Climbing to the Shrine of Madonna della Ceriola in Monte Isola means reaching one of the most scenic places of the Lake Iseo, with a 360 ° view of its coasts and the mountains that surround it, up to the gentle hills of Franciacorta and beyond .
Although it is possible to arrive near the Shrine with the minibus, it is advisable to go on foot, crossing two of the wonderful paths that wind along the island.
Path n.1: Peschiera Maraglio – Cure – Shrine of the Madonna della Ceriola
The path starts from Peschiera Maraglio, just outside the Tourist Office (from the pier 1 about 200 meters on the left, from the pier 3 about 200 meters on the right). Take the vaulted path that runs alongside the Infopoint and climb up through the town. After a flight of stairs you arrive on the main road, cross it and enter the woods, taking the path on the left, first with steps and immediately unpaved. After about half an hour of climbing among trees, shrubs and spectacular views, a small area equipped with tables and benches invites you to a regenerating break. Continuing north, the look is soon captured by the splendid view of the Island of San Paolo and the Martinengo Fortress. From here, the trail becomes less steep and, passing through shady chestnut woods, it soon reaches the village of Cure.
At this point the possibilities to go up to the Shrine are two:
1 – Long itinerary: just before the village, turn right and go up the mule track that slowly leads to a beautiful chestnut clearing, placed almost to protect a fairy-like little house. Go beyond it, continue to the left until you take a detour to the right, where large banked steps lead in a few steps to the southern entrance of the Shrine.
2 – Short itinerary: cross the village of Cure until you reach the little chapel dedicated to the Madonna and turn right. Go up the mule track in the woods where, after passing some stone houses on the left, a beautiful round arch on the right indicates the beginning of the Via Crucis, which leads to the northern entrance of the Shrine.
Difference in height: 450m
Travel time: 80min
Recommended comfortable and closed trekking shoes (no sandals, no heels).
Path n.2: Peschiera Maraglio – Olzano – Masse – Care – Shrine of Madonna della Ceriola
As for the path n.1, the start of the path n.2 is located outside the Tourist Office (from the pier 1 about 200 meters on the left, from the pier 3 about 200 meters on the right). Take the vaulted path that runs alongside the Infopoint and climb up through the town. After a flight of stairs, you arrive on the main road, cross it and enter the woods, taking the path that continues flat to the right. After about forty-five minutes (attention: particularly exposed *) you reach the village of Olzano, a small and characteristic cluster of houses, where you can cool off to a fountain. You cross the village uphill and take the asphalt road that turns left, to reach the village of Masse in a few minutes. Cross it and, near the little square, where another fountain is located, take the road on the left that runs along the little pink church dedicated to the saints Rocco and Pantaleone. From here, the road becomes a beautiful mule track that, between cultivated fields and olive trees, leads to the village of Cure, where, at the height of a little chapel dedicated to the Madonna, turn left and reach the Shrine following the Via Crucis .
* The path connecting Peschiera Maraglio to Olzano is recommended only for expert hikers!
Difference in height: 450m
Travel time: 110min