Isola di Loreto

Isola di Loreto is an island in Lake Iseo in the Lombardy region of Italy. At the end of the 15thcentury, the Sisters of Saint Clare of Brescia purchased the island and had a convent built. The convent was abandoned in 1580. The island’s history is not well documented, but a geographer mentions it in 1696. He claimed the island belonged to Count Alessandro Martinengo’s heirs. A writer, who set some of his scenes on the island, mentioned the island again in 1847. By the end of the 19thcentury, a historian wrote about the ruins and concluded that they were part of a fortress that was built before 1500. The island became the property of Duchess Felicita Bevilacqua La Masa and was then sold to Vincenzo Richeri, a captain of the Royal Navy. It was Richeri who built the neo-gothic castle that is seen today. The castle has two light towers, a small port, and gardens of conifers. The two-story villa has a crenellated tower. The castle is privately owned and not open to the public, but tourists can admire the island from a ferry or during the “Tour of the Islands.” Photo credit: Fondazione Lombardia Film Commission & Mt Much More