ETR // Stage 44 // Salò - Como

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  • Salò - Como
  • Radius 100 km
  • 328 km


  • Salò Civic Archaeological Museum
  • Lago di Iseo
  • Valle Camonica-Alto Sebino
  • The Sarnico Dam
  • Montisola island
  • Lago di Como
  • Lecco
  • Bellagio
  • Basilica of Sant'Abbondio
  • Como Old Town
  • Il Duomo, Como
  • Villa Olmo
  • Tempio Voltiano
© ETR // European Touring Route AS
© ETR // European Touring Route AS
© ETR // European Touring Route AS
© ETR // European Touring Route AS

Salò in Brescia, Lombardia, Italia

Lying on the banks of Lake Garda in the Province of Brescia in the region of Lombardy, Salò has Etruscan origins, yet recorded history starts with the founding by ancient Romans of the colony of Pagus Salodium. There are numerous ruins of the Roman settlement, as shown by the Lugone necropolis (in via Sant’Jago) and the findings in the Civic Archaeological Museum located at the Loggia della Magnifica Patria.

The transofrmation of Salò

After a short protectorate under the rule of Venice between 1336 to 1349, Salò became a stronghold of the Milanese Visconti family. In 1377, the wife of Bernabò Visconti, Beatrice della Scala wanted Salò to be the capital of the area, and the city was provided with solid walls and the castle was built.

In 1796, Napoleons troops fought with Austrian troops in Northern Italy during the First Italian campaign. Signalling the end of the Venetian republic, The Treaty of Campo Formio also ended Salò's position as the capital of the western riviera. After the Napoleonic Era, Salò became part of the Austrian Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia from 1815 to 1859, and in 1848 Salò joined the Milan revolution against the Habsburg rule and during the Second Italian War of Independence.

From 1943 to 1945 Salò was the de facto seat of government for Benito Mussolini's Nazi-backed puppet state, the Italian Social Republic, also known as the Republic of Salò.

© ETR // European Touring Route AS
© ETR // European Touring Route AS
© ETR // European Touring Route AS

Lago di Iseo

Buried deep in the Val Camonica area near the cities of Brescia and Bergamo, Lago di Iseo has somehow managed to retain its unique natural environment, with its lush green mountains surrounding the crystal clear lake. There are several medieval towns around the lake, the largest being Iseo and Sarnico, and a road has been carved into the side of the mountains that circumnavigates the entire lake which is definitely worth a few hours of your time!

Valle Camonica - Alto Sebino UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve

Since 2018, the northern portion of the lake (called Alto Sebino) has been part of the UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve of "Valle Camonica - Alto Sebino". The level of the water is regulated by the Sarnico Dam, built in 1933 in Fosio using concrete and steel. The dam is managed by the Consorzio dell'Oglio which divides the water withdrawn between irrigation uses and hydroelectric uses. In the middle of the lake you can see Montisola island, Loreto isle and San Paolo Isle with easy access via the regular running lake ferries. The Beretta family owns the island of San Paolo, the same Beretta that are the oldest active manufacturer of firearm components in the world, and the main sidearm supplier of the U.S. Army. There's money in guns.

© ETR // European Touring Route AS


  • Dave O'Byrne

  • European Touring Route AS


© ETR // European Touring Route AS
© ETR // European Touring Route AS
© ETR // European Touring Route AS
© ETR // European Touring Route AS

Lago di Como

Located at the foot of the Alps, Lake Como provides one of the most picturesque sceneries in the world, and the entire perimeter of Lake Como is sprinkled with charming towns and villages. With a maximum depth of approximately 410 meters, Lake Como is one of the deepest lakes in Europe, and is the third largest of the Italian lakes (after Lake Garda and Lake Maggiore). Its characteristic shape, reminiscent of an inverted Y, results from the melting of glaciers combined with the erosive action of the ancient Adda river. This led to the formation of the two southern branches, in the midst of which there is the beautiful town of Bellagio.

From your base at Como, you can take a boat ride to Bellagio, Varenna, Tremezzina or Menaggio, but it is also really nice to ride around each of these magnificent lakes on your motorcycle. Or in your classic automobile. Or on your electric skateboard...

Lecco - The Iron City

Lecco is located in one of the vertexes of the Larian Triangle. It overlooks the eastern branch of Lake Como and is included in the Orobic Prealps, between the Grigne mountain chain and the Resegone. The Bergamo Alps rise to the north and east, cut through by the Valsassina of which Lecco marks the southern end.

As strategic crossroads for Valtellina, Lecco assumed increasing importance during the Middle Ages when it was annexed to the Duchy of Milan following the Peace of Constance. During the second half of the 19th century, under the Austrian dominion, the city went through a particularly flourishing period during which palaces and arcades in neoclassical style were constructed. After the Unity of Italy, Lecco established itself as one of the most important industrial centers of the nation thanks to the development of the steel industries, already active in the 12th century. For this, Lecco is known as "the Iron city".

© ETR // European Touring Route AS
© ETR // European Touring Route AS
© ETR // European Touring Route AS


Bellagio is situated at the tip of the land wedge that divides Lake Como in two. The great Pleistocene glaciations with their imposing flows coming from the Valtellina and Valchiavenna modelled the actual landscape of Lake Como, and at least four times the glaciers went as far as Brianza to the south. From the ancient glacial blanket only the highest tops emerged, one of them Mount St. Primo, which caused the glaciers to divide into two arms, carving out the lakes.

The Borgo, Bellagio

The historic centre of Bellagio lies about 350m southwest of the tip of the Larian Triangle, between the Villa Serbelloni on the hill and the Como arm of the lake. Parallel to the shore are three streets, Mazzini, Centrale and Garibaldi. Cutting across them to form a sloped grid are seven medieval stone stairs ("salite") running uphill. The Basilica of San Giacomo, medieval defences and a stone tower, "Torre delle Arti Bellagio" sit in a piazza at the top.

The Orobii of Como

The hills surrounding the current location of Como were inhabited since at least the Bronze Age, by a Celtic tribe known as the Orobii. Remains of settlements are still present on the wood-covered hills to the southwest of town. In September 2018, Culture Minister Alberto Bonisoli announced the discovery of several hundred gold coins in the basement of the former Cressoni Theater (Teatro Cressoni) in a two-handled soapstone amphora, coins struck by emperors Honorius, Valentinian III, Leo I the Thracian, Antonio and Libius Severus dating to 474 AD

Many layers of culture, history, heritage to uncover

Its proximity to Lake Como and to the Alps has made Como a very popular tourist destination so be aware of this when you arrive here. The city contains numerous works of art, churches, gardens, museums, theatres, parks, and palaces such as the Duomo, seat of the Diocese of Como, the Basilica of Sant'Abbondio, the Villa Olmo, the public gardens with the Tempio Voltiano, the Teatro Sociale, the Broletto, or the city's medieval town hall, and the 20th-century Casa del Fascio. Take a couple of days here and use Como as your base to explore this uniquely beautiful and fascinating region.

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