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Istituto di Studi Economici e per l'Occupazione
Learn Economics from Nobel Laureates
1 Iseo
Iseo Città
Iseo is a lovely and romantic town by the lake, namely the Iseo lake (also called Sebino lake).

This picturesque village is very close to some of the most beatiful Northern Italy cities: Venice (worldwide famous for its canals and gondolas), Verona ( the city of Romeo and Juliet), Milan ( with its magnificent Duomo and Leonardo da Vinci's The last supper) and also to Brescia and Bergamo.
Iseo is located in the heart of the well-known Franciacorta which is world wide famous for the production of the wonderful wine Franciacorta.

Among the coastal villages of the lake, Iseo is the one which has better preserved its original medieval urban structure, even if some changes took places between the XV and XVIII centuries. The origins of the village are very old: its coast was inhabited since prehistoric times as stated by archaeological remains dating back to the Bronze Age (XIII century BC) found in 1999-2000 along Via per Rovato.
The name "Iseo" seems to come from the Goddess "Isis" worshipped during the Roman period; the favourable natural conditions allowed the settlement of a vicus as stated by the finding of a floor of a domus or villa dating back to the I century BC.

The importance of Iseo increased during the early medieval period thanks to its Pieve (parish church), harbour-market and castle which made it the most important village of the lake area. The first reference to a castle situated in Iseo is in the Polittico di S. Giulia, a document dating back to the end of the IX or beginning of the X century; as a matter of fact the list of the properties belonging to the monastery of Brescia, founded by Desiderio, King of the Lombards, mentions the presence of a court and a vineyard in the castle. Only some centuries later, during the late medieval period, the castle, which is situated on a rock on the south side of the historical centre, became the most important building as regards the defensive questions of the village.
Iseo was surrounded by several walls: the oldest one was probably built around the hill on which there were the castle and the church of S. Stefano (today Madonna della Neve). Later two more circles of walls were added before the final one of the beginning of the XIV century: this circle of walls also included the church which was previously outside the village limits. There were three gates leading inside the village: the Porta del Campo in Via per Rovato, the Porta delle Mirolte, towards the mountain, and the Porta del Porciolo along the coastal road leading to Valle Camonica.

Between the XII and the XIV centuries Iseo was involved, together with the Commune of Brescia, in the disputes between the emperor and the pope which took also to some dramatic events, as the siege and the sack of the 28th July 1161 by the army of Federico Barbarossa (Frederick I Redbeard).
Anyway Iseo kept a high level of prosperity which allowed the flowering of religious and residential buildings, such as the churches of S. Andrea and S. Silvestro or the stone houses situated along via Sombrico and del Campo.
In the meantime several representatives of the local aristocracy increased their importance: among them the most powerful and important family was the Ghibelline one of Da Iseo/Oldofredi , who in alliance with the family Federici of Valle Camonica, kept a political and economical control both on the village and part of the lake and Franciacorta territories for centuries. In 1454 Venice enlarged its control on the provinces of Brescia and Bergamo, which became part of the Venice Republic for about three and a half centuries. The village renovated its buildings inside the XIV century walls, above all the ones around today's Piazza Garibaldi, and slowly enlarged its territory covering the coastal area.

During the years between 1820 and 1860 Iseo underwent a great economical growth: silk mills, factories and tanneries were built along the lake coast so to use the water both for the manufacture and transport of the goods. The port was enlarged and it became another source of prosperity for Iseo together with the market which was kept twice a week.

The medieval gates were demolished in 1840 when architect Rodolfo Vantini built the new Palazzo dei Grani (today's Town Hall) and renovated the interior of the Parish Church of S. Andrea changing it completely. The railway Brescia-Iseo was built at the end of the XIX century: it was connected to the port (today's Viale della Repubblica) following up the demolition of the medieval houses of the Contrada del Campo. After the World War II Iseo has become the main economical centre of the lower part of the lake thanks to tourism.
1 The bond between Iseo and the I.S.E.O Institute
abbbazia The romantic town of Iseo is widely well-known (both in Italy and abroad) for being "the Nobel Laureates' town". The bond between the professors awarded with the Nobel Prize and the lovely Italian village dates back to 1998, when Franco Modigliani came to Iseo with his wife Serena for vacation, for the first time in his life.
Modigliani immediately felt in love with the town of Iseo: not only he received the freedom of the city, but he also started to make some friends here in Iseo and right with those friends, in 1998, he found an institute which could promote the economic culture throughout the world. Modigliani and his friends decided to call the institute "I.S.E.O" in honour of the town itself: the acronym stands for Institute of Studies on Economics and Occupation.

Since 1998 the Institute works hard to fulfill the desire of his founder, Franco Modigliani, organizing every year several important conferences and summerschool focused on economics and actuality.

More than thirty Nobel Laureates came to Iseo since the date of its foundation to take part to the conferences organized by the institute: this is why the town of Iseo has started being known as "the Nobel Laureates' town".
1 Download:
For further information about Iseo please download the brochure here below: information about the beauties of Iseo and its most lovely corners are included.

Pictures in the brochures are kindly offered by Federico Sbardolini who cooperates with the I.S.E.O Institute.

In the photogallery there is also a folder dedicated to some pictures of Iseo.
- Brochure Iseo and surroundings
- Iseo Map
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