The world heard about Lake Iseo in 2016, when Bulgarian artist Christo showed his latest installation. The Floating Piers, or floating piers, surrounded the island of Monte Isola and the nearby Isola di San Paolo. Crowds came to the lake. Everyone wanted to put their feet on a yellow plastic platform. The bridge madness ended as soon as it started. The Christo installation was dismantled after two weeks. Silence and calm returned to the lake. Something you will not find in the crowd of people on Garda or Lake Como. Iseo is still a little-known gem, located only 30 kilometers from Bergamo airport and a great, untrammelled place for a peaceful rest.
Lago di Iseo
Lake Iseo is smaller than Garda. It takes 2-3 hours to cycle around it or swim from top to bottom. Thanks to this, many interesting places scattered around the lake are within easy reach. There are so many of these places that we cannot describe them in one post. First we will show you what is worth seeing in the mountainous north. Just like on Lake Garda, the further north you go, the more mountainous the shores of the lake become. The highest mountain is Monte Colombina (1459 m), from which, in good weather, there is a beautiful view of the lake, for which it is worth to climb it or one of the surrounding mountains.
In the mountains around Iseo
When we entered the mountain, a delicate sea was floating over the lake. On one side it spoiled the visibility a bit, on the other side it gave the views a charm. And you didn't overhear, we were driving up the mountain in field jeeps. It was shaking terribly, but every now and then a picturesque lake looked from behind the horizon. Every now and then we had to stop and look at it. Once on the side of the roadside stood a painter with easels, absorbed the views and carried them on canvas. We absorbed them together. When we reached the mountain in the Trattoria delle Sette Colli, or Trattoria of the Seven Hills, which is more than 1000 meters away, the Italian mamma was making polenta in a metal bucket.
We entered the mountain and looked towards the lake. From this perspective, the Iseo looks extremely dignified and gives the impression of a great hilly land flooded with water. This impression is probably the effect of the shape of the lake winding in the shape of a s letter, from its surface every now and then a more or less mountainous islet protrudes. We went downstairs, polenta was already ready. Nowhere does it taste as good as in the Italian mountains.
Bogn - picturesque bay near Riva di Solto
After the mountains it was time for water. We went to an unusual bay on Riva di Solto, called il Bogn. It is also called a natural rocky amphitheater. It is said to be one of the favorite places of Iseo inhabitants on the water in this part of the lake. I am not at all surprised. Fairytale views of the surrounding islands, high rocky cliffs, from which every now and then someone jumps to clean, refreshing water. Somewhere in the distance several boats moor on the water. From the bay to the Riva di Solto there is a tunnel in the rock and then the coast with small rocky beaches. In one of the caves there is an unpretentious bar with a large barbecue. Unfortunately we were too early to see what would land on it. Probably fish for which the cuisine in the lake region is famous. But the smell of barbecue still floated in the air. A few steps further on, beachgoers were drinking their own delicacies. Time passes slowly here, one can say that it even stopped. In such a beautiful place, it simply does not matter.
Charming towns and earth pyramids
In the north our base was the beautiful town of Lovere, we spent a lovely evening and afternoon there. We have so much to tell you about it that we thought it deserved a separate post, you will read about it here: The picturesque Lovere on Lake Iseo. In the morning we set off on the other side of the lake in the direction of... pyramids. We did not expect that. Pyramids in Italy on the lake in Lombardy? But before we reached them we stopped in Pisogne. From Lovere you can get there by boat. It takes 12 minutes and costs 2 euros. Anyway, that was our plan, but the weather was different. It greeted us with a downpour, so we went ashore. In Pisogne there is the Church of Santa Maria della Neve, called the Sistine Chapel of the Poor. Of course, because of the beautiful frescoes, if you will pass by, it is worth seeing them. We moved further along the east coast.
Parco Regionale delle Piramidi di Zone
Finally, we saw the Italian pyramids, or Pyramids di Zone. They emerged from among the dense green bushes, wrapped in white and grey clouds that decided to add climate and mystery to this place that day. They were not built by man, they were created by nature. They were created as a result of erosion caused by carbonic acid. The largest of them are over 30 meters high and up to 8 meters in diameter at the base. They have different shapes and colors, but most of them end in a rocky dome, the largest ones are even 4 meters in diameter. When we learned about their existence before leaving, we knew that we had to see them. Unfortunately, it was raining, or rather still raining, so we had to let go of the