Palace of the Podestà
- Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II (oggi sede del Municipio)
- Salò - Bs
- 45.606988 10.528433
Facing the lakeside, Podestà Palace or Captain-Rector was created based on the design by Jacopo Sansovino and was faithfully reconstructed after the damages caused by the earthquake in 1901. Today it is the Municipality head office, but the great palace once hosted the Council of the “Magnifica Patria”, a vast district of 52 municipalities of the Brescia part of Garda Lake of which Salò was once the capital, during the times of the Venetian Republic.
In the coffered ceiling of the loggia all the coat of arms of all the Municipalities that were part of the Magnifica Patria have been depicted and the San Marco Lion represents the Venetian dominion. One the walls of the loggia, some memorial tablets remember the visits to Salò of many illustrious figures of the Italian Unification period such as Giuseppe Mazzini, Camillo Benso Count of Cavour and Giuseppe Garibaldi.
Entering into the palace through the main staircase, we are greeted by a large painting by Andrea Bertanza, an eighteenth century painter from Salò, who depicts here the Superintendent. Kneeling in front of him is a female figure, representing the Magnifica Patria, who is handing him a cornucopia full of typical products of the lake area.
In the Council Room there are large cupboards containing documents and original archiving papers regarding the history of the 52 Municipalities of the Magnifica Patria.
In the centre of the ceiling of the Council Room is a piece by Andrea Bertanza representing the Municipality of Salò with the triumphant Christ and, at his feet, Saint Charles Borromeo, the city patron. Below, in a mix of sacred and profane, Neptune comes out of the water holding some fishes and lemons, the precious fruits of the earth and the lake of the Magnifica Patria.