Subject: Re: Italian Lakes area
Good Morning/Evening Ziners wherever you are

Rosemary is looking for a laid back Italian Lakes area - I presume she wants to avoid the tourist crush of Como/Garda etc in which case can I recommend Lago d'Iseo, which is just north of Brescia on the main Venezia-Torino railway. This area is known to me because my sister married an Italian and lives just by the lake. Otherwise you would be unlikely to find it in any tourist brochures, except possibly in Switzerland or Austria. Iseo (Roman name Sebino) is a very old settlement, you will find it on any good atlas' Northern

Italy page, but it seems to be only of local interest, despite being truly beautiful, and having a number of strings to its bow. You can get to the main town (Iseo) easily enough by the local train from binario 1 at Brescia mainline station, which is easily reached from Milan (Linnate or Malpensa Airports) - the local train trip is fascinating enough on its own, but Iseo is a wonderful town on the shores of the lake, with plenty of reasonable hotels (alberghi) most of which you can find on the internet, and lots of fairly unspoiled villages around. The local train continues on to Edolo, which is in the alps about 500metres from the Austrian border, and along the way are some places well worth a half or full day, such as Capo di Ponte (station) which is where you get off to see the pre-Roman rock carvings, as well as the alpine scenery. There is an island in the middle (almost) of the lake, Mont Isola (Island Mountain) which is about 15 minutes by regular ferry launch from Iseo, and could take you a few days to exhaust also, with its pretty villages and castle, etc. If you are game to drive in Italian traffic (not at all hectic up here, except for the narrow roads) the area around the lake and up into the hills is very rich in tradition, as well as being the centre of the famed Franciacorta wine industry, so if you get bored you can always drink your way out of it. The people are largely non-english-speaking, but otherwise extremely patient and friendly, you can manage at the weekly markets very well with sign language. We go there fairly regularly, as you could imagine, and never tire of the area. I suggest you look into it, it will not be regretted.

Paul in still sunny Sydney