An hour north-east of Milan lies Franciacorta, Lombardy’s wine growing region, located close to picturesque Lake Iseo. The countryside of Franciacorta is sprinkled with cultivated vineyards and medieval castles. It’s also home to one of the largest outlet shopping malls in the Lombardy region of Italy.
Lake Iseo is one of the lesser known northern Italian lakes, but it is just as beautiful as its more populated neighbours, Lakes Como and Garda. The picturesque town of Iseo is home to Oldofredi Castle. Constructed in the late 11th and early 12th centuries, the Oldofredi Castle is one of the best-preserved examples of medieval military history. The town is also home to Pieve St. Andrea, a beautiful church built on the site of an ancient Roman temple. Located between the cities of Milan and Verona, the Unesco city of Brescia is a wonderful place to visit on route to Lake Iseo or Garda. Explore the site of an ancient Roman Forum, or the Museo della Città which houses an array of interesting archaeological finds from the area. Many travellers make their way to Franciacorta solely to sample the regional wines, as it is home of the Chardonnay-Pinot Noir grape which produces a sparkling wine, red wine or still white, all of which are popular throughout the world. Take a wine tasting tour and sample some of the Franciacorta grapes, learn about the harvest and the process of winemaking from some of the world’s experts. No visit to the Lombardy region would be complete without a mandatory shopping expedition. Fortunately, Franciacorta is home to its own outlet village shopping mall. For lovers of Italian fashion who prefer their favourite designer stores under one roof, this is the place to be.
The closest airport to Franciacorta is Bergamo Orio al Serio International. Coaches frequently depart to Brescia and the towns of Franciacorta are easily reached from there. By car, the journey takes just 25 minutes, and from Milan Linate Airport around 50 minutes. The Milan to Venice train stops at Rovato for Franciacorta, and the rail stations at Brescia, Iseo or Edolo are also accessible.
Franciacorta extends from Mount Orfano to the shores of Lake Iseo, and west, from River Oglio to Brescia. The region has been inhabited since the Palaeolithic era. Some of the most respected wine producers in Italy are in the Franciacorta region, boasting a stunning landscape with a patchwork of vineyards. Today, visitors come to enjoy the tranquil splendour of Lake Iseo, enjoy the wines and culinary delights of the region and explore the cities and towns of the region.