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  • La Sarneghera

    By Anthony Parente

    Located near the cities of Brescia and Bergamo in the Lombardy region is Lake Iseo (Lago d'Iseo). Lake Iseo, which does not get as much attention as Como and Garda, is equally as beautiful as Como and Garda and surrounded by natural beauty. Within the lake is Monte Isola (Montisola), which is Italy's largest island located within a lake and is at the heart of a legend that dates back to the Middle Ages.

    During the summer months a phenomenon occurs. It is something that the locals call "La Sarneghera." La Sarneghera is massive thunderstorms that come from the southwestern part of the lake and rolls through the area. Howling winds whip through as ominous clouds cover the lake. The water ripples causing the lake to look the color of soot. In a matter of minutes heavy rain blankets the region causing destruction in its wake. Like many phenomenons that occur there is usually a legend associated with it. There are variations to the legend but the theme is generally all the same.

    During the middle ages a beautiful lady from Montisola who was betrothed against her will to an older nobleman from Franciacorta would walk down to the lake to look at the water. One day she slipped and fell into the water. A fisherman from Sarnico, who has just cast his net, jumped in to save the beautiful lady. The two of them fell in love. They were very happy together until her father found out. He ordered his daughter back to the castle where she remained until the day she was to be wed. The fisherman was not as lucky as he was imprisoned in a cave in Sarnico. On the day she was to be wed her father let her go down to the lake one last time. At the same time the father had ordered the fisherman killed. While looking into the lake wondering where her true love was the water started to ripple, the sky turned black and the wind howled a heartwrenching scream that the beautiful lady instantly recognized as her true love. Her heart broke and the only thing left for her to do was throw herself into the lake.

    Each year when la Sarneghera rolls in the people of Lake Isola say it is the two lovers calling out to each other exacting revenge on the land.


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