Here’s some of what the Lonely Planet – Italy’s chapter on Lombardy and the Lakes has to say about Sarnico:
“At the southwest corner of Lago d’Iseo, is Sarnico (population 6230), with its lovely Liberty villas and a smattering of hotels and restaurants. It is placed delight¬fully on the north bank of the Oglio River, where it meets the lake.”
KAPOORS ON THE ROAD
We arrived in the late evening and after hurriedly checking into our pre-booked hotel, we felt we had time to explore both sides of the Oglio River before the light was completely gone. Sarnico wasn’t exactly a destination for us, but was a lovely spot to overnight. Sometimes it’s the places with the least amount of hype that we find the most enchanting. After all, we want to experience the real life in northern Italy, not just the tourist hotspots.
The villas lining the north shore of the river were aglow in the light of the setting sun. The locals were out doing their last-minute shopping and catching up on the latest news of the day. We had inquired at the hotel for directions to a supermarket, and the receptionist explained that the only one open in the evening was more than a kilometer away, on the other side of the bridge. She was very surprised when we told her that we planned to walk there and back. After spending the day in the car, we just wanted to walk for a couple of hours before having dinner.
The upside of our walk to the supermarket was that we were taken through the town, up the hillside and into a residential neighbourhood. On the way we discovered ribbons decorating a street near a small church and wandered over to see what was happening. To our surprise and delight, a brass band started playing and then a procession emerged from the church, with several strong men carrying a statue of the Madonna and Child.
On another street, we found ribbons and small votive candles decorating the fences on either side of the street. We weren’t sure if these were for a private celebration, or if they were lit to encourage the procession to pass along the decorated street instead of another.
By the time we reached the grocery store, selected our ‘tapas’ items for a light evening meal, and headed back to the bridge, darkness has set in and the waterfront was even more enchanting. With all the exercise and long day of driving, we slept well and looked forward to visiting Lake Garda the following day.