The most beautiful places in Bergamo & Brescia

Being the province of Italy with the highest population, Lombardy is home to countless big cities. Milan as the country’s second-largest city certainly stands out in more ways than one. However, that’s only the tip of the iceberg as there are countless precious gems hidden away beyond the urban centres in Italy’s north. Numerous places of the private association “I borghi più belli d’Italia” wow with their idyllic charm, with many a hidden beauty, and with often well-maintained medieval structures. The most beautiful places of the Province of Bergamo and the most beautiful places of the Province of Brescia introduce you to a somewhat different Lombardy.




Province of Bergamo

From the rather mountainous north with the southern Limestone Alps and Dolomites to the fairly flat south – the Province of Bergamo brings more than just topographical variety to the table. Beyond the very charming capital Bergamo, a hilly city of arts with two cable cars, there are four places of explicit beauty in this magical province.


Borgo Santa Caterina

We start in … Bergamo? One part of the provincial capital is actually one of the most beautiful places of Italy. Borgo Santa Caterina is also known as Borgo d’oro.” (“the golden village”) Here you get to experience Bergamo at its finest. The parish church Santa Caterina mainly revolves around three paintings depicting stages of Saint Catherine’s life. The museum Accademia Carrara is dedicated to various Italian schools of painting between the 15th and the 19th century. Enjoy romantic walks in Parco Suardi, one of the city’s largest green spaces, accompanied by artful poetry. Round out your tour by stopping at one of the many small cafés while letting the hustle and bustle of the city pass you by.


Cornello dei Tasso

This quarter (approx. 20 inhabitants) of Camerata Cornello is one of the best-preserved medieval villages of Lombardy. This alone would be reason enough for a trip to Cornello dei Tasso with its narrow paths connecting all three levels and leading to a charming little church, Palazzo Tasso, and other gems via arcades. The Tasso name still carries great significance as the family played a key role for the creation and distribution of the postal system in Europe. The Museo dei Tasso e della Storia postale is all about the Tasso family and the history of the post service. Among the exhibits is the very first stamp, the One Penny Black from 1840.



Gromo (approx. 1,100 inhabitants) is situated on a ledge over the Serio river. Including the village built in the valley, the entire territory of the municipality covers 20 km² with altitudes ranging from 604 to 2,534 m. Numerous natural beauties aside, such as the karst cave Bus di Tacoi, Gromo itself is most definitely worth seeing. Two castles can be found in the village with Castello Ginami now being home to a restaurant. Don’t miss out on the Chiesa di San Giacomo e San Vincenzo with its splendid frescoes and stop by Palazzo Milesi with its noble marble façade.



One of the most beautiful places of Italy can be found at the western shore of Lago d’Iseo. The view of the deep blue water alone is reason enough to check out Lovere (approx. 5,000 inhabitants). In all actuality it’s the charming way the lake and the diverse architecture come together that really makes this place stand out. One lovely stop is the late 15th century basilica Santa Maria in Valvendra with a simple yet imposing façade giving way to various paintings. Palazzo Tadini houses the academy of fine arts. The impressive neo-classical style certainly sticks out yet wonderfully fits the townscape that evolved over centuries. Don’t forget to take a walk on the promenade!


© Bolshakov

© Bolshakov

Province of Brescia

We move on to the largest province of Lombardy. There’s a fascinating region waiting around the Lombardic capital and city of arts Brescia, a region framed by the Stelvio National Park and the Adamello Group in the north, the Lago d’Iseo in the west, and Lake Garda in the east. The four most beautiful places in the Province of Brescia have a lot to offer.



Our first stop is Bienno (approx. 3,750 inhabitants) with the earliest settlements likely dating back to the Bronze Age. The Benedictine monks who came into the region during the 10th century built mills and water channels to provide for the growing population. A rather exciting tour of Bienno starts at Vaso Re, one of those channels. These first signs of very early industrialisation lead to old factories and museums dedicated to the village history. Several late medieval buildings whisk you away on additional hikes with the outstanding Casa Bettoni and the comparatively new parish church as highlights. Find the golden statue Statua di Cristo Re from the year 1930 on a small hill.


Gardone Riviera

The charming municipality Gardona Riviera (approx. 2,600 inhabitants), known for its special, rather mild microclimate, is hidden between several hills. You’ll come across diverse Mediterranean und Central European vegetation, such as agaves, cypresses and citrus plants – at the western shore of Lake Garda. You’ll hardly be surprised to find a large botanical garden here, currently owned by the artist André Heller. Other delightful points of interests are the many magnificent properties, such as Villa Alba or Vittoriale degli Italiani. The latter has since been converted into a museum with an open-air theatre and is now one of the most visited museums in Italy.


Monte Isola

From Lake Garda to Lago d’Iseo: Monte Isola (approx. 1,700 inhabitants) makes a complete island one of the most beautiful places of Italy. Well, it actually consists of four larger and fiver smaller villages plus two smaller islands, if we’re being precise. We recommend dropping into Carzano with its fully intact old village structure. Narrow alleys and cobbled paths lead to various palaces. A mighty tower stands tall in Siviano, the principal village of the island municipality. The idyllic Santuario della Ceriola awaits you on the top of the island. And then there’s Peschiera Maraglio, a former fishing village turned popular tourist destination. You can find may an architectural highlight here as well, such as the mighty Castello Oldofredi and the magical Palazzo Erba.


© Bolshakov

© Bolshakov

Tremosine sul Garda

Finally, we return to Lake Garda one last time. Some 2,000 inhabitants live in the 18 frazioni of Tremosine sul Garda. There are some divine views from the high plateau steeply sloping toward the lake. Pieve certainly is a must-visit destination. Narrow roads lead you to the 18th century parish church with remarkable woodwork and a breathtaking altar by Francesco Barbieri. Enjoy the perfect view of Lake Garda and Monte Baldo rising behind it from Piazza Cozzaglio, heart and soul of the municipality. The old town hall is worth vising as well. Naturally, you have to check out the lake, a true paradise for yachtspeople and kite surfers.


Discover the Provinces of Bergamo and Brescia from completely new, pleasantly different angles with these beautiful places. Medieval gems, baroque and neo-classical highlights, and almost endless lakes form the backdrop for many a trip to a completely different, colourful, repeatedly surprising Lombardy. Don’t miss out on these magical spots!

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