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Strada del Franciacorta

La Franciacorta si trova nel cuore della Lombardia, a due passi da Milano, affacciata sulle sponde del Lago d’Iseo in un’area che comprende 19 Comuni della Provincia di Brescia, per una superficie totale di 20.000 ettari. Il prezioso patrimonio culturale, storico e naturale di questa terra è disseminato in splendide cornici verdeggianti, lungo i dolci declivi delle antichissime colline di origine morenica, che fanno della Franciacorta un territorio da scoprire, assaporare e respirare.

Franciacorta is the name given to the morainic amphitheatre that lies southwest of Lake Iseo, surrounded by Monte Orfano and Monte Alto and by the Oglio and Mella rivers. Over thousands of years nature has sculpted this ancient land, creating a breathtakingly varied landscape awash with colour that yields its most prized treasure, wine.

The leitmotif guiding the traveller through this territory comprises ancient abbeys and prestigious wine cellars, creating a pleasant itinerary that is designed to be savoured and relished slowly. Franciacorta is made up of vine-cloaked hills, small ancient stone villages, medieval towers and castles, sixteenth-century stately homes, patrician villas and lands that have been devoted to viticulture since the Roman era.

The route runs for about 80 km over a territory comprising 19 communes. Besides the wine cellars, the Cluniac Monastery of San Pietro in Lamosa (1083), overlooking the Torbiere del Sebino nature reserve, a paradise for birdwatchers, is well worth a visit. At Rovato, on Monte Orfano, stands the Convento dell’Annunciata (1449) amongst whose works of art is the Annunciation by Gerolamo Romanino. The Olivetan Abbey of San Nicola (10th century) at Rodengo Saiano is one of the most important monastic buildings in Italy, the cornerstone of the Benedictine monks in Franciacorta. It boasts works by Foppa, Moretto, Cossali, Romanino and Gambara.

Also worth visiting is the Maglio Averoldi at Ome, an ancient forge housed in a 15th century building, which was in use until 1984. A group of volunteer forgers keep the forge open to the public and produce damask steel blades. Last, but not least, tourists should not miss the boat trip on Lake Iseo with a stopover at Monte Isola, the largest lake island in Europe, where fishermen dry their fish in the sun and a craft production of boats and fishing nets still survives.

The traditional local foods of Franciacorta are closely intertwined with the culture and traditions and every single traditional specialty encapsulates some fascinating piece of local history. The most typical products are cheese (Grana Padano DOP, Quartirolo Lombardo DOP, Taleggio DOP, Silter, Robiola Bresciana), olive oil (Olio Extravergine di Oliva Laghi Lombardi DOP) and honey.

With regards to the regional cuisine, Franciacorta is gastronomically unique. It is a duet of two culinary cultures: the farmers’ meat-based traditions in the interior, which is juxtaposed with the fish culture of Lake Iseo’s. Visitors may taste a mouth-watering array of local specialties such as beef with oil and polenta, tench with baked polenta or Brescia style skewers.

A great accompaniment to any meal: Franciacorta DOCG wine: Franciacorta Non Vintage, Franciacorta Rosé non-vintage, Franciacorta Satèn , Franciacorta Satèn Vintage, Franciacorta Rosé vintage, Franciacorta Risevas Satèn, Franciacorta Riservas Rosè or Franciacorta Riservas. And there are also Franciacorta’s still wines: Curtefranca DOC Bianco and Rosso and Sebino IGT.

To get to Franciacorta by car: A4 Milan-Venice motor way, exits: Palazzolo, Rovato, Ospitaletto tollgates. SP 510 Brescia-Iseo; SS 11 Brescia-Palazzolo sull’Oglio. By train: FS Milan-Venice, stations Brescia, Rovato;FNME Brescia-Iseo-Edolo. By plane: Milan-Orio al Serio; Brescia- Montichiari; Verona-Villafranca airports.