The beautiful Salò, sheltered within the homonymous gulf, is the first town of the colourful Riviera dei Limoni on the western shore of Lake Garda. It belongs to the province of Brescia and is located right below Monte San Bartolomeo. This mount houses many pleasant paths for those who want to venture towards the little church of San Bartolomeo or towards the panoramic viewpoint of La Corna. In Salò you will also find idyllic beaches and cycle paths, an ideal destination to immerse yourself in nature! Salò is waiting to be discovered!
The Repubblica di Salò
This village became famous during 2nd World War, as it was the capital of the would-be Repubblica Sociale Italiana, also known as the Republic of Salò. In fact, Benito Mussolini brought in 1943 some of the most important ministries of his new government under the domination of the Nazi Germany. Proof of this painful historical period are still to be found through the streets of the town. The Palazzo della Croce Rossa (Red Cross Palace), for instance, was used as headquarters of the Miniculpop (Ministry of Popular Culture), the centre of development of the Fascist propaganda. The Entertainment Division was located inside Villa Amadei, while the Palazzo della Magnifica Patria was used as an interpreter’s office for foreign press releases. If you happen to pass by the historical Bar Italia, it is interesting to know that Mussolini’s guard resided here.
But be careful! During your search through the streets of Salò, do not make the mistake of looking for the house where Mussolini lived… You will not find it here, but in Gargnano. And we’ll make it easy for you: Mussolini’s home known as Villa Feltrinelli has been converted into the luxurious Grand Hotel Villa Feltrinelli.
What to see in Salò
The centre is an interlacement of narrow lanes, enchanting squares with elegant mansions, and buildings painted in colours that remind the colour of citrus fruits. Nowadays you will find sophisticated restaurants, bars and traditional shops inside these buildings. This lively and sunny atmosphere, together with the green environment and the surrounding mountains, make Salò a real relaxing holiday destination.
The Duomo dedicated to Santa Maria Annunziata is a must see while you are in this town. It is a very ancient but really well-preserved structure, dated back to 1453 and completed in 1522. The coordination of the works of the interior was entrusted to Jacopo Negretti, known as Palma il Giovane (the Andy Warhol of the time). As a result, the interior contains many frescoes, art works and a wooden crucifix made by Giovanni Teutonico in 1493, considered one of the most beautiful in the world. On the north side the bell tower dominates the entire village. Along with the Cathedral itself, it imitates the Veronese church of Sant’Anastasia in its design and structure.
Are you a real culture vulture? If so, you can’t miss the MU.SA (Museum of Salò), every year, you will find events and exhibitions from all over the world. Before it being used as a museum it was actually a church: The “Church of Santa Giustina”, deconsecrated in the early 1800s.
Credits: Kevin Anselmini
Salò: Waiting to be discovered
A walk along the lake at lungolago Zanardelli is highly recommended. This promenade not only offers you the possibility to admire the lake and the austere beauty of the imposing hills around Salò… It is also the perfect place for those who have an irresistible thirst for knowledge, as you will find 20 nameplates spread along this lakeside, each of them revealing curiosities about the history and the origins of Salò. During this walk you will certainly also notice the Palazzo della Magnifica Patria and the Palazzo del Podestà. The characteristic that makes these buildings so striking is that they are connected to each other with columns. Both are still in use as municipal offices.
Maybe also interesting to know that the famous lemonade Tassoni was created right here in Salò in 1793 and it is still produced here, after all these years!
Excursion to Salò
Every year, from May to October, we are proud to put our Garda Lake Tour at your disposal. Here an experienced guide will lead you at the discover of the secrets and curiosities of Lake Garda. With this bus tour, which also includes a small boat trip, you will get to know 4 of the most charming towns of the lake. And don’t worry, Salò will surely be among them!
For further information: Garda lake Tour- north coast
Events in Salò
For live-music and sunset-by-the-lake lovers, Salò offers every summer a rich and varied calendar of musical (but also sporting and cultural!) events. A regular appointment is the Happy Blue Hour, involving open shops and live music on every Thursday evening. But also, the Girovagando in Jazz takes usually place on every summer Friday in Piazzetta Largo V. Pirlo.
Salò is furthermore the location of the prestigious Festival Internazionale Estate Musicale del Garda, named after Gasparo da Salò, one of the hypothetical inventors of the violin. This Festival welcomes every year, from July to August, internationally renowned artists: well, an opportunity you can’t miss!
And finally, perhaps the most awaited event, the weekly market in Salò which takes place on every Saturday morning from 08: 00-13: 30. The ideal opportunity to find clothing at competitive prices and local products in a welcoming environment.