Features 1 minute 10 November 2021

Exploring Franciacorta with Michelin

It has been suggested that the unusual name of this region lying between Brescia and Lake Iseo is a reference to France (Francia in Italian), although another interpretation favours the idea that the area was once a corte franca, or a free zone exempt from the payment of taxes to the monks who cultivated the land here.

Italy Franciacorta Travel

Whatever its origins, the name Franciacorta has become synonymous around the world for a particular type of Italian sparkling wine which has proven to be both versatile and hugely popular. Despite the fact that vines have been grown in this region for centuries, it feels like a miracle – one that can be attributed to the legendary industriousness of the inhabitants here – that the creation of the Franciacorta brand, now familiar across the globe, is actually fairly recent. This success is due not only to hard work, but also to the extraordinary character of this region, which has resulted in the Franciacorta method delighting the palates of wine-enthusiasts worldwide in just a few decades.

©Consorzio Franciacorta
©Consorzio Franciacorta

The region between Brescia and Iseo boasts beautiful landscapes, where churches and castles dot the hillsides and rows of vines are planted on the gentle slopes running down to the lake. One of the region’s highlights is the Torbiere del Sebino Nature Reserve (Sebino is another name for Lake Iseo), which can be explored via a designated walkway. Early morning is the best time to discover this enchanting landscape, where you’ll be able to observe herons, hawks, kites and swans in one of Italy’s most fascinating wetlands.

©Consorzio Franciacorta
©Consorzio Franciacorta

In terms of gastronomy, the region’s specialities include fresh pasta, lake fish (tench and dried sardines are among the best known), polenta, cheeses and cured meats. Olive oil is also produced here and is the main ingredient in one of the region’s most famous recipes – beef with olive oil. This delightful region offers plenty of gourmet delights, leaving visitors truly spoilt for choice!

Franciacorta also offers visitors a whole host of varied and exciting activities, including golf, mountain biking, hiking and the famous “Mille miglia” classic car rally. There are countless fascinating areas to discover, which make the Franciacorta perfect for our favourite visitors, i.e. gourmet travellers in search of good restaurants and interesting sights to explore.

It’s also worth remembering that it was almost thirty years ago that a certain Gualtiero Marchesi decided to move his gourmet restaurant from the centre of Milan to the Erbusco hills. His new premises, surrounded by vineyards and softly rolling hills, offered unequalled views of the lake and unforgettable experiences for his international guests, who then gradually began to explore the region.

Let our journey begin…

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