Monte Isola (orMontisola) as its name suggests, is a mountain on an island that divides Lake Iseo in two: the Brescia side and the Bergamo side.
Siviano has always been the capital of Monte Isola. Visitors will land on the pier in the village of Porto, in front of a cluster of old 18th century houses, where they can admire the church and the 16th-century Villa Solitudo. In the centre of town, the imposing Martinengo Tower dominates the square of the town hall. Siviano with its tower is a magnificent medieval castle transformed with the addition of various buildings. The main tower attests that this was once an ancient fortified complex, as reflected in the remains of the other towers, the robust walls of certain houses and in the heavy archways.
The most well-preserved area is the hamlet ofMasse. The houses have a typical mountain character, with walls made with large blocks of local stone, a façade facing the interior courtyard and a low rustic stone portico; in the square you can admire the 15th-century church of S. Rocco, restored in the 17th century.
In the mid- 17th century the hamlet of Novale was the summer residence of the Bishop of Brescia Marco Morosini , and the entire ancient complex of buildings that have the characteristics of mountain villages, with thick walls of large stones , facades and doorways , alleys paved with stone and wooden balconies, is referred to as Casa Morosini. Be sure to visitPalazzo Martinengo,Casa Novali, a 16th century mansion, and Palazzetto Ziliani.
Other points of interest include: Peschiera, dominated by the Oldofredi Castle, and several buildings of great architectural interest, such as Casa Erba; inSensole, taken from "sinus solis" or gulf of the sun, you will find the Martinengo Fortress, built by Oldofredi in the 14th century to watch over the southeast side of the island; in Menzino you will see the 17th century Palazzo Zirotti ; Cure, with its altitude of 500 m., is the highest village , crouching at the foot of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Ceriola where you can enjoy the most beautiful view of Lake Iseo. Its inhabitants are farmers and continue to preserve the traditions of rural life.
A high-quality, DOP extra virgin olive oil is made from the olive trees of Monte Isola. Onelocal tradition is fish-drying, with techniques that have been passed down over time.