The 5 jewels of Monte Isola
Today private property, this lonely castle stands on a rocky outcrop on the highest part of the island and is one of the most distinctive monuments. Built in the fourteenth century by the noble family of the Oldofredi, the next century it was sold to the Martinengo family, masters of the island at the time; since then the defensive function of the fortress was not used. It was used as a residence for about a century but soon abandoned because of the isolated location, too far from the family interests. Fraught and hidden by greenery, this peaceful manor is certainly a must-see of Monte Isola for its noble origin and for the breathtaking scenery that can be admired from its ancient walls.
Known already in ancient times, the Monte Isola salami is a unique and exclusive typical traditional local product, prepared according to ancient and proven processes that still remain the same despite the passing of centuries. The particularity of this salami consists in the fact that the working is carried out exclusively by hand, thereby obtaining a mixture composed of large pieces of meat cut by the knife, which are mixed with spices and crushed garlic; everything is done then rest in the wine, then bagged, smoked and left to rest for a night hanging from the ceiling in a room with stone walls, where often a dry juniper wood fire burns constantly to give the aroma and the fragrance instantly recognizable.
In this picturesque village among the most beautiful of Italy you can still savor the traditions linked to the past, especially the history of the local fishermen, renowned since ancient times for the production of handmade fishing nets and the construction of the famous typical of Monte Isola boat, the "naet". In fact, in Peschiera they arose the first net manufacturers who then spread throughout the island, and some of these are still present today. The traces of history and legends then breathe through the narrow alleys, hidden houses, arches and stairs leading to the lake, alternating with stately villas of noble families. A small paradise for fishermen and a corner of the most fabulous places.
Small and exclusive, the Island of San Paolo is located just south of Monte Isola, and was once considered one of the desert abandoned rocks. In the eleventh century, the island became the property of the Mozzi family, who donated it to the monks of Cluny where they created a magnificent priory. At the end of the '400 the Fenaroli family instead founded the monastery of the Observants, wanting to respect the traditions of the place, the sacred and dedicated to contemplation and prayer. The monastery, however, was shot down in January 1783, and residents moved; now it has become a luxury home for summer holidays, an exquisite and exclusive hotel overlooking the spectacular setting of Lake Iseo.
This ancient and charming sanctuary is nestled on an outcrop of gray rock on the highest and most panoramic point of the island, from which you can admire the lake basin. Dedicated to Madonna of Ceriola, it was probably built on the ruins of a pagan temple of Roman origin, while the present structure dates back to XIV - XV centuries. The interior was modified in the XVI century with the addition of a new presbytery, date back to the middle of the sixteenth century, the bell tower and the stunning frescoes of the time. Inside stands a wooden statue of the Madonna, dating back at least to the sixteenth century and on the origin of which still circulate many legends. A place of silence where you can find peace and discover the history, yet another treasure of this beautiful island.