Monte Isola is a city and commune in the province of Brescia, in Lombardy. It is located on the islands of Montisola, Loreto and San Paolo in Lake Iseo. The population of Monte Isola develops in about eleven villages. There are several churches built between the 15th and 17th centuries with frescoes, statues and altars in folk art. In 2019, it was elected the third best European tourist destination, second only to Budapest and Braga.
Monte Isola has always been a special place for the craft production of boats and nets, and was named “Presidio Slow Food” due to the thousand-year tradition associated with the preservation of the “lake sardine”. Other specialties are olive oil and salami. Older and higher villages on the island are characterized by a century-old peasant culture. The Town Hall is located in Civiano, the most populous village and capital of the island. It can be reached by boat, descending to Porto Siviano, where the Museum of the Net is located. Peschiera is an interesting fishing village, closely connected with water, where the tourist office and the Museum of Fishing are located. In addition, visitors can see the islands of San Paolo and Loreto, Menzino with its fortress Carzano, where the Holy Cross festival is held every five years, known for the thousands of handmade paper flowers that fill its avenues.
Monte Isola includes 12 factions: Carzano, Cure, Massa, Menzino, Novale, Olzano, Peschiera Maralo, Porto di Siviano, Sensole, Senzano, Sinchinyano and Siviano. Bordering municipalities are Iseo, Marone, Sale Marazino, Sulzano, Parzanica, Bergamask Tavern and Sarnico. There are two main ports of Carzano and Pescheria with frequent ferry connections to the mainland’s neighboring villages, including Iseo.
Atrractions in Monte Isola:
Lake Iseo: the fourth largest lake in Lombardy, Italy, fed by the river Oglio. It is located in the north of the country in the region of Val Camonica, near the cities of Brescia and Bergamo. Lake Iseo is equally divided between the provinces of Bergamo and Brescia. Northern Italy is known for its industrialized cities, and there are several natural lakes between them. Lake Iseo preserves its natural environment with its lush green mountains surrounding the crystal clear lake.
Madonna della Ceriola: Sanctuary of the Madonna della Ceriola is a Roman Catholic church in the municipality of Monte Isola, Italy. It is located on the top of a lake island, also called Monte Isola.
Natural Reserve SEBINO: A natural park to discover the world famous nature reserve for the wide variety of birds that it takes. It is believed to be one of the most important birdwatching sights in Europe, with 17 species of nesting birds, such as the Eurasian warbler, little grebe, large reed warbler, bitten, water rail, common oatmeal, swamp warbler, cuckoo, Savi warbler, garganey , spotted crake, sedge moor, tit pendulum, coot, mallard, common moorhen, Setti moor and other migratory species.
With a total area of 12.8 square kilometers, Monte Isola is considered the largest lake island not only in Italy, but also in southern and central Europe. The peak of the island at an altitude of 600 meters above sea level is 419 meters above the average surface level of Lake Iseo, which makes Monte Isola one of the highest lake islands in Europe.