The lively Salò, between leisure time and culture

A panoramic view of Salò (c) BNFWork /
Salò is a pleasant town dotted with elegant Art Nouveau buildings and offers a wide range of places and events of historical and cultural character, as well as a quiet lakeside promenade on which to stroll.

Located on the gulf of the same name, on the western shore of Lake Garda, the town of Salò is best known for its historical events: it was in fact the capital of the Magnifica Patria during the Venetian domination and the seat of many ministries of the fascist government during World War II. The elegant historical center is a tangle of narrow streets, lively squares, elegant residences and buildings of great historical and artistic value, such as the 16th-century Palazzo della Magnifica Patria, now the seat of the municipality, which was rebuilt after two violent earthquakes, and the adjacent Palazzo del Podestà, connected by a portico with interesting frescoes and ancient coats of arms. Also worth a visit is the 15th-century Cathedral in late Gothic style, enriched over the centuries by important works of art.

Inaugurated in June 2015, the MuSa, the new museum of modern and contemporary history, also contributes to the cultural offer of the Garda town. Housed in the spaces of the former church of Santa Giustina, the museum has, among other things, an interesting collection of drawings on paper by authors such as Lucio Fontana, Salvatore Garau, Emilio Vedova and Filippo de Pisis. Moreover, in the surroundings of Salò, near the village of Gardone Riviera, there is one of the most interesting buildings, from a historical and cultural point of view, of the whole lake. We are talking about the Vittoriale degli Italiani, a monumental complex wanted by the poet Gabriele d’Annunzio and considered a sort of natural compendium of his literary work. The Vittoriale includes D’Annunzio’s last home, crammed with priceless works of art and memorabilia, and a vast garden in which streets, squares, waterways and an open-air theater and a ship from the First World War wind their way. It is one of the most visited museums in Italy, as well as being the stage, every summer, of a musical and theatrical review considered among the best of the Peninsula.

But the tourist offer of the lively Salò does not stop here: even for lovers of outdoor sports there is the possibility to indulge in itineraries on the hills surrounding the area or on the lakefront that follows the profile of the gulf, dotted with ice cream parlors, bars and clubs of all kinds. The shore that goes from Salò to Brescia, moreover, is full of delightful little beaches, almost all free, that offer the possibility of sunbathing, having a drink, or why not, diving into the clear waters of the lake.