Visit San Felice del Benaco
This municipal district comprises three little villages: S. Felice, Portese and Cisano, and they are part of a morainic promontory that stretches along Lake Garda between the Gulf of Salò and that of Manerba. Its boundaries are marked by Mount della Croce, Mount Campagnolo and Mount Santa Caterina. A trip to San Felice is a satisfaction for the whole family: for elderly people, adults, young people and kids.
The village is about 35 kilometres away from Brescia and 55 from Verona. Since 1927, San Felice, Portese and Cisano have formed a single district. The common roots of these places are ancient ones: indeed ruins of lake dwellings have been found, along with Roman gravestones and the remains of medieval castles.
Studies have shown that these places were settled during the Roman age. Legend has it that S. Francis of Assisi founded the first fraternity of Roman friars right here. After the destruction of the ancient Castle of Scovolo, when Brescia took the Valtenesi from Verona, people moved to Portese and to San Felice, where the Castle of San Felice was built. These villages witnessed many conflicts and settlements such as the French and the German ones. During the war of succession to the Spanish throne, in the early XIII century, this land suffered the passing of armed troops that exhausted natural resources and caused episodes of violence and abuse.
The peaceful area of Portese is only one kilometre away from the centre of San Felice. This little village was a land of fishermen, unlike S. Felice, whose economy was based on agriculture.
In ancient times and in the Middle Ages, Portese’s history was liked to S. Felice’s until the destruction of the Scovolo (1279) when a castle was built in the village and the communities of Portese and Trevignane were established.
Cisano is located on a hill from where the enchanting landscape of the Gulf of Salò can be appreciated. When you stroll through the streets of the historical centre, you are overwhelmed by the tranquil atmosphere in which time seems to have stopped. The typical rural houses have been turned into residential estates. The settlement presumably dates back to the XVI century, even though the village is certainly older.
What to visit
Church of San Giovanni
Castle of Portese
Church of San Fermo
Former Mount of Piety
The astonishing Island of Garda