There are castles, convents and villas dotted all around Franciacorta and the Lake Iseo area. Many of the churches in and around Iseo Town have some remarkable and little known art. There are also a number of museums that are well worth a visit (these will be listed soon). The itinerary below can be done in less than a day and gives a glimpse of the hidden history of the Franciacorta area. The numbers correspond to those on the maps. See the bottom of th epage for a general map.
1. San Pietro in Provaglio d’Iseo’s Lamosa Monastery looks out over the Torbiere del Sebino natural reserve. The reserve is what remains of a peat bog that used to provide fuel for the silk factories in the 18th and 19th centuries.
2. Corte Franca has a number of notable aristocratic villas including the Palazzo Torri, Palazzo Barboglio de Gainoncelli, Villa Lana.
3. Adro features the 17th century Palazzo del Municipio (now the town hall) which was once known as the Bargnani Dandolo and the Shrine of Madonna della Neve, which was built after the Virgin Mary allegedly appeared to a deaf and dumb shepherd boy.
4. Erbusco’s 16th century Villa Lechi is is worth a visit as is the old town with its ruined castle and Romantic Parish of Santa Maria which contains 15th century frescoes and original apse which dates back to 1100.
5. Cazzago San Martino has other charming villas: Villa Orlando, known as Castle of Bornato and Villa Telloni Cazzago.
6. Passirano’s Castle is notable for its crenelated walls, square tower and two angular turrets, built during the 14th and 16th century.
7. Past Paderno is Rodengo Saiano, where St. Nicholas Abbey was founded by the Benedictines in the 11th century and then rebuilt and adorned during the `5th century by the Olivetans.
8. Ome, is famous for its spa which was discovered in 1866.
9. In the hamlet of Cerezzata there is a 15th century Sanctuary of Madonna della Rosa. This is on the way to the little hamlet of Gaina, which is the starting point for the “waterfall path” - a beautiful nature walk in a canyon (great for children).
10. Finaly, the return journey passes through the village of Provezze, in Provaglio d’Iseo and past several vineyards in which Franciacorta wine is produced.