The small town of Sarnico is at the sothern end of Lake Iseo, one of the important lakes in northern Italy. Sarnico was once a fishing village, then an important quarry centre, then later a centre for silk production. Tourism and yacht building are the main industries in the town today.
Italy This Way comment: although Sarnico is quite a minor destination, if you find yourself nearby the town has a few attractions and deserves an hour or two for a visit.
The cenre of the town is quite compact, and you can start a visit in the main squares that are situated along the edge of the lake: Piazza XX Settembre, Piazza Umberto I, Piazza Besenzoni and Piazza Matteotti. From these squares there is a very long and pleasant promenade along the lake towards the north.
The most imposing church in Sarnico is the Church of San Martino de Tours, which has an impressive facade in baroque style and built in the 18th century. The church itself is older, and includes frescoes of the 15th centuryand s beautiful dome above the altar. There is another small church next door to here, the Church of San Rocco, built in 1630.
The historic centre is on the hill behind Piazza XX Settembre, and although it quite small you can see various features of architectural interest such as gates and balconies of wrought iron along the narrow streets and alleys. Start exploring by following the street up the hill behind Sarnico tourist office.
Among the sights of historical interest in this part of Sarnico you can see the Church of San Paolo, a 15th century church with some medieval frescoes; a clocktower built in 1850, and the remains of a medieal tower dating from the 12th century.
In Piazza SS Redentore you can also see an art deco style building (a kindergarten) designed by Giuseppe Sommaruga, an architect well known in the region for the numerous art deco buildings he designed here.
You can visit the Civic Museum of Art in Sarnico, which contains about 150 paintings from the 16th-18th century, donated to the town by a collector called Gianni Bellini. The museum is in a 14th century palace called Gervasoni Palace, in the heart of the historic part of the town.
The view of Sarnico from the other side of the lake is one of the highlights of a visit and only a five minute walk from the town. There are two lidos nearby where you can swim in the lake, Lido Cadè and Lido Nuttuno, and if you follow the lakefront path towards Predore you will also see two art deco style villas, Villa Faccanoni and Villa Surre.
On the hill behind Sarnico you can find the Forcella-Molere hiking trail with lovely views across Lake Iseo.
For more attractions see the Lake Iseo guide.