How To Spend A Weekend In Brescia (Lake Iseo & Garda) – Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
Years back, I spent a dreamy and romantic weekend in Brescia, Italy, getting to know various small towns bordering Lake Iseo and Lake Garda. My ongoing love affair with this country continues, as I’ve visited Italy more than any other country in the entire world!
Read this guide to find out some of the best things to do in Brescia, including where to sleep, where to eat, and yes, where to drink. I’d also recommend visiting the city of Brescia – see how I spent a wonderful 24 hours there.
How To Spend A Weekend In Brescia (Lake Iseo & Garda)
So how does one a great weekend in Brescia? Let me tell you all about it!
1) Stay at Hotel Rivalago
My adventure began at Hotel Rivalago, one of my all-time favourite hotels. The view of Lake Sulzano and the surrounding mountains made me want to never leave.
Check out my full review of all of the awesome’ness that is Hotel Rivalago.
2) Dine on regional cuisine at Trattoria Cacciatore
That night, we dined at Trattoria Cacciatore, a small family-run restaurant where you can feast on some fantastic regional Italian cuisine. In warmer weather, you can eat outside and be treated to views like this.
3) Go on a boat tour
One of the best things you can do for your weekend in Brescia is to take boat trips! I highly recommend heading to Monte Isola for a few hours.
4) Drive by a privately owned island with its own castle
We spotted this privately owned home on Isola di Loreto along the way. While Monte Isola is the largest lake island in all of Europe, this tiny island is the smallest island in Lake Iseo.
I wondered if this was the home of George Clooney and was informed that although it wasn’t, he had actually once shown interest in buying this Neo-Gothic castle.
5) Visit Monte Isola
About 1800 people live on Monte Isola and best all, no motorized vehicles are permitted, except for emergency services that require the police, an ambulance, or a priest! I loved the chilled vibes of this place, and especially adored this communal bookshelf where locals exchange books in the village of Peschiera Maraglio.
I al toured a manufacturing facility that produces nets; fishing nets, soccer nets, and even hammocks like these. I purchased a hammock for myself for €20. If you’re interested in learning more about the history of net making and its importance to Monte Isola, there’s also a small museum you can tour in the factory.
Leaving Peschiera MaraglioI, we then headed to Carzano, where we spied this quirky and cute duck topiary on someone’s front lawn.
We also learned about the Festa Di Santa Croce, a festival held every five years when the town is decorated with thousands of beautifully detailed paper flowers. Can you believe these flowers are made from paper?
If you love flowers, you should head to Riomaggiore (in Cinque Terre) for the Day of San Giovanni Battista where they line the streets with flower petals!
6) Feast on seafood at Trattoria Al Porto
After you’ve spent the better part of your day touring Monte Isola, return to the Italian mainland and feast on delicious seafood at Trattoria Al Porto in Clusane.
7) Peer into the past and visit old churches
Feeling stuffed from our late lunch, our group decided to walk off the calories, stopping at this gorgeous, old church later on that afternoon. The peeling and fading frescoes made me a tiny bit sad as I wished more could be done to restore the church to its former glory – it’s still beautiful nonetheless.
Unfortunately, I don’t recall the name or location of the church. If you know us, drop us a comment below.
8) Sip all of the wine at Solive Winery
Next on the agenda was Solive Winery, located in Franciacorta. The grounds were stunning, decorated for a wedding that was taking place later that night. Of course, I drank my fill of the sparkling wine before moving on to the next stop which was a hotel in Gardone Riviera.
What do you think of this itinerary for a weekend in Brescia? Do you have any other tips for our readers? Drop us a comment below.
Good To Know
1) If you need somewhere to stay in the Brescia area, look no further than booking.com. I’d also recommend reading my round-up of the best hotels in Brescia.
2) Make your vacation in the area even better by going on a guided tour with Get Your Guide.
3) If you love Italy as much as most people, read some of our top posts:
- Marmore Falls In Italy Is Home To The World’s Tallest Manmade Waterfall – Marmore Falls is the largest manmade waterfall in the world. Created by the Romans, this 2000 year old waterfall is 165 meters high.
- The Skull Cathedral In Otranto May Be The Most Scary Place In the World – Otranto Cathedral has a dark and mysterious history, with a large tile floor mosaic with unknown meaning and an altar of skulls from 800 murdered martyrs.
- Why You Should Visit Varese Ligure, Italy – Visit Varese Ligure to see one of Italy’s best preserved Medieval communities, sample pesto flavoured pasta made from scratch, & more.
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*Disclosure – My time in Brescia was complimentary, courtesy of Brescia Tourism. Any opinions expressed are entirely my own. This post contains some affiliate links. If you book a tour or hotel through any of these links, I’ll earn a tiny commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support!
My boyfriend has been to Brescia and tells me how quaint and undiscovered it is. But these are the first real photos I’ve seen. It looks like a previous era, something about aged stone and frescos that can transport you
Gorgeous photos, Cheryl. Looks like you had an amazing time.
Thank you Carolyn. It was a nice weekend there! I miss living in Europe … it’s not so easy to jet away to Italy for the weekend from Toronto. 😉
Yeah, it’s incredible in Brescia! Lake Iseo is my favorite – the areas around Lake Garda were nice but filled with tourists. You hear more English than Italian. 🙁
Wow, so many beautiful shots! very impressive, that you took all these with your phone, I am in awe!.
I haven’t been to Brescia in many years, and I don’t believe my husband has ever been, but you have inspired me to organize a little road trip for us – Brescia is only about 4 hours away, and I remember truly loving Lake Iseo, I would love to visit again!
Thanks for the inspiration!
Thanks Elisa! So happy to hear that you’ll return to the area. It’s so pretty. And nice that you live so close. 🙂
Brescia is just a stones throw from us. I pass the exit for it on the autostrada all the time. Looks like I’ll have to go check it out if this rain ever stops!
Jennifer – it’s worth the visit! Such a pretty and serene area.