What to See and Where to Eat in Franciacorta, at One Hour Distance from Milan
We sometimes tend to dream of exotic destinations and forget that we have an infinity of fantastic places at a shor trip distance. Franciacorta, a hill area between Brescia and Lake Iseo, at less than an hour from Milan, is a perfect example of a region to be discovered. I was lucky to spend a weekend there, wandering through the vineyards, nature and of course excellent wine and great food. Here are our recommendations on what to see and where to eat in this magnificient area!
WHAT TO SEE IN FRANCIACORTA
* A TOUR OF THE WINERIES. It is impossible to go to Franciacorta and not visit at least one ‘cantina‘, a winery. There are so many that you will only have to pick the one that interests you the most (one of my favourite ones is always Bersi Serlini) and discover how the bubbly wines of this region are produced: of course, you will also taste them!
* A BOAT RIDE TO MONTE ISOLA. The boat ride on Lake Iseo reaching the enchanted island – and the biggest lake island in Italy and Europe- of Monte Isola is one of the most amazing (and romantic) experiences. On Monte Isola you will then be able to have a walk, stop for a coffee and enjoy the sunset. Take one of the many boats (here‘s the website with the departure times, we suggest getting there from Sulzano or Sale Marasino, the ride will take about ten minutes) and enjoy the traffic-free little streets either walking or riding a bike. If you go for the bike option the tour will be of 9km and it won’t last more than an hour; if you are walking it will of course take a little longer but it will be worth it. The town I loved the most? The magical Sensole!
* THE VISIT AT THE ANNUNCIATA CONVENT ON THE MONTE ORFANO HILL. The convent is pretty, but what is prettier is the view from up there. If it is a clear sky day – and unfortunately for me it was not, but I hope you’ll have more luck – you will have the Franciacorta at your feet!
* A WALK AT THE NATURAL RESERVE TORBIERE DEL SEBINO. Reach the San Pietro in Lamosa Monastery in Provaglio d’Iseo and from there start a walk of discovery of the Torbiere del Sebino Natural Reserve. The price for the entrance is symbolic, just one euro, but the experience is breathtaking. Walk the wooden bridges on water, enjoy the paths surrounded by pristine nature, birds and hares at any corner. You won’t regret it!
* GOING BACK HOME WITH A BOX OF FRANCIACORTA BOTTLES. If you are visiting a winery you will be able to buy wine there. Otherwise, we suggest going to Cantine di Franciacorta, a wine store in Erbusco where you can indulge in some serious wine shopping!
WHERE TO EAT IN FRANCIACORTA
* TRATTORIA DEL GALLO, ROVATO. The lunch I loved the most was the one at this trattoria in Rovato, where you can totally get into the culinary traditions of this area. The plate with the local salame and the beef carpaccio that we chose for starters are impossible to forget. The same thing can be said about the first course, a spectacular risotto with figs. The menu includes other specialties such as the deer meat tagliata, beef and several homemade pastas. We highly recommend not to miss this place! [Via Cantine 10, Rovato. Price around 35 euros].
* TRATTORIA DEL MULINER, CLUSANE. Don’t miss this excellent, and beautiful, restaurant. In Summertime you can choose a table on the veranda, in Wintertime opt for one of the pretty indoor dining rooms. The focus is on lake fish here, although the menu includes some meat options too. We enjoyed some mixed lake antipasti with sardines, pike fish salad, a fresh water shrimp salad and some fantastic soused fish. We continued with homemade tagliolini with shrimps and black Venus rice with saffron wafer. As second course we chose an excellent sautéed char fillet. A perfect lunch, one to be remembered! [Via San Rocco 16, Clusane. Price around 35 euros].
* CORTE LANTIERI, CAPRIOLO. In addition to dining at this agritourism, we also stayed here for the night. Simple yet very comfortable rooms, very kind personnel and an outdoor pool for the moments of relax after the tours of the vineyards. At Corte Lantieri, immersed in the silence of the hills and the vineyards, they also produce wine that can be purchased. Very recommended! [Via Videtti 23, Capriolo].
So are you packing your bags already? To discover all the places I have visited in Franciacorta check out the hashtag #ConoscoUnPostoInFranciacorta on my Instagram! You can also keep up to date by visiting the website of the Franciacorta Consortium!
Read the original article on Conosco un Posto. This English version was translated by Tamara Ilic.