Coming to Italy
Whether this will be your first time traveling to Italy or your hundredth, the most important thing is that you…
As you can tell, we are very passionate about food. This may or may not be the reason that our wedding starts with a pasta party!
Some of the best restaurants and gelaterias call Lake Iseo their home, and we are so excited to introduce you to them. So excited, in fact, we’ve made arrangements to have gelato delivered to the Wedding from our favorite gelateria on the mainland!
Italy is our favourite country in the world. It has so much beautiful nature, fantastic places to see and, of course, Italian cuisine!
Extending Your Trip: Where To Go?
We hope that many of you will extend your trip and spend time in the area! Some of you may be tempted to visit other famous parts of Italy such as Rome, Naples, or Florence, but our recommendation would be for you to stay and explore the area surrounding Lake Iseo. Let us explain why!
We (especially Marta) know Northern Italy very well and would like for you to experience it fully without feeling rushed to get to another part of the country.
Lake Iseo is truly a hidden gem. Somehow, the word hasn’t gotten out about how spectacular it is (yet!)… probably because it’s located right in-between two very well-known lakes – Lake Garda and Lake Como. This means you avoid crowds and are able to truly enjoy the tranquility and breathtaking views. Trust us – you’ll see what we mean when you arrive!
The thing that makes Lake Iseo special is how many different things there are to do, and all of them are world-class experiences! In addition to incredible food, you can go hiking or biking in the mountains, go wine tasting at the local vineyards, take a boat trip with stops in many different villages, and much, much more.
Food on Lake Iseo
Below you can find a few of our favourite food stops (sorry if this reads as more of a food guide than a travel guide!):
Briola 1955 – the best coffee in all of Italy! Start your day off right with a cappucino and a Brioche con Pistacchio.
Gelateria La Mongolfiera – the best gelateria in the world. Yes, it may sound like a bold statement, but we mean it. Our favorite flavors are pistacchio or salted caramel… INSANELY DELICIOUS!
La Foresta – a fantastic restaurant on Monte Isola, and a great place to eat the fish caught in Lake Iseo. Just a tip when you are there: don’t ask if you can drink any other wine than Franciacorta (the local specialty)! Experience talking!
Bohem La Stazione – Fiori, Bon Bon Confetteria e Bistrot – perfect spot for aperitivo, because in Italy if you stop for a drink before dinner they will feed you. This is an old train station that three siblings changed to a florist, chocolate shop and cafeteria.
There are many, many more great food stops on Lake Iseo, but make sure you leave room for the great food we have planned for the wedding itself!
You’ve probably noticed by now what makes Lake Iseo so visually stunning is that is surrounded by mountains on all sides. It’s literally a bowl made of mountains that’s filled with water!
If you are going to be in the area after the wedding, we will take you up the mountains. The hiking around Lake Iseo is fantastic, and we hope you’ll join us on some hikes to the highest peaks around the lake, Monte Gugliemo and Punta Almana.
There’s no other way to say it: biking in this area is some of the best in the world! There is something for everyone. You can go around the lake (65km), explore the rolling hills of the vineyards in Franciacorta, or if you’re up for a real challenge (but a rewarding one!), take a trip up one of many mountain roads – the longest of which is 20km long! A personal favourite is the climb from Pisogne to Colle San Zeno (photos below!).
Would you like to experience a wine tasting in one of the richest wine regions in the world?
Franciacorta (South of the lake) is one of the very famous Italian wine areas, known for its sparkling wine. While everyone sings the praises of Prosecco (which we also love) as their sparkling wine of choice, it is worth noting that Franciacorta is the first Italian wine to be made in exactly the same way as champagne.
The first thing to learn is that all Franciacorta wine is made with a double fermentation process – one in the barrel and one in the bottle. Prosecco is, in fact, made with only one fermentation. Yes, you will try Franciacorta at the wedding, but if you would like to fully experience the vineyards, you should book yourself a tour!
If you like wine but your preference is a glass of red, we highly recommend that you go to Valpolicella, where one of the best red wines is made. While you’re there, just listen to the very knowledgeable and passionate Italians talking about how the wine is made while you are enjoying the fruits of their work is an unforgettable experience. Valpolicella region is only over an hour from Iseo but if you are planning to explore Italy while you are there make sure that you have that on your list!
The Other Lakes
You’ve probably heard of the biggest Italian lake, Lake Garda, and another one that George Clooney made famous, Lake Como. They are only over an hour drive from where the wedding will be if you would like to visit!
If you are heading towards the Vineyards, the Dolomites, or other cities like Verona, you should absolutely spend a day at Lake Garda.
Our personal guide will of course give you the tips of the best gelaterias. Yes, we are talking about food again. When in Riva you must try ice cream in Gelateria Riva and while in Malcesine: Dolce Vita (what a perfect name for gelateria, right?).
In Malcesine you should take the cable car and enjoy the views from Monte Baldo. The cable car spins 360 degrees when you are going up so even going us is an experience itself. There is also a beautiful castle where you can often find concerts in the evening.
This beautiful city is the capital of fashion, food, architecture, and art. The wonder through the city will expose you to the stunning Galleria Vittoria Emanuele and the majestic Duomo where you can climb to the rooftop. Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘The last supper’ is housed in the Santa Maria delle Grazie church.
Make sure you sample traditional Milanese favorites such ass risotto alla milanese (saffron risotto). While the ritual of aperitivo can be enjoyed across Italy, it’s undeniable that the Milanese do it best. Between 6 pm and 8 pm, having clocked off work, the entire city seems to be grabbing a drink and complimentary snack before heading home or out for dinner.
While you’re visiting Lake Garda, make a stop in Verona, a gorgeous town best known as the setting for Romeo and Juliet! In addition to walking around the city, make sure to take a tour of the Arena (a well-preserved Roman colosseum).
Verona is also famous for the Verona Opera Summer Festival held inside the Arena. And good news! The 2022 edition of the festival begins on June 17th (4 days after the wedding). We highly encourage seeing an opera in the colosseum under the stars – there’s no other experience like it in the world!
After stopping in Verona, head East for a little longer and you’ll find yourself in Venice (which needs no introduction!). We love Venice, but given the amount of articles written about the city, will leave it to you to plan your stay there!
I believe we may have some mountain lovers in attendance! If you are looking to visit one of the greatest mountain ranges in the world, you should add a stop in the Dolomites (a three-hour drive from Lake Iseo) to your itenerary.
In our opinion, if you had to pick one stop in all of Italy – regardless of which region – the Dolomites would be it!
By far the number one destination in the Dolomites – also in our opinion – is Selva (yes, Marta has lived in Selva as well so can help you plan your trip!)
There are also other areas to explore. About two hours drive from Iseo you can reach Bormio with the very famous thermal Spa, and Livigno, where the world’s best cyclists train on the famous climbs of the Stelvio and Mortirolo.
We try to keep this page simple but Marta can talk about what to do and where to go for hours so if you are not sure just give her a call 🙂