Situated between Lake Iseo and Brescia in a small geographical area with a unique microclimate, the delightful Franciacorta region is renowned for sparkling wines made according to the “traditional method”. The region boasts an extraordinary range of attractions, from excellent wines and restaurants listed in the MICHELIN Guide to exhilarating experiences behind the wheel of a Michelin-tyred super-sports car.
The first stop on our tour of local attractions is the new Porsche Experience Center Franciacorta, where potential customers and car enthusiasts have the chance to drive models such as the Porsche 911 GT3 and 718 Cayman GTS (as well as e-karts and the company’s new hybrid and electric vehicles) in a safe environment around the nearby race circuit. Iso 20121 international certification underlines the German manufacturer’s desire to limit the environmental footprint of these activities as much as possible.
A sustainable focus is also one of the common denominators in the different stops on this itinerary. Heading north, we recommend a gastronomic interlude at Marco Acquaroli’s Dispensa Franciacorta, a restaurant listed in the MICHELIN Guide, where this talented chef creates imaginative dishes with a modern osteria-style character from seasonal ingredients, including a strong focus on vegetables from Rodengo Saiano’s organic garden which he waters by hand.
Not far away from this multi-faceted gourmet restaurant is L’Albereta, your unforgettable overnight accommodation. Recommended by the experts at Tablet Hotels and part of the Relais & Chateaux collection, this 5-star luxury residence is surrounded by grounds planted with vineyards and adorned with works of art. L’Albereta has enhanced its already remarkable guest amenities with the addition of a swimming pool by Fornasetti, five suites in the Contadi tower, and the innovative gourmet sandwiches created by star-butcher Dario Cecchini, alongside pizzas prepared by Franco Pepe.
Alternative accommodation in nearby Corte Franca can be found at the Relais Franciacorta, the venue for the 67th MICHELIN Italy Guide awards ceremony. At this time of year, this 17C stone building has an atmospheric feel, emerging discreetly from behind the ochre, yellow and orange hues of the autumn leaves, while the nearby wooded hills are steeper than any seen so far, providing a beautiful backdrop for guests arriving at the hotel.
To drive from Erbusco to the Michelin event hotel (situated 5km from Lake Iseo), we naturally recommend the Franciacorta Wine Route, along which the region’s renowned wineries are an attraction in their own right. You can then follow the Sp71 past the Torbiere del Sebino, a fascinating natural ecosystem overlooked by the Monastero di San Pietro.
On clear days, the views from this nature reserve extend as far as the Orobie Alps, which form the northern border to the lake and stand out dramatically against the water. Or you may wish to take a diversion to Peschiera Maraglio on the island of Monte Isola, where you can discover the craftsmanship of the last remaining artisans producing dried sardines as part of the Lago d’Iseo Presidio Slow Food movement. Catch a boat to the island from Sulzano and on the short crossing imagine the lives of the fishermen in days gone by as you make your way across the azure water, surrounded by a scenic romantic backdrop of villages, abbeys and fortified towers dotted across the hillsides, forests and lake shore.