Presepe Siviano - ©Visit Monte Isola

Monte Isola, one of the Most beautiful small towns in Italy

After placing third in the European Best Destination 2019 list and receiving worldwide coverage in 2016 thanks to Christo’s installation “The Floating Piers“, Monte Isola is ready to welcome tourists from all over the world with its charming views, old fishermen villages, and beautiful natural itineraries.

Recognized as one of the “Most beautiful small towns in Italy”, the gem of Lake Iseo is defined by its timeless atmosphere and the absence of car circulation. Indeed, only scooters, bicycles, and a handle of service vehicles can ride on the island. This makes Monte Isola an ideal destination for relaxed family excursions and visits.

Do you want to experience an unforgettable weekend among the wonders of the largest lake island in Europe? Discover the must-dos and other activities offered on the island.

Monte Isola bike tour

As you arrive on the island, go to a bike rental shop, choose your favourite model, and hop on to discover the incredible panoramas of this small lake gem! You will ride through traditional fishermen villages on roads surrounded by olive trees with great views of the lake, the mountains all around, and San Paolo and Loreto islands.

The perimeter is 9.4 km. and does not involve particular challenges. The most athletic bikers can take the detour to the Shrine on top of the island. This route includes a steep ascent of 3 km. and in some points you will need to push your bike by hand.

Visit to Santuario Madonna della Ceriola (Shrine)

A charming sacred site and best panoramic spot of Monte Isola, it offers a 360° view on Lake Iseo and Franciacorta. You can’t leave the island without reaching the top and visiting Madonna della Ceriola Shrine, a symbol of unity for the Monte Isola community and interesting example of Baroque architecture built in the 15th century.

Santuario della Ceriola, Monte Isola

To reach the shrine on foot, follow the trail that starts from Peschiera Maraglio Tourist Office and winds through the village first and then into the woods (walk time: about 1.5 hours, altitude difference 450 m.). You can also bike up by turning right at the Church of San Carlo located in Via Sinchignano. Alternatively, you can take the bus.

Discover the old medieval villages

Peschiera Maraglio, Carzano, and Novale are only some of the places of interest in Monte Isola, with their centuries-long history. These are picturesque villages once inhabited by fishermen. Still today, they retain their unique charm, surrounded by the waters of lake Iseo, woods, and olive groves.

Peschiera Maraglio and Carzano, strategically located on the lake front, welcome visitors as they disembark. Novale overlooks Carzano and is composed of a small cluster of houses arranged to look like a long balcony, offering a breathtaking view.

Taste typical products

Monte Isola is renowned for its traditional products, like Monte Isola salami, extra-virgin olive oil, and dried sardines. There is an abundance of restaurants, trattorias, and inns offering traditional dishes and tasting menus.

Prodotti lago d'Iseo

How to reach Monte Isola

Monte Isola can be reached via ferry from most of the towns on Lake Iseo’s coastline. The most frequent rides (approximately every 20 minutes) connect Sulzano harbour with Peschiera Maraglio. The short ride on the waters is the perfect prelude to a day rich in emotions: an exciting experience that will make you feel as enthusiast as a child.

In Sulzano, there are numerous paid parking lots where to leave your car. The recommendation for those who come from Brescia is to take the train operated by Trenord (Brescia-Iseo-Edolo line) and get off at the Sulzano stop.

For information and details on Monte Isola churches, monuments, and guided tours, visit the  official website.