San Felice del Benaco

What to see in San Felice del Benaco

San Felice del Benaco is a town located on the Brescia side of Lake Garda, in the Valtenesi area. The territory of the municipality, characterised by picturesque morainic hills and unmissable lakeside beaches, comprises three main villages: San Felice, Portese and Cisano.

It is the ideal destination for those seeking a relaxing holiday on Lake Garda, while enjoying natural landscapes and attractions of historical and cultural interest.

Curiosity: The name San Felice derives etymologically from the Latin sinus felix, meaning ‘happy cove’.

San Felice del Benaco

San Felice del Benaco in pills

THE UNMISSABLE

  • Isola del Garda
  • Chiesa di San Felice
  • Borgo di Cisano e Big Bench

top beaches

  • Spiaggia Porto San Felice
  • Spiaggia Baia del Vento
  • Spiaggia Porto Portese

weekly market

• Wednesday morning

What to see in San Felice del Benaco

San Felice del Benaco hosts, within its three beautiful main villages, several unmissable attractions for all lovers of history, art and culture.
Here is a list of things to see in San Felice del Benaco:

Historical centre

The historical centre of the village of San Felice del Benaco will fascinate you with its pretty alleys and interesting little shops.

Here you will also find a number of buildings of great historical value such as the Ex Monte di Pietà, an elegant 17th century building constructed to fulfil the testamentary wishes of the wealthy benefactor Giacomo Pace: he decided that the needy could apply for a financial loan by drawing directly from his assets, and then pay it off without the addition of any interest.

The building, seat of the town hall until 1993, still contains an ancient coat of arms of San Felice and a valuable fresco by Abramo Grisiani (an artist active between the 16th and 17th centuries).

Instead, the current seat of the town hall is Palazzo Rotingo, a building erected in the 18th century and extensively renovated in the late 19th and early 20th century, which features finely decorated coffered walls and ceiling.

Church of San Felice

The parish church of San Felice, designed by the famous Brescian architect Antonio Corbellini, was completed in 1781, on the very spot where the old 16th-century church stood.

With its perfect Baroque appearance, the church is dedicated to Saints Felix, Adauto and Flavia, whose relics are still preserved in the high altar. Visiting the interior, you can admire numerous frescoes and paintings of inestimable artistic and cultural value: among others, the 16th-century altarpiece painted by Romanino and the 17th-century altarpiece by Pietro Ricchi known as ‘il Lucchese’ stand out.

Sanctuary of the Madonna del Carmine

The Sanctuary of the Madonna del Carmine is located in a quiet and isolated position, but is not far from the centre of San Felice and can be reached easily on foot. The building, dating back to the 15th century, presents the very simple and rustic style typical of late Gothic Lombardy.

Despite the long period of abandonment, inside one can still admire the frescoes painted in the 15th and 16th centuries. Legend has it that the church was built at the request of local fishermen, who manifestly wanted to pay homage to the Virgin for having often saved them from violent bad weather during their navigation on the lake.

cosa fare a san felice del benaco
Photo: santuariodelcarmine-sanfelice.it

Village of Cisano and Big Bench

Also worth a visit is the hamlet of Cisano (not to be confused with the Bardolino hamlet of the same name), a small, quiet village offering a splendid view of the Gulf of Salò. Here you will have the opportunity to admire historical buildings such as the 15th-century church of San Giovanni Battista Decollato and the elegant Palazzo Cominelli, built in the 17th century.

Right inside the park of Palazzo Cominelli, following the path marked by yellow bows, you will find the first Big Bench of Lake Garda, number 101: it is part of an installation linked to a project by designer Chris Bangle, and consists of a giant yellow bench from which you can admire Lake Garda and Monte Baldo.

Things to do in San Felice del Benaco

A visit to Garda Island

Isola del Garda is the largest island of the entire lake and is located near the coast of San Felice. There stands an imposing and wonderful villa built in the early 20th century, whose grandiose crenellated tower stands out. The island is not only rich in lush and wild vegetation, but also has a well-kept Italian garden and several fruit trees.

Isola del Garda is currently owned by the Cavazza family, which offers the possibility of guided tours starting from one of the ports in the area, including San Felice and Portese.

cosa vedere a san felice del benaco

The beaches of San Felice del Benaco

San Felice del Benaco has enchanting beaches, perfect for those in search of relaxation and fun on the shore of the limpid waters of Lake Garda.

The most beautiful beaches in San Felice are:

-Porto San Felice beach: in Via Spizzago, a large free pebble beach with the possibility of renting parasols, sunbeds and pedalos. There is also a bar nearby.

-Baia del Vento: small free beach with the possibility of renting parasols, sunbeds, canoes and pedalos. It offers a privileged view of Lake Garda and has bar and restaurant facilities.

-Beach Gardiola: in the locality of Navenago, a small, unequipped pebble beach.

-Porto Portese beach: a free beach with an area reserved for dogs. There are bars and restaurants in the immediate vicinity.

Bicycle path

For bicycle lovers, or for those who simply want to take a ride in the open air, we recommend the beautiful 18-kilometre-long cycle path connecting San Felice del Benaco, Portese and Cisano.

Sailing Course

The Polisportiva San Felice del Benaco offers sailing courses tailored to age group and experience level, excellent for trying a dynamic and alternative activity on the waters of Lake Garda.

san felice del benaco

San Felice del Benaco and surroundings

San Felice del Benaco is a locality on the Brescia coast of Lake Garda and is located between the municipalities of Salò, Manerba del Garda and Puegnago. It is highly recommended to visit these amazing locations, which can be reached quickly by car or bicycle.

Alternatively, you could take the ferry to other resorts on Lake Garda, such as the picturesque Sirmione.

Here, then, are the main attractions and activities offered by the area of San Felice del Benaco and its surroundings: all that remains for us to do is to wish you enjoy your holiday on Lake Garda.

manerba del garda cosa vedere

San Felice Lago di Garda: FAQ

-By car
A4 motorway (Milan-Venice): exit at Desenzano and continue towards Salò-Riva. After the Manerba roundabout, follow the signs for San Felice.

-By train
The nearest railway station to San Felice del Benaco is Desenzano. From here, you can easily reach San Felice by bus by taking line 07.

-By plane
The nearest airports to San Felice del Benaco 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 San Felice.

-By ferry
It is possible to reach San Felice del Benaco from other locations on the lake by ferry. You can check timetables and fares with the Lake Garda shipping company (www.navigazionelaghi.it).

Here is where to park your car in San Felice del Benaco:

-Parking in Via Spizzago: against payment, close to the Porto San Felice beach.

-Parking in Via Benaco: against payment, very close to the Baia del Vento beach.

-Parking on Via Porto Portese: against payment, in the hamlet of Portese near the beach.

-Parking on Via del Convento: free parking in the hamlet of Cisano.

If it is raining during your stay in San Felice del Benaco, we recommend that you first take a look inside the interesting shops and boutiques in the historic centre. If you are keen on shopping, the large shopping centres Il Leone or Le Vele are only a half-hour drive from San Felice.

An original alternative could be to book a guided tour at one of the area’s prestigious wine cellars.

The San Felice del Benaco area and its surroundings are the ideal place to spend a fun holiday with the whole family. Your children will be amazed at the view of the Big Bench, on which they can climb to enjoy an alternative and unforgettable panorama.

Of course, fun is guaranteed by spending a day on the beaches of San Felice: for children who are sports enthusiasts, we recommend trying a few sailing lessons on Lake Garda.

Finally, the Rimbalzello Adventure park and its fun trails suspended among the trees can be reached in just fifteen minutes by car from San Felice.

San Felice del Benaco, in addition to its characteristic villages and enchanting beaches on Lake Garda, is most famous for hosting the beautiful Isola del Garda, the largest island on the entire lake.

San Felice del Benaco is located in the region of Lombardy, in the province of Brescia. It is very popular with tourists due to its privileged position on the shores of Lake Garda.

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