Ask an Italian where in the world they would most like to live, and the odds are that they will say “right here”. Indeed, most people have raved about Italy, and to be honest the country really does have it all: one of the most diverse and beautiful landscapes in Europe; the world’s greatest hoard of art treasures; a climate that is on the whole benign; and, most important of all for many, a delicious and authentic national cuisine. The country is not perfect – its historic cities have often been marred by development, and beyond the showpiece sights the infrastructure is visibly straining – but for its places to live, many of the old clichés still ring true; once you’ve visited, you may never want to live anywhere else. Luxury property in Lake Iseo Sarnico

Italy might be the world’s most celebrated destination, but it only became a unified state in 1861, and as a result Italians often feel more loyalty to their region than to the nation as a whole – something manifest in its different cuisines, dialects, landscapes and often varying standards of living. However, if there is a single national Italian characteristic, it’s to embrace life to the full – in the hundreds of local festivals taking place across the country on any given day to celebrate a saint or the local harvest; in the importance placed on good food; in the obsession with clothes and image; and in the daily ritual of the collective evening stroll or passeggiata – a sociable affair celebrated by young and old alike in every town and village across the country.

There are any number of places to just lie on a beach, from the resorts filled with regimented rows of sun beds and umbrellas favoured by the Italians themselves, to secluded and less developed spots. And if you’re looking for an active life style, there’s no better place: mountains run the country’s length – from the Alps and Dolomites in the north right along the Apennines; skiing and other winter sports are practised avidly; and wildlife of all sorts thrives in the country’s national parks. Apartments in Lake Iseo. property in Magliolo Italy. Villa in Alassio.

Lake Iseo

Little known outside Italy, Lake Iseo is smaller than Lake Como but considerably quieter and more charming. With fewer sun-blotched tourists, and situated just north of the cities of Brescia and Bergamo, it is the unsung gem of northern Italy. An hour's train journey north east of Milan brings travellers to Franciacorta, an area in the heart of Lombardy's wine-growing region – and the gateway to Lake Iseo. The countryside surrounding the lake is dotted with immaculate vineyards, medieval castles and monasteries.

From the lakeside towns of Sale Marasino or Iseo, you can take the short ferry ride – almost empty even during high season – to Monte Isola, the largest inhabited lake island in southern Europe. Three kilometres in length and with only 2,000 residents and no cars, the remote island has a quiet calm. Walk along its cobbled waterside track and admire the blue and white paper flowers that are strung across paths and tied to doorways. Perfect for those who would like to invest in Lake Iseo.

In the island's picturesque fishing village, Peschiera Maraglio, faded, hand-woven fishing nets are draped above sleepy cafés. When people think of the Italian lakes, it is Lake Como or Lake Garda that spring to mind. Few consider Lake Iseo, so go now before this secret jewel becomes too well known. Many properties, luxury apartment, old town houses for sale in Lake Iseo Sarnico


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