Montisola is, as the name implies, a mountain in the lake, a Monte Isola, the largest lake island in Southern Europe. Visiting it is like taking a step back in time, in a place where there are no cars but only motorbikes and bicycles that move between the 12 hamlets of the Municipality, some on the lakeside and others in the mountains. The municipal area also includes the two small islets of San Paolo and Loreto which are private and therefore not open to visitors.
The coastal road that runs along the lake is a walk of just over 10 km that can be covered on foot or by bicycle. A slightly more demanding itinerary is the walk of about an hour to reach the top of Montisola, where the Sanctuary of the Madonna della Ceriola is located, the first church dedicated to the Madonna built in the area of Lake Iseo in the 5th century, then remodeled in 1600.
An attraction to visit is the Museum of the Net. Montisola was one of the major centers in the world for the construction of fishing nets: for many centuries the production of nets was the main source of livelihood for the inhabitants of the island.
Finally, you cannot miss the purchase and tasting of typical local products, first of all the “Sardines” of Montisola (in reality they are agoni di lago), a Slow Food presidium, and the Salame di Montisola, in which the meat is knife and not ground.
To reach the island, you can embark on the ferries that depart from different piers on Lake Iseo and arrive at the hamlets of Peschiera Maraglio to the south and Carzano to the north.
Link: Lago di Iseo navigation