Salo, Lago di Garda ~ Home to a famous violin maker

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This is the statue in his honour along the boulevard
This is the statue in his honour along the boulevard

The very first time we visited Salo, I was the age of the boys now and with all the kids Salò has always been a great stop we make during the holidays. When you step into this little lovely town you fall in love instantly. Salo, the village is on the western side of Lake Garda and we went by boat. The surroundings are beautiful and yesterday was FER AGOSTO a day of celebrations, so it was busy but still there was enough room to secure the boat and have lunch and enjoy the wonderful sights of this pittoresk town.

Along the boulevard you can get a boat taxi to tour the lake
Along the boulevard you can get a boat taxi to tour the lake

As the title of the blog already says its also the collage of a famous violin builder. It was the village of Gasparo Bertolotti 'da Salò' the famous Violin maker (he lived here from 1540 – 1609) Gasparo Bertolotti 'da Salò' , here on the first picture above, was one of the greatest Brescian instrument makers. He was born into a family of musicians in Salò and also played the violin himself. He was a dedicated craftsman, he was formerly credited with having developed the violin in the shape as we now know it. Although this claim is now disproved, his instruments are nevertheless admired and venerated. He is considered to be the founder of the Brescian school of violin makers.

The details of his training are unclear but he played very well, but history knows that soon after 1562 he moved business to Brescia, where he established a successful violin making shop, lasting over 40 years. His workshop produced many different types of stringed instruments, including citterns, violones and violas da braccia as well as those of the violin family. Although he was a contemporary of Andrea Amati and the Brothers Amati, his methods and materials are quite different from those of the Amatis.

From the Smithsonian site I got this part about the instruments :

His violas are considered finer than his violins and were probably more numerous. His viola da gambas were converted to violoncellos and are much esteemed; and some six-stringed bass viols have been remounted as three-and four-stringed double basses. About twenty noteworthy instruments are recorded.The body length of his violins is about 13 7/8"; violas, 16 5/16". The varnish is toast- or golden-brown with reddish tint and is magnificently transparent and elastic.

The Brescia violin
The Brescia violin

Gasparo employed various assistants, including Giovanni Paolo Maggini and his own son,maybe @bengy and some of our terminal musicians will appreciate this information about my beautiful italy.

The statue is at the beginning af the boulevard and there are a few benches around so you can sit and just wonder what that time would have been like.

Salò is a fairly old village. It is sometimes referred to as a small town, which it mainly owes to the important role that Salò played at different periods in history. We try to tell that to the kids before we go anywhere just to alsways be informative about history. We must never forget and we like to read and tell. It played an important role in the time when Venice played a very important role in this part of Europe, the wealthy Venetians liked to stay in this most beautiful place on the Riviera in the summer months, as it was already called at the time.

Sitting along the water enjoying the breeze from the lake is holiday bliss
Sitting along the water enjoying the breeze from the lake is holiday bliss

A second important period is one of which people in Italy are not really proud. It is the period when the fascist leader Benito Mussolini lived here. During the Second World War, he even made Salò the capital of the Republic of Salò, an Italian fascist republic that existed for more than a year and a half. The capitulation of the Italian and German armies put an end to this republic. Fortunately, Mussolini's time is far behind us. What remains is visually one of the most beautiful villages, some say the most beautiful village on Lake Garda. Salò is mainly due to the presence of the more than two kilometers long car-free pedestrian promenade along the water. This unevenly shaped promenade is the place where people come to stroll, to eat and drink. Whether you go here during the day or in the evening, Salò's promenade is always enchanting. No big neon signs or huge merchandise displays here. No, the atmosphere along the promenade is quite subdued. And a great place to take photographs. Some boats float in the water. And there is a possibility to take a water taxi in three different spots along the promenade. A marina is located on the western side of the boulevard.

This is the place where you can park your boat
This is the place where you can park your boat

Parallel to the Lungolago G. Zanardelli, as the promenade is officially called, is the Via San Carlo. This is a fairly narrow and car-free shopping street. Yes its me again always looking for shops even when its 37 degrees celcius, and hubby doesn’t always agree that we NEED to shop. Thank god my mum does, and we always plan ahead.

This time I forgot that all shops are closed between 1 pm and 3:30 pm due to midday rest. So we had a beautiful luch with the whole family outside near the water and I had the time to take some pictures.

When all is closed its probably the most beautiful time of the day to admire the streets and the see through itself. You are then more inclined to look at the many colored facades instead of the shop windows with merchandise. I collect gate pictures and that was successful here.

The largest and most important church on Lake Garda is located in Salò. The Duomo Santa Maria Annunziata was built in the 15th century. The church was built in the late Gothic style and contains some beautiful frescoes. The church is free to visit. It was also closed. But maybe i will visit again this time in the right part of the daytime.

Ofcourse we needed to eat and I had the famous italian risotto with shrimp.

Wit a slice of lime for the freshness
Wit a slice of lime for the freshness

Risotto is a creamy Italian dish that tastes a lot like the rice version of mac and cheese. Unlike other rice recipes that require simmering in a pot of water, risotto is cooked very slowly by adding 1/2 cup of liquid at a time. This process allows the rice to release its starches, creating a rich, velvety sauce with soft taste and being slightly al dente when eaten. Risotto is best enjoyed the second it comes off the stovetop; the starches begin to set as you wait, ruining that saucy goodness you will love aswell,mine had parmigian in it so i had to be careful not to burn myself. Even the boys who tasted it loved it.

Thank you salo untill we meet again!
Thank you salo untill we meet again!

Covid rules applied here of course aswell on the streets there were round stickers to show the way to walk and inside masks were a nessecity, and at the door of restaurants your temp was taken just to be sure.

It was another blessed day and i feel fortunate.

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Blog Date : 16 august 2020 

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Ciao @brittandjosie A really interesting story about Italy. Meanwhile, we invite you to participate in our I LOVE ITALY competition. Find all the info on
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I wish we would have such great people, like he was. He was creating truly great musical instruments. For nowadays, if we talk about reliable creators of musical instruments, especially for classic music, I would choose Antonio Strad because it's a company, which can guarantee the well-built violins and violas, and know how to make a musician happier while playing.