A MAGICAL PLACE

Bergamo’s beautiful upper town, the Città Alta (pictured above), is a magical place well worth visiting. Use this website to help you plan your trip to Bergamo in Northern Italy and find your way to some of the other lovely towns and villages in Lombardia that are perhaps less well known to tourists.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Get away from it all on Monte Isola


Peschiera Maraglio at the foot of Monte Isola
Only a few kilometres from Bergamo in the middle of Lago d’Iseo lies an island that provides a perfect escape from the modern world.
If you would like to experience unspoilt, natural scenery and enjoy some peace and quiet for a day, head for Monte Isola, a green oasis where there are hardly any cars.
The largest lake island not only in Italy but in the whole of central and southern Europe, Monte Isola can often be seen by passengers about to land at Bergamo's Caravaggio (Orio al Serio) airport as Lago d'Iseo sits under the flightpath of many incoming aircraft. The island rises to a peak of about 600 metres above the surface of the lake.
Relax by the peaceful lake shore
There are several points around Lago d’Iseo from where you can take a ferry to Monte Isola, but the shortest crossing is from Sulzano on the Brescia side of the lake.
Take the train from Bergamo to Brescia and then change to the local Ferrovienord train that runs along the side of the lake in the direction of Edolo. It will pass through the resort of Iseo before it reaches Sulzano. It is a short walk from the railway station in Sulzano to the imbarcadero (jetty), where you can buy boat tickets and get tourism information leaflets. After a few minutes on the ferry you will be disembarking at Peschiera Maraglio, an old fishing village on Monte Isola.
You will see rows of motorbikes and bicycles belonging to residents close to the landing stage. Only a few important people on the island, such as the doctor and the mayor, are allowed cars.
You can choose either to walk round the island using the peaceful paths that run alongside the lake or hire a bicycle to get around on.  A complete circuit of the island will take you only about two hours.
Tempting fish specialities at Ristorante Milano
If you want lunch before you set off to explore, a good place to try is Ristorante Milano on the waterfront near Peschiera’s Tourist Office, which serves fresh fish caught from the lake.
From Peschiera Maraglio it is a comfortable walk to the other side of the island and Monte Isola’s main village, Siviano. The path runs through olive groves and you will see lovely views of the lake and of another, smaller island, Isola di San Paolo, as you walk. It takes about an hour on foot to reach Piazza Municipio in Siviano where there is a bar for refreshments.
Isola di San Paolo
From there, it is a short walk down to the imbarcadero below Siviano, from where the boats leave for Tavernola Bergamasca on the Bergamo side of the lake. From the pretty resort of Tavernola Bergamasca you can catch a bus back to Bergamo.
Or, you can ride back to Peschiera Maraglio on the island’s small bus, which leaves from Piazza Municipio, to take the boat back to Sulzano from where you can return by train to Brescia.



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