Located on the southern shore of the lake, Iseo is by far the main tourist center in the area. The historic center has preserved the medieval plan with the alleys that lead to the central square, Piazza Garibaldi.
Iseo is worth a visit both during the day, for shopping in its elegant shops, and in the evening, as there is certainly no shortage of bars and restaurants.
The lakefront promenade (lungolago) is perfect for a stroll. In summer, especially, is populated by locals and tourists, walking and enjoying a drink or an ice cream.
What to do in Iseo
Iseo is a lively town, especially during spring and summer. During the sunny season, Iseo offers a variety of options for relaxation, sport, and entertainment.
Iseo has two free access beaches (pebble and grassy areas). La Spiaggetta, a grassy area with sun beds, showers, wake board and bar open from 9:30 to 22:0o (address: Via per Rovato, 25049 Località Pianoni, Iseo), and the Spiaggia Libera di Pilzone, a pebble beach (address: Via per Rovato, 25049 Località Pianoni).
In Iseo, you can also find lidos and swimming pools, where you can swim and practice water sports.
Lido Belvedere, that offers a swimming pool with water slides, whirlpool, beach, picnic area, barbecue area, playground and bar; for those who want to play sports, the beach as a volleyball court with lighting and you can also take private swimming lessons, participate in water aerobics as well as renting canoes, kayaks and pedal boats (Address: Via Rovato N.28 – Iseo).
Lido Sassabanek has a pebble beach, equipped with tables, chairs, beds, 1 pool, 1 heated pool, 1 children’s pool, showers, restaurant and bar, canoe, windsurfing, and pedal boats rentals, parking, playground, beach volleyball, football, tennis, basketball, picnic area with barbecue (Address: via Colombera 2 25049 – Iseo)
Origami is a pool with a restaurant and a lounge bar (Address: Via Risorgimento, 136, 25049 – Clusane).
The Friday market
Every Friday from 8 AM to 1 PM, the historic center of Iseo hosts the largest and most important market in Lake Iseo and Franciacorta, where you will find stalls for clothing, shoes, and local food.
What to see in Iseo
The origins of Iseo are very ancient, dating back to the prehistoric age. The town became important during the middle age, when it was surrounded by several circles of walls.
The medieval urban organisation, which was slightly modified in the XV-XVIII centuries, has arrived almost untouched until the end of the nineteenth century and it is still well preserved.
Walking through Iseo, it is still possible to see reminiscences of its history, in a pleasant itinerary that can be walked in less than a day.
The main square of Iseo – Piazza Garibaldi – is surrounded by elegant boutiques, bars, and restaurants. In the center of the square, you can admire the statue of Giuseppe Garibaldi – a national hero – created in 1883. It’s interesting that this is the first statue of Giuseppe Garibaldi that was ever made and will be followed by hundreds of other statues around Italy.
In Piazza Garibaldi, there is also the Town Hall Palace (Palazzo del Municipio), which was built in 1833.
The Oldofredi Castle of Iseo stands on a hill close to the historic center of Iseo. It is made of stone with a rectangular plan equipped with massive corner towers, an essentially defensive construction that was destroyed several times.
An ancient noble residence dating back to the Middle Ages that often hosts exhibitions and events
Pieve di Sant’Andrea
This little church of ancient origins has a façade characterized by a Romanesque central bell tower. It preserves a “San Michele Arcangelo” by Francesco Hayez. On the same square, there is the 13th-century church of San Silvestro, with a “macabre dance” frescoed in the apse.
Church of Santa Maria del Mercato
A small church dated back to the fourteenth century that still retains some beautiful frescoes.