Salò

Salò what to see

Salò is the largest and most important town on the Brescia side of Lake Garda.

The territory of the municipality includes that part of the coast overlooking the gulf of the same name. Known in the past for what happened during World War II, today Salò is one of the most popular and appreciated tourist destinations on Lake Garda, thanks to the beauty of its historic centre and numerous beaches.

The territory of Salò, located between Mount San Bartolomeo and the morainic hills, is rich in areas where nature is lush and unspoilt, perfect for outdoor activities.

Curiosity: Salò is still home to the factory of Cedral Tassoni, a legendary company that was founded here as a spice mill in 1750. It is most famous for the iconic Cedrata Tassoni, which started out in 1921 in syrup form and established itself as a carbonated soft drink in 1956.

Salò

Salò in pills

THE UNMISSABLE

• Duomo di Salò
• MuSa
• Santuario della Madonna del Rio

top beaches

• Spiaggia del Mulino
• Spiaggia Rive Grandi
• Spiaggetta delle Rive

weekly market

• Saturday morning

What to see in Salò

Salò is characterised by an incomparable charm, not only because of its enchanting beaches on Lake Garda, but also because it bears witness to what happened here in the past. This makes it the ideal halfway point for those in search of well-being and tranquillity, as well as for those who love culture and history.

Here are some tips on things not to miss in Salò:

Historical Centre

The historic centre of Salò seems to have been built especially to feature on postcards: directly overlooking Lake Garda, it is a pleasure to stroll through its delightful narrow streets and pretty, colourful houses. We also recommend stopping at a bar or an ice-cream parlour for a tasty break overlooking the lake.

The centre of Salò is full of buildings that are not only aesthetically beautiful, but also of great historical and cultural importance. Here are the two main structures:

  • The Clock Tower (or Porta) dell’Orologio: located in Piazza Emanuele II. The gate’s origins date back to the 13th century, and it was the main western entrance to the heart of Salò. In the 18th century, the upper register was built, with the elegant tympanum and the majestic clock that we can still admire today.
  • Palazzo del Podestà: originally built in the 16th century, it overlooks the lake and was partially rebuilt following the earthquake of 1901, only to be restored again in 2004. It was the seat of the Council of the Magnifica Patria, a union of 52 municipalities in this area of Lake Garda, of which Salò was the capital and which was dissolved in 1797.

Cathedral of Salò

The majestic church of Santa Maria Annunziata represents the Cathedral of Salò: it was designed by Filippo dalle Vacche in late Gothic style and its construction began in 1453. As is evident, the façade is still unfinished and this contributes to its charm. Moreover, it is embellished by a wonderful Renaissance marble entrance portal, made in 1509.

Inside, the Cathedral of Salò houses extraordinary paintings by great artists such as Romanino, Moretto, Zenone Veronese, Palma the Younger and Paolo Veneziano. Also not to be missed is the 15th century gilded wooden altarpiece depicting the Madonna Enthroned and the Risen Christ.

The admirable architectural structure and priceless works of art make the Cathedral of Salò a must-see for culture lovers.

Photo: it.wikipedia.org

MuSa – Salò Museum

This very interesting museum, opened in 2015, aims to chronologically narrate the history of Salò and its territory, starting from the Roman age up to the present day. The sections of the MuSa deal with very heterogeneous themes such as history, archaeology, art, science and experimentation, always through the display of extremely valuable pieces.

Of particular note is the presence of the Blue Ribbon Museum, which focuses on the documentation of wartime battles from 1793 onwards, and the room dedicated to the tragic history of the Republic of Salò, opened in 2023.

Sanctuary of the Madonna del Rio

This is a small sanctuary dating back to the 18th century near the village of Renzano, 3 kilometres from Salò. It is located in a peaceful and relaxing forest, in which there is also a picturesque waterfall with a statue of the Madonna.

Legend has it that the sanctuary was built to commemorate and celebrate an apparition of the Madonna that took place right here inside a cave, where she is said to have left her footprint on a white stone.

Today, this place is a popular destination for walks and picnics.

Photo: it.wikiloc.com - Author: Bruno196

Things to do in Salò

Salò Beaches

The territory of Salò is full of beautiful beaches where one can relax and enjoy oneself on the shores of Lake Garda: these are situated along the gulf of the same name, which allows one to enjoy a particular and fascinating panorama.

The most beautiful beaches in Salò are:

-Mill Beach: a free, pebbly beach, with the possibility of renting umbrellas and sunbeds at the Mokai Beach bar.

-Rive Grandi Beach: at Barbarano, a free pebble beach where you can also hire a boat or motorboat.

-Rimbalzello Beach: at Barbarano, part of the Rimbalzello Adventure park. Entrance is on payment and there is access to various sports fields such as five-a-side football, tennis and beach volleyball.

-Rive Beach: a quiet, free pebble beach, close to the centre of Salò.

-Dog beach: in Via Tavine, not an equipped beach, but the perfect place to let your dogs run and play safely by the lake.

Excursion to San Bartolomeo

This walk of medium difficulty starts from Salò, first following the Pineta path and then path no. 17. The first stunning viewpoint, ‘La Corna’, can be reached in an hour; then continue on to the church of San Bartolomeo, built in the 14th century and immersed in a green and relaxing environment.

Once there, you can enjoy a breathtaking view of Lake Garda that will reward you for the effort of the walk. The excursion, round trip, lasts about three hours.

Sailing Course

Sports enthusiasts can turn to the Centro Canottieri del Garda on the lakeside in Salò for sailing courses. Different types of courses are available, depending on age and experience level, to ensure maximum safety and fun for everyone.

It is an excellent opportunity to try an alternative and dynamic experience on the crystal-clear waters of Lake Garda.

Rimbalzello Adventure Park

This wonderful adventure park immersed in nature is located in Barbarano, a hamlet of Salò. Here you will find a variety of courses suspended in the trees, differentiated by minimum age and level of difficulty.

Tibetan bridges, lianas, pulleys… fun is guaranteed for both children and adults. Everything is done in total safety, thanks to a tried and tested system of harnesses and carabiners that the guides will teach you to wear and use.

Salò and surroundings

Salò is a town on the Brescia side of Lake Garda, to the west, and in its vicinity are other wonderful locations on the Garda coast. In the immediate vicinity, to the north, is Gardone Riviera, famous for Gabriele D’Annunzio’s Vittoriale and the beautiful botanical garden.

Moving southwards you will find the beautiful Isola del Garda, in the municipality of San Felice del Benaco, or the picturesque Rocca di Manerba. Starting from Salò, you can reach these interesting attractions easily and in a short time either by car or by bicycle.

Alternatively, you could take a ferry to visit other locations around the lake, also located on the Veronese shore such as Torri del Benaco or Garda.

Here are the marvellous opportunities offered by the Salò area and its surroundings: we hope that our advice will be useful to you in planning your perfect holiday on Lake Garda.

vittoriale
vittoriale

Salò Lago di Garda: FAQ

-By car
From the east: A4 motorway (Venice-Milan) and exit at Desenzano.

From the west: A4 motorway (Milan-Venice) and exit at Brescia Est.

In both cases, follow the signs for Salò.

-By train
The nearest railway station to Salò is Desenzano. From here, you can easily reach Manerba by bus, taking line 27.

-By plane
The nearest airports to Salò are Brescia’s Gabriele D’Annunzio Airport, Verona’s Valerio Catullo Airport and Orio al Serio Airport (Bergamo). From your chosen airport, you can use public transport services or hire a car to reach Salò.

-By ferry
It is possible to reach Salò from other locations on the lake by ferry. You can check timetables and fares with the Lake Garda shipping company.

Here is where to park your car in Salò:

  • Parking in Via Maria Montessori: large and free.
  • Parking in Piazza Sergio Bresciani: fee-paying, very close to the historic centre and lakefront.
  • Civic car park at the APCOA Centre: in Via Brunati, pay car park very close to the historic centre.
  • Parking in Via Alcide de Gasperi: free parking, a fifteen-minute walk from the historic centre.

Should it rain during your holiday in Salò, we recommend that you first visit the MuSa, the Salò Museum. In addition, you could shelter from the bad weather inside the shops and boutiques in the centre, a good opportunity to do some interesting shopping.

A good idea could also be to book a guided tour inside one of the renowned wineries in the area.

Finally, if you love shopping, the large shopping centres Il Leone or Le Vele are about a half-hour drive away.

In and around Salò there is a wide choice of activities to entertain the whole family, including children. Of course, walks along the lakefront, perhaps while eating a good ice cream, and swimming in the crystal-clear waters of the lake cannot be missed. For the more sporty children, we recommend sailing lessons, held by the Centro Canottieri del Garda.

Finally, don’t miss the Rimbalzello Adventure park with its suspended courses in the middle of nature, perfect for children and adults of all ages.

In addition to being renowned for its delightful old town centre, lakefront and beautiful beaches, Salò is especially famous for historical reasons: between 1943 and 1945 (during the period of the Republic of Salò), it was the seat of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Propaganda, as well as the headquarters of the regime’s press agency.

Salò is located in the region of Lombardy, in the province of Brescia. It is a popular destination for tourists because of its wonderful historic centre and the enchanting beaches on Lake Garda.

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