Franciacorta, what to see: itinerary in 10 stages

What to see in Franciacorta: among vineyards, villages and art, an itinerary in 10 stages.

There Franciacorta it is an oasis of peace and quiet a stone’s throw from Milan. Franciacorta covers an area of ​​about 200 square kilometers overlooking the width of Iseo Lake (here is our itinerary with 10 stages at Lake Iseo) and includes 19 municipalities in Province of Brescia. His sweet hills covered with vineyards they are the symbol of this lush land known in the world for high quality of its wines. A trip to Franciacorta can therefore not ignore the discovery of its numerous wineries and wineries where you can touch and taste the most famous products of this country. Franciacorta, however, has much more to offer its visitors than just good wine. It is in fact an area rich in history, which over the years has seen roosters, Romans, Lombards, has hosted large monasteries, has been the subject of strife between the Guelphs and the Ghibellines, has met the French and Austrians and has been the scene of the Risorgimento battles. , and all these changes have left as a dowry churches, palaces and many monuments that still adorn these wonderful hills today. Here are 10 must-see places on your trip to Franciacorta.

1. Convent of San Pietro in Lamosa

In Provaglio d’Iseo, the monastery of San Pietro in Lamosa is located above a rocky rise, an ancient structure that dominates the peat. The monastery is believed to have been built where in ancient times there were ancient pagan and Paleo-Christian temples, the traces of the construction of a first church that was then donated to the monks of the monastery Cluny dates back to the 11th century and then became the center for the economic and religious life of the area. The Cluniac monks remained there until the fifteenth century, and the traces of their passage are still clearly visible, although the church today has pure features from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Inside are preserved numerous works of valuable invoices, including a beautiful cycle of frescoes ofSalute history goes back to the 15th-16th. century, located in the adjacent oratorio Santa Maria Maddalena.

The convent of San Pietro in Lamosa. Photo by Brescia Tourism

2. Olivetana Abbey of San Nicola and Rodengo

The whole history of Franciacorta has been strongly influenced by the presence of large monastic units, which since before the year 1000 have contributed decisively to the reclamation, abolition and cultivation of the territory. One of the most important examples of the monastery’s presence in Franciacorta is represented by the Olivetan Benedictine Monastery of San Nicola in Rodengo Saiano. The origins of this religious complex are documented from the 11th century, and the presence of the Benedictine monks, true to their motto “Ora et labora”, has helped to transform this area. The present building of the monastery dates back to the fifteenth century and was built by the Olivetan congregation and then became a monastery in the following century and is adorned after a distinct renaissance taste with various works of art.

Olivetan Abbey of San Nicola in Rodengo
Olivetan Abbey of San Nicola in Rodengo. Photo by Brescia Tourism

3. Bornato Castle

A medieval castle with a precious Renaissance villa inside. All this can be found in the heart of Franciacorta, where the massive Bornato Castle and the beautiful Villa Orlando meet, from where the eye can sweep across the entire Po Valley. The original core of the castle consists of a mighty stronghold that presided over the old consular road that united Bergamo and Brescia. This was then extended by the Bornati family with the construction of walls, towers and forgeries that became more and more central to the life of these countries, so that it often hosted artists and writers, including even Dante Alighieri. In 1564, the Gandini family built Villa Orlando inside the castle. These admirable examples of architecture are immersed in a wonderful park, while in the main tower of the castle are the ancient cellars.

Bornato Castle
Bornato Castle. Photo by Brescia Tourism

4. Passirano Castle

The massive walls, the great moat, the tall towers and the unmistakable Ghibelline battles: the castle of Passirano is a piece of medieval, perfectly preserved in the heart of Franciacorta. Built for purely defensive purposes from 1100, for centuries he protected the inhabitants of the place from attacks on nomads and soldiers. Very beautiful is the large entrance portal from the eighteenth century and the Torre della Specola, which has previously been used as an astronomical observatory. Today, the castle of Passirano hosts a vineyard, but it can be admired in all its beauty when walking around the walls.

Passirano Castle
Passirano Castle. Photo by Brescia Tourism

5. Quistini Castle

Also known as the Palazzo Porcellaga, from the surname of the noble Ottaviano who had it built in 1560, Castello Quistini has a pentagonal wall, five towers to the corners and a four-storey tower located inside. Although part of the castle is private, it is now possible to visit some rooms, including the grotesque space, which owes its name to the nineteenth-century decorations that adorn the walls. Definitely not to be missed is a visit to the wonderful garden that embraces the entire castle. Here there is a suggestive labyrinth of roses consisting of three large concentric circles and then again the enchanting secret garden with its multicolored hydrangeas and finally also a bioenergic garden with therapeutic properties.

Quistini Castle and its garden
Quistini Castle and its garden

6. Paolo and Carolina Zani Foundation of Cellatica

The foundation, which bears the name of Brescia entrepreneur Paolo Zani and his daughter Carolina, aims to preserve and enhance the art collection of the Cellatica House Museum and its wonderful garden. The House Museum is much more than a coffin that preserves important works of art, but it is a meeting and comparison place where seminars, concerts and prizes are held designed to encourage the education of young people. The House Museum’s collection consists of over 1,200 works, including paintings, sculptures, applied art and furniture. Among these are authentic masterpieces by absolute masters such as Canaletto, Tiepolo, Guardi, Longhi, Boucher, along with precious Baroque and Rococo furniture, mainly French and Venetian, and extraordinary handicrafts from the 17th and 18th centuries.

Paolo and Carolina Zani Foundation of Cellatica
Paolo and Carolina Zani Foundation of Cellatica

7. The Agricultural and Wine Museum of Capriolo

It is impossible to fully understand Franciacorta without immersing oneself in the secular traditions of the people of these countries and their inextricable connection with the agricultural world, which in these regions above all means life and wine. Just to learn more about how this relationship between Franciacorta and his people became so close, Gualberto Ricci Cubastro decided in the mid-eighties to inaugurate a museum for Capriolo, a museum dedicated to the agricultural world and wine in the mid-eighties. Today, this houses four rooms that are open all year round and which preserve thousands of work objects in the fields and peasant civilizations of yesterday and today.

The Agricultural and Wine Museum of Capriolo
The Agricultural and Wine Museum of Capriolo. Photo of the consortium for the protection of Franciacorta

8. Borgo del Maglio

Immersed in an enchanted landscape, surrounded by a green forest at the foot of Mount Dalma, in La Grotta there is the suggestive village of Maglio. The small town is crossed by the Molinara Canal, which once moved the wheels of a grain mill and an iron hammer, both dating back to 1400. While the old mill has today been converted into a private house, it is still possible to visit the impressive maglio Averoldi , a forge museum where you can participate in demonstrations of ironworking using old techniques. The small village of Maglio also hosts the Pietro Malossi House Museum, where you can admire a private collection of antique weapons, furniture, prints and paintings.

Borgo del Maglio.  Photo Ome Municipality
Borgo del Maglio. Photo Ome Municipality

9. The modern museum of wine from Franciacorta La Montina

Located in Monticelli Brusati on the extreme north-eastern outskirts of Franciacorta, the La Montina estate, together with the vineyard and its wine shop, houses the seventeenth-century villa Baiana and the first museum of contemporary art in this area. Here is a permanent exhibition by the Milanese artist Remo Bianco, whose paintings and sculptures are arranged in the various rooms of the estate, from the basement to the villa. In addition, the museum often houses personal exhibitions by important contemporary, Italian and foreign artists, whose works are exhibited in a suggestive path that winds through richly decorated rooms, barrels and wine bottles.

Contemporary Museum of Franciacorta La Montina vin
Contemporary Museum of Franciacorta La Montina vin

10. Franciacorta Sculpture Park

Art and nature, these are the ingredients that make Franciacorta Sculpture Park unique. Among the hills planted with vineyards winding between Adro and Erbusco, this incredible cultural trail winds through the will of Vittorio Moretti, who in the early 21st century announced the Terzo Millennio Sculpture Prize aimed at artists under 30. Of the nearly 800 young sculptors , who stepped forward, was selected 13, who today go to compose this suggestive park. Among these we find Stone flowers by Leccese Salvatore Sava, My inner by the Japanese Maki Nakamura, The horizontal house by Veneto Giorgio Player who won the first three places of the competition and who, like the other works present in the park, marries harmoniously with the green of Franciacorta, making it even more valuable than the breathtaking landscapes.

Franciacorta Sculpture Park
Franciacorta Sculpture Park. Photo by Brescia Tourism

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