Escape to Lake Iseo: An Idyllic Retreat in Northern Italy

A Journey Through Lombardy's Best-Kept Secret: Relaxation and Adventure Await in Lombardy

The Oglio River feeds the fourth biggest lake in Lombardy, Italy, known as Sebino (Italian: Latin: Sebinus).

It is located in northern Italy, in the Val Camonica region, between the towns of Brescia and Bergamo. The lake is split approximately evenly between the provinces of Bergamo and Brescia. Northern Italy is noted for its heavily industrialized cities, with various natural lakes in between. Lake Iseo‘s natural environment is preserved, with lush green mountains around the crystal blue lake.

The lake is surrounded by many medieval towns, the biggest of which are Iseo and Sarnico. A significant tourism industry has evolved. A road has been constructed into the mountainside that is around the entire lake. Montisola Island, Loreto Island, and San Paolo Island are located in the center of the lake. The lake ferries that run regularly provide simple access.

Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s artwork, The Floating Piers, was exposed to the public on Lake Iseo for 16 days in June and July 2016. The Floating Piers was a collection of walkways built on Lake Iseo in Brescia. From June 18 to July 3, 2016, tourists could walk just above the water’s surface from the mainland settlement of Sulzano to the islands of Monte Isola and San Paolo.

The floating walkways were constructed from around 200,000 polyethylene cubes coated in 70,000 m2 of brilliant yellow fabric: 3 km of piers moved on the lake; another 1.5 km of golden fabric extended along the pedestrian streets in Sulzano and Peschiera Maraglio.All components were to be removed and repurposed following the show.

Dimensions of the Lake Iseo
Dimensions of the Lake Iseo

The Beretta family, proprietors of the world’s longest operational producer of weapon components and the major sidearm supplier to the US Army supported the installation. The Beretta family owns San Paolo Island, which is ringed by Floating Piers walkways. The work was favorably received by the Italian audience and reviewers alike.

Since 2018, the northern segment of the lake (known as Alto Sebino) has been designated as a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.

Dimensions of the Lake Iseo

The lake is 15.5 miles long, 3 miles wide, 820 feet deep, and has a surface area of 24 square miles (62 square kilometers).

The location of Lombardy

Lombardy, often known as Italian Lombardia, is a northern Italian region. It is bounded on the north by Switzerland, and on the south, east, and west by the Italian regions of Emilia-Romagna, Trentino-Alto Adige, and Veneto. Bergamo, Brescia, Como, Cremona, Lecco, Lodi, Mantova, Milano, Monza e Brianza, Pavia, Sondrio, and Varese are administratively part of Lombardy. Milan is the capital.

History of Iseo Lake in Lombardy, Italy

Lombardy was inhabited by Celtic peoples beginning in the fifth century BCE and was captured by Rome following the Second Punic War becoming part of Cisalpine Gaul. The territory suffered greatly during the barbarian invasions that brought the Western Roman Empire to an end, and it was the center of the kingdom of the Lombards, a Germanic tribe that gave the region its name, from 568 to 774 CE.

Iseo Lake in Lombardy, Italy
Iseo Lake in Lombardy, Italy

The Lombard state collapsed in 774, and Lombardy became part of the Frankish ruler Charlemagne’s realm. Following the disintegration of the Carolingian empire, several autonomous groups, usually cities governed by counts or bishops, formed in Lombardy.

The developing wealth of these cities by the 11th century was founded on the middle Po River valley’s function as a transit point for trade between the Mediterranean and the Trans-Alpine territories. Several Lombard cities, including Milan, Brescia, Cremona, and Bergamo, were able to defy their feudal masters and emerge into communes that were Europe’s commercial leaders at the time.

The Lombard communes reached the pinnacle of their power in the 12th century when they formed the Lombard League to resist encroachments by the emperor Frederick I Barbarossa; the league defeated the emperor at the Battle of Legnano in 1176 and forced him to recognize its members’ autonomy in the Peace of Constance (1183).

Hydrography of Lake Iseo

The Sarnico Dam, erected in Fosio in 1933, controls the lake’s level. The concrete and steel structure is controlled by the Consorzio dell’Oglio, which splits the extracted water between irrigation and hydropower applications.

Hydrography of Lake Iseo
Hydrography of Lake Iseo

Tributaries of Lake Iseo

The lake is fed by the following tributaries and streams, in addition to the Oglio River:

  1. Bergamo shore:
    • Borlezza
    • Rino di Vigolo
    • Rino di Predore
  2. Brescia shore:
    • Bangalore
    • Cortelo
    • Calchere
    • Opolo
Lake Iseo
Lake Iseo

The Comunes of Lake Iseo (Lombardy)

  1. Brescia
    • Iseo
    • Paratico
    • Sulzano
    • Marone
    • Pisogne
    • Montisola
    • Sale Marasino
  2. Bergamo
    • Sarnico
    • Lovere
    • Predore
    • Riva di Solto
    • Costa Volpino
    • Tavernola Bergamasca
    • Castro
Lake Iseo's view
Lake Iseo’s view

Lombardy Hotels on the Lake iseo

  • Esprit D’Hotel Panoramico
  • Harmony Suite Hotel
  • Cocca Hotel Royal Thai SPA
  • Ostello del Porto
  • Iseolago Hotel
  • Hotel San Pancrazio
  • Hotel Ulivi
  • Hotel Lovere Resort & Spa
  • Rizzi Aquacharme Hotel & Spa
  • Borgo Lovere
  • Historic Center

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