Franciacorta is a region of verdant rolling hills extending from the southern end of lake Iseo to the flat area through which the river Oglio flows, well off the beaten track, just 20 kilometres from Brescia and Bergamo, 60 km from Milan and just over 100 from Verona and Mantua.
A sunny morainic amphitheatre, Franciacorta displays a magnificent landscape abounding in towers, castles, palaces, noble villas, rural churches, sanctuaries and abbeys, whose stone recounts the fascinating history of this area of transit between the Alpine valleys and the Po plain.
Its natural vocation for wine making, which dates back to the Middle Ages, would suggest that Franciacorta has nothing but vineyards, but this is not the case at all.
There is no lack of olive groves, vegetable gardens, meadows and woods, forming a delightful landscape to enjoy at leisure, taking plenty of time to discover what lies in and around each village, beyond each hill.
Nature here has been favoured by a mild, temperate climate and a fresh breeze. It is here that the noble families from Brescia and Bergamo built their country residences in past centuries, where they could take long periods of rest.
This is why the hills are still dotted with sumptuous villas, lying in magnificent gardens full of centuries-old trees.
Another important presence in this area is connected with the existence of monastic courts, which possessed magnificent estates dating to the year thousand and even earlier.
They have left behind numerous country churches, monasteries and abbeys - including some of the most important ones in Italy, and also a sense of the values of bygone days - respect for nature and its rhythms, the confidence built by true craftsmanship, the pleasure of sharing, the search for peace of mind, harmony of the body and soul.
For information about ideal food & wine itineraries for discovering and exploring the Franciacorta region, please visit the website of the Association La Strada del Franciacorta.
Photos © Brescia in Vetrina