Maraglio

Christmas On Peschiera Maraglio

Christmas On Peschiera Maraglio

Christmas On Peschiera Maraglio

Christmas On Peschiera Maraglio

Christmas On Peschiera Maraglio

Christmas On Peschiera Maraglio

Sulzano

Sulzano is on the mainland on the shores of Lake Iseo. There is a regular ferry service between Sulzano and Peschiera Maraglio. They are opposite each other. We visited Sulzano twice. Our first visit involved running from one ferry pier to another to catch a boat. Our second visit was more leisurely. We strolled the waterfront then walked up to the church. It was locked unfortunately, so we did not see inside. The train station is right next to the church. We took the train out of Sulzano on our second visit.

Sulzano

Sulzano

Sulzano

Sulzano

Sulzano

Sulzano

Sulzano

Sulzano

Sulzano

Sulzano

Sulzano Streets

Sulzano is a small place but it has some lovely quaint streets to explore. The buildings are brightly painted in a wide variety of colours. Its lake side scenery is also very attractive. It is a peaceful and calm place.

Sulzano Streets

Sulzano Streets

Sulzano Streets

Sulzano Streets

Sulzano Streets

Sulzano Streets

Sulzano Streets

Sulzano Streets

Sulzano Streets

Sulzano Streets

Sulzano Waterfront

As with all the places on Lake Iseo we visited, Sulzano had a lovely waterfront backed by colourful houses and filled with gently bobbing boats. You can get here by boat or train. You can take boats from here to other places on Lake Iseo.

Sulzano Waterfront

Sulzano Waterfront

Sulzano Waterfront

Sulzano Waterfront

Sulzano Waterfront

Sulzano Waterfront

Sulzano Waterfront

Sulzano Waterfront

Sulzano Waterfront

Sulzano Waterfront

Sulzano Church

This lovely church dates from the eighteenth century. I am not sure of its name. It was locked when we visited. It is located next to Sulzano train station. We just had a wander around the outside of the building.

Sulzano Church

Sulzano Church

Sulzano Church

Sulzano Church

Sulzano Church

Sulzano Church

Sulzano Church

Sulzano Church

Sensole

On our second visit to Monte Isola we went by ferry from Iseo to Sensole. This is a tiny place nestling under a castle perched on its hill. There is a little island offshore and there is a scenic walk from here to Peschiera Maraglio along the waterfront.

Sensole

Sensole

Sensole

Sensole

Sensole

Sensole

Sensole

Sensole

Sensole

Sensole

Cat Sanctuary

At one point on this walk we past a rather attractive cat sanctuary filled with our little feline friends.

Cat Sanctuary

Cat Sanctuary

Cat Sanctuary

Cat Sanctuary

Cat Sanctuary

Cat Sanctuary

Sensole Castle

Sensole sits nestled under a ruined hilltop castle. It is called Rocca Martinengo and dates from the 15th century. Its original name was Rocca Oldofredi. We did not climb up to the ruin. We just took some photos of it. If you look back on the walk from Sensole to Peschiera Maraglio, there are lovely views of Sensole with the castle towering over it.

Sensole Castle

Sensole Castle

Sensole Castle

Sensole Castle

Sensole Castle

Sensole Castle

Sensole Castle

Sensole Castle

Sensole Castle

Sensole Castle

Sensole Village

Sensole is a tiny village. When we visited it was decorated for Christmas. Its Christmas tree had some rather unusual coke can decorations. The harbourfront at Sensole was very pretty and lovely for a stroll.

Sensole Village

Sensole Village

Sensole Village

Sensole Village

Sensole Village

Sensole Village

Sensole Village

Sensole Village

Sensole Village

Sensole Village

Walking To Peschiera Maraglio From Sensole

This walk took us around half an hour, walking at a leisurely pace and taking photos. The views back to Sensole were absolutely lovely. The walk is entirely along the waterfront so the scenery is superb.

Walking To Peschiera Maraglio From Sensole

Walking To Peschiera Maraglio From Sensole

Walking To Peschiera Maraglio From Sensole

Walking To Peschiera Maraglio From Sensole

Walking To Peschiera Maraglio From Sensole

Walking To Peschiera Maraglio From Sensole

Walking To Peschiera Maraglio From Sensole

Walking To Peschiera Maraglio From Sensole

Walking To Peschiera Maraglio From Sensole

Walking To Peschiera Maraglio From Sensole

Walking From Sensole - Drying Fish.

On our walk from Sensole, we passed lots of fish drying in the sun. Most of the villages on Monte Isola are fishing communities. The stacks of drying fish are in my opinion highly photogenic. It would have been nice to go for a fish meal around here, too.

Walking From Sensole - Drying Fish.

Walking From Sensole - Drying Fish.

Walking From Sensole - Drying Fish.

Walking From Sensole - Drying Fish.

Walking From Sensole - Drying Fish.

Walking From Sensole - Drying Fish.

Walking From Sensole - Drying Fish.

Walking From Sensole - Drying Fish.

Walking From Sensole - Drying Fish.

Walking From Sensole - Drying Fish.

Wildlife On The Lake

Lake Iseo was filled with a huge assortment of greedy seagulls, squabbling ducks and graceful swans. It was extremely interesting to walk along the waterfront and watch the antics of all these wild birds.

Wildlife On The Lake

Wildlife On The Lake

Wildlife On The Lake

Wildlife On The Lake

Wildlife On The Lake

Wildlife On The Lake

Wildlife On The Lake

Wildlife On The Lake

Wildlife On The Lake

Wildlife On The Lake

Nativity Scenes

I absolutely love nativity scenes and the ones at Lago d'Iseo were wonderful. I really enjoy simple nativity scenes, not too over the top. The ones there had a fishing theme which I really liked. On Monete Isola, Jesus, Mary and Joseph were placed inside a toy boat under a Christmas tree. In Iseo the nativity scene was displayed in three rowing boats on the harbour.

Nativity Scenes

Nativity Scenes

Nativity Scenes

Nativity Scenes

Nativity Scenes

Nativity Scenes

Nativity Scenes

Nativity Scenes

San Paolo Island.

We did not go to this tiny island. We just looked at it from Sensole. I believe the island is privately owned. A Cluniac monastery once stood here in the 11th century. Nowadays there is a villa. I took my photos using a powerful zoom.

San Paolo Island.

San Paolo Island.

San Paolo Island.

San Paolo Island.

San Paolo Island.

San Paolo Island.

The Madonna Della Ceriola Sanctuary

Standing on the shore at Sulzano looking towards Monte Isola, I saw a building right at the top of the island. At first I thought it was a castle, then I realised it was a church. It turned out to be the Madonna della Ceriola Sanctuary which dates from the seventeenth century. In this church apparently you can see a painting of the Madonna and several frescoes dating from the sixteenth century. You can climb up to the church via the village of Cure and you will pass the stations of the cross on route. We did not go here. I just photoed it using my zoom.

The Madonna Della Ceriola Sanctuary

The Madonna Della Ceriola Sanctuary

The Madonna Della Ceriola Sanctuary

The Madonna Della Ceriola Sanctuary

Getting To Iseo

We got to Iseo by train from Brescia. The train was going to a place called Breno. Some trains may go all the way to Edolo. The train travels the full length of the lake's eastern shore and the scenery is beautiful. The train stops in Iseo town and in Sulzano. There were trains once an hour. The journey to Iseo took about 25 minutes. Trains left from Brescia West platforms - two smaller platforms at the end of platform one.

Getting To Iseo

Getting To Iseo

Getting Around The Lake

We travelled around Lake Iseo by boat. We got on the boat from the waterfront in Iseo town and travelled to Monte Isola. You must check schedules carefully in advance as there can be long gaps between boats. The service operates all year, but is more frequent in summer. From Peschiera Maraglio there was a frequent service to Sulzano and back. At one point we took a boat from Iseo to Sensole on Monte Isola then walked to Peschiera Maraglio and took a boat to Sulzano from there. The walk was scenic and took around half an hour or so.

Getting Around The Lake

Getting Around The Lake

Getting Around The Lake

Getting Around The Lake

Getting Around The Lake

Getting Around The Lake

Getting Around The Lake

Getting Around The Lake

Sulzano Train Station.

There is a small train station in Sulzano from which trains run along the eastern side of Lake Iseo. We caught the train back to Brescia from here. The station has a free, clean toilet and a little waiting room. It is right next to Sulzano Church.

Sulzano Train Station

Sulzano Train Station

Sulzano Train Station

Sulzano Train Station

Posted by irenevt 06:26 Archived in Italy

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Comments

A cat sanctuary and rows of drying fish sounds like kitty heaven. Loved the cat pictures. Looks like you had a mixture of weather.

The nativity scene on a boat was wonderful. I've never seen anything like it.

by Beausoleil

Hi Sally, yes there were certainly some happy cats around there.

by irenevt

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