A journey in the sparkling road of Franciacorta
Nights suggested: 2
Small stone villages. Towers and castles. And then the vineyards. Many vineyards, to remind us that the Franciacorta is a land of wines and sparkling wines, the best of Italy. To get there, you just need to drive up in Brescia, leave the motorway and take the streets drawn between the hills and kept farms. Rodengo, Paderno, Provaglio, Corte Franca, Iseo.
Franciacorta is a green triangle nestled between the lake, the Oglio and Brescia. Here the holiday is always slow. In spring and summer you can travel by bicycle on the bike path that runs from Brescia to Paratico - 60 km, about 4 hours (easy way). In autumn and winter, the trip becomes a good excuse to smell the Brut, Satèn, Rosé or Millesimato. The names are many: Ca 'del Bosco and Bellavista Erbusco, Conti Terzi in Rovato, the Fratelli Berlucchi in Borgonato, Monte Rossa Bornato.
The Wine Route touches 19 municipalities in the province of Brescia. They are 80 kilometers but become a lot more if you go through the sinuous streets. Up and down the hills, to meet one of the most impressive monasteries in Italy. It is the Olivetan Abbey of St. Nicholas, in Rodengo Saiano. In his herbal medicine, the monks still produce herbal liqueurs. The monasteries of ancient curtes francae - hence the name Franciacorta - tell us that these lands, were once settled dozens of Benedictine community.
But if you sharpen your sight, you will not have to work too hard to spot some castles. Most extraordinary is the Bornato, homonymous of the municipality of Cazzago San Martino - open every Sunday, admission fee. He went through all the ages. The original construction dates back to the Roman time. From stronghold it became castle in the Middle Ages and villa in the the Renaissance. Frescoes of the seventeenth century, a small collection of porcelain and an Italian garden. A little further on, Erbusco and Villa Lechi, the most scenic of Franciacorta. The small village of Erbusco is picturesque like few others: must see the ruins of the castle and the church of Santa Maria Assunta.
From Erbusco flank the Franciacorta Golf Club and get to Provaglio d'Iseo. In front of the country, the Monastery of San Pietro in Lamosa and the nature reserve of Sebino, an oasis of water, reeds and marsh vegetation, colored with lilies in spring time.