Situated on the lesser-known lake, Lago d'Iseo, Sarnico is an uncrowded waterfront gem. With 7,000 inhabitants, it is big enough to have plenty of restaurants, cafes, shops and services while retaining its small town charm. It has a pleasant, pastel historic center right on the lake, with cordial residents and a relaxed atmosphere.

Lake Iseo is often overlooked among its bigger sisters, making it an undiscovered oasis. There are beaches to enjoy, ferries to other towns and the island called Monte Isola, and a lovely lakefront promenade. Water sports include sailing, fishing, wind surfing and water skiing, while up in the hills that encircle the lake you can enjoy cycling, climbing, and hiking. The forested hills offer cooling shade and panoramas that extend over the territory.

Swans swim in front of the waterside church of Stella Maris, a placid sight. Via Lantieri is the main drag, lined with shops and restaurants. There are art exhibits and music concerts in the summer, along a street artist festival and a theatrical show that highlights the history of the town and its traditions, with 1,000 participants. The art gallery, Pinacoteca Bellini, contains a huge collection of paintings. The countryside is dotted with castles and filled with vineyards, as this is the zone for Franciacorta, a sparkling wine that rivals Champagne.

Sarnico is a romantic town in an idyllic setting. If you want to fully appreciate the unique atmsophere of Italy's lakes region, this is an ideal spot. It is halfway between Brescia and Bergamo, and Milano is only an hour train ride away.

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