Monte Isola

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Monte Isola

Comune di Monte Isola
Monte Isola
Monte Isola
Coat of arms of Monte Isola
Coat of arms
Monte Isola within Lake Iseo
Monte Isola within Lake Iseo
Location of Monte Isola
Monte Isola is located in Italy
Monte Isola
Monte Isola
Location of Monte Isola in Italy
Monte Isola is located in Lombardy
Monte Isola
Monte Isola
Monte Isola (Lombardy)
Coordinates: 45°43′N 10°05′E / 45.717°N 10.083°E / 45.717; 10.083
ProvinceBrescia (BS)
FrazioniCorzano, Cure, Masse, Menzino, Novale, Olzano, Peschiera Maraglio, Porto di Siviano, Sensole, Senzano, Sinchignano, Siviano
 • MayorFiorello Turla
 • Total12.61 km2 (4.87 sq mi)
275 m (902 ft)
 • Total1,741
 • Density140/km2 (360/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Dialing code030
Patron saintSts. Faustino and Jovita
Saint day15 February
WebsiteOfficial website

Monte Isola (also known by the name of the main island Montisola; Brescian: Muntìsola) is a town and comune in the province of Brescia, in Lombardy.

It is located on the islands Montisola (the major island, from which takes the name), Loreto and San Paolo in Lake Iseo and, as of 2015, its population is of 1,770.[3] Monte Isola's population is approximately spread over eleven villages and hamlets. There are several churches built between the 15th and the 17th century with frescoes, statues, altars in vernacular art.

In 2019 it was elected as the third best European tourist place, behind only Budapest and Braga[4].


With a total area of 12.8 square kilometres (4.9 sq mi), Monte Isola ranks as the largest lake island not only in Italy, but also in South and Central Europe. The peak of the island at 600 metres (1,969 feet) above sea level is 419 metres (1,375 feet) above the average surface elevation of Lake Iseo (181 m (594 ft)), making Monte Isola one of the highest lake islands in Europe.

Monte Isola includes 12 frazioni: Carzano, Cure, Masse, Menzino, Novale, Olzano, Peschiera Maraglio, Porto di Siviano, Sensole, Senzano, Sinchignano and Siviano.

The bordering municipalities are Iseo, Marone, Sale Marasino, Sulzano, Parzanica, Tavernola Bergamasca and Sarnico.

There are two main ports Carzano and Peschieria with a frequent ferry service with the surrounding mainland villages, including Iseo.


There are indications of a Roman settlement. The first written document mentioning "Insulae curtis" dates from 905, when the island was listed among the properties of the monastery of S. Salvatore in Brescia. The family Oldofredi, rulers of Iseo, built on the island two strongholds in the 11th-12th centuries. Members of the powerful Visconti family came here to hunt in 1400. In 1497 Francesco Sforza, duke of Milan, gave the islanders some fishing rights and reduced the taxes. In the same year, Caterina Cornaro, queen of Cyprus, resided a while on the island. During the 19th century the main industry on the island was the construction of boats and the manufacturing of fishing nets.

Peschiera Maraglio and Siviano (the municipal seat)[5] merged in 1929 to create the actual comune.

In June and early July, 2016, Monte Isola was the site of The Floating Piers by artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude.

Main sights[edit]

The single-nave church of San Michele in Peschiera Maraglio was consecrated in 1648. This baroque church is notable for the many frescoes on the walls and on the ceiling and for its wooden carvings.

The shrine of Madonna della Ceriola stands 600 metres (1,969 feet) above sea level, the highest spot on the island. It can only be reached by walking from the small village of Cure.

The fortress Martinengo can be reached from Menzino. It was built in the 15th century by Oldofredi and enlarged in the 16th century by Martinengo. After a long period of neglect, it has been renovated in an elegant residence by the architect Vittorio Faglia. In 1497 Catherine Cornaro, queen of Cyprus, sojourned here for a short stay.


Monte Isola can be reached through a network of ferry connection with regular schedules.[6]

Driving restrictions are currently enforced, with mopeds and bicycles only allowed on the island. An extensive grid of dedicated bike lanes and hiking trails span all over the island, reaching the peaceful fishing villages with lakeside cafés and the Madonna della Ceriola chapel, nested near the summit of the island. A circular trail of almost 9 km (6 mi) allows a complete tour of Monte Isola.



  1. ^ "Superficie di Comuni Province e Regioni italiane al 9 ottobre 2011". Istat. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  2. ^ "Popolazione Residente al 1° Gennaio 2018". Istat. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  3. ^ (in Italian) Source: Istat 2015
  4. ^ Subscribe. "Best places to travel in 2019". Europe's Best Destinations. Retrieved 2019-02-05.
  5. ^ (in Italian) Town hall address on municipal website
  6. ^ "Orari traghetti Montisola". Navigazione Lago d'Iseo (in Italian). Retrieved 6 May 2015.

External links[edit]

Media related to Monte Isola at Wikimedia Commons