The Franciacorta

The Franciacorta

The historical origin of the term Franciacorta is much discussed: in a first time this area was known as the Valle d’Iseo and only in 1277, in a regulation contained in the Statuta Communis Civitatis Brixiae, you can find the name Francia Corta clearly reported. 

The first map that shows the area of Franza Curta is found in a statute of the Doge Francesco Foscari dated 1429. Here the area follows the current boundaries, corresponding to the square of Rovato and Gussago, bordered on the north by Lake Iseo, to the east by the Rhaetian Alps, to the west by the river Oglio and to the south by the Mount Orphan, including 19 municipalities of the Province of Brescia. 

The Malvezzi in 1412 claimed that the name dated back to the invasion of the Franks led by Charlemagne: he snatched Brescia to the Lombards in 774, Charles would in fact place his camp in Rodengo Saiano and, on the eve of St. Denis festivity, he had promised to celebrate it on French soil, in Paris, he decreed that the territory could be considered as a small France. 

Another supposition is traced back the name Franciacorta to 1265, when the inhabitants of Rovato, Erbusco and Capriolo ribelled against the soldiers of Charles of Anjou chasing them. “Short” would then mean, with a “small” forcing, the French short stay in these places. 

The last and the most accepted theory derives its name from the “curtes francae”, the community of monks settled in the territory was free, both during the Lombard domination that the Frankish empire, from the payment of duties and taxes, as the monks were engaged in the reclamation of land and the cultivation of fields.

Currently, the name Franciacorta is linked to wine production, already practiced in the past, back to the forefront in the second half of the last century, when the passion of many entrepreneurs and the birth of the quality consumption, led to the development of a special wine intended to make known in a short time its merits beyond the borders of Brescia. 

Historical, artistic and naturalistic routes

1° route
Rodengo Saiano (Abbazia di St. Nicholas) – Passirano (Castle) – Bornato (Castle) – Provaglio d’Iseo (Monastery of St. Peter in Lamosa) – Torbiere – Iseo (Oldofredi Castle and Pieve di St. Andrew) – Paratico (Castle) – Capriolo (medieval village);

2° route
Rodengo Saiano (Abbazia of St. Nicholas) – Passirano (Castle) – Bornato (Castle) – Rovato (Convent of the Annunciation) – Erbusco (Villa Lechi and Pieve of St. Mary) – Adro (Pieve of St. Mary in Favento, Sanctum of Our Lady of the Snow and Palazzo Bargnani – Dandolo);

3° route
Adro (Pieve of St. Mary in Favento and little church of Santa Maria Assunta) – Erbusco (Pieve of St. Mary, the ruins of the castle and medieval village) – Bornato (Castle) – Passirano (Castle) – Gussago ( Sanctum of Stella and Pieve of St. Mary) – Ome (Sanctum of St. Mary) – Iseo (Pieve of St. Andrew and Castle Oldofredi);

4° route
Torbiere d’ Iseo and Franciacorta vineyards.