Monte Isola, the largest inhabited lake island in Europe, is a green mountain in the middle of Lake Iseo, described by the Italian law as an “area of particular natural and environmental interest”.
The current municipality was formed in 1928 following the unification of the ancient villages of Peschiera Maraglio and Siviano (carried out by the Fascist government) under the name of Comune di Siviano (Municipality of Siviano). The current name (Monte Isola) was given in the 1928s. The municipality of Monte Isola also includes the two islets of San Paolo (south) and Loreto(north). The island has 11 inhabited areas, some of which are very close to the lake and link the island to the mainland, such as Peschiera, Sensole, Porto di Siviano and Carzano. Others are located along the flat, mid-hill area, i.e. Siviano and Menzino; others towards the top of the mountain: Olzano, Masse, Cure and Senzano. The island has a resident population of about 1800 people. The inhabitants move around the island on their motorcycles and a thirty-seater bus that links the island’s hamlets and the two main moorings.
The island is linked to the mainland by two main routes: Sulzano-Peschiera and Sale Marasino-Carzano.
The ferry service runs 24 hours a day. In the summer there is also a direct ferry service from Iseo (run by the navigazione Lago d’Iseo, with ferries running every half an hour and stopping in Peschiera, Sensole, Porto di Siviano and Carzano. It is also possible to go for a boat tour of the three islands and the lake.
Motor vehicles have always been restricted on Monte Isola. <strongare the ones in charge of special services, i.e. ambulance, doctor, parish priest, traffic wardens. Motorcycles may only be used by residents, whereas tourists can only use the public bus or bicycles.
During the tourist season (April to September) it is possible to rent bikes or tandems in Peschiera and Carzano.