Snow is falling | A weekend in Brescia’s mountains


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A trip on a sledge pulled by huskies or snowshoes or skiing by night on the longest illuminated ski slope in Europe? Three Franciacorta-based ideas for a weekend of sport and good wine

Lombardy’s snow cover is lighter and more cautious than usual but beautiful all the same and just as good for an open air weekend away. Anyone wanting to avoid the crowds in the resorts most popular with the people of Milan might want to try the more authentic Brescia mountains, which are just as packed with attractions for all tastes. Rather than finishing off the day with the same old bombardino, why not take advantage of what nearby Franciacorta has to offer?

Our first itinerary is for those wanting to explore the mountains in total comfort, without the exertion of skis and even less snowshoes – a sledge pulled by magnificent Siberian huskies led by the staff of Maniva Sleddog, a unique way to enjoy snowy mountains with the whole family.. And after a sleddog baptism, the boldest might want to try their hands at leading a pack of dogs themselves, like a real musher, in total safety, under the guidance of an expert member of staff. 

Just over an hour past Maniva, the Franciacorta capital is ready to welcome holidaymakers on their way home from the snow with a wine estate visit. San Cristoforo was born in Erbusco in 1992 from Claudia and Bruno’s love for the land and wine which prompted them to turn this passion into work. Their first wines came out in 2016, and in 2019 Celeste opened a new modern, comfortable tasting room in which to welcome in visitors and tell them the story of her family and wine estate. 

The fitting end for a great day is a dinner based on Franciacorta, in both food and glasses. Hill Colle reworks the area’s characteristic dishes at its bistrot, welcoming guests to the rooms of its historic farmhouse in colonial style.

Our second itinerary begins in Val Palot, a haven of peace and quiet between Lake Iseo and Monte Guglielmo as well as a favourite with budding skiers, thanks to its recently renovated learners area. But above all it is known for its famous night time snowshoe race on an eight kilometre route across the ski area with three hundred metres of altitude gain. But you don’t need to wait until the night of 24 February to get your snowshoes on and explore the valley. 

Less than an hour away the CorteBianca wine estate at Provaglio di Iseo awaits tired, thirsty hikers. From farming techniques to safeguarding biodiversity and restoring the farmhouse in accordance with the principles of biobuilding and sustainability, the estate’s every decision shows its profound bond with the land, embodied by its decision to opt for organic, right from the start. After a glass of Essente, the pas dosé which symbolises the farm’s philosophy, embracing all four grape variety allowed by the regulations, holidaymakers can continue their evening at Hostaria Uva Rara. Franciacorta and Sebino are the starting point for Alessandro and Davide Zonoletti’s cuisine “loyal to tradition but daring as well”. 

The day ends at the lakeside in one of Hotel Araba Fenice’s panoramic rooms. This historic meeting place of Brescia’s aristocracy now has an infinity pool with jacuzzi and solarium, a panoramic pool and a well equipped beach but it is no less attractive in mid winter.

Skiing, the winter sport par excellence, plays centre stage in this third itinerary, the Superpanoramica del Baradello in the Aprica-Corteno Golgi ski resort designed for those who aren’t content with skiing from eight in the morning to five at night. Its six kilometres of illuminated ski slopes are considered to be Europe’s longest and it is open alternately for downhill skiers and ski mountaineers from early December to early March. 

The following morning, after a well-deserved rest, the more energetic will want to make use of the rest of the weekend to get to know Brescia province better. Just over an hour from Corteno Golgi Santus Franciacorta is the estate set up by Maria Luisa Santus and Gianfranco Pagano who decided, in 1995, to devote their energies to making organic wine in an attempt to defend nature’s biodiversity and differences and rejecting all kinds of standardisation. This family-run wine estate is open every day of the week, weekends included, for visits to its winemaking and ageing rooms before moving on to one of three tasting trajectories. 

A few minutes away, you can finish off your experience with a lunch which speaks all the world’s languages: a parilla basca, a large charcoal grill which Armando Codispoti had specially made for the Levante in Franciacorta restaurant, is its pride and joy and used to bring out the flavours of its fish from Galicia or Veneto-reared Wagyu beef. It is a expert, responsible cuisine which reflects its Calabrian chef’s many years of experience all over the world.

And anyone wanting to spend a few extra nights in Franciacorta might want to stay at one of Hotel-Motel Morgana’s stylish suites and enjoy the warmth of its fireplace and a lovely relaxing swim and jacuzzi.

Wineries and correlated activities



Via Caduto Antonini, 6/1, 25050 Sergnana BS, Italia

San Cristoforo

Via Villanuova, 2, 25030 Villa Pedergnano BS, Italia


Wherever there’s something to celebrate there has to be a glass of Franciacorta and an extraordinary sound.


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