About Riva di Solto
Riva di Solto is located on the West shore of Lake Iseo. It is a small fishing village that enjoys a picturesque view of the lake.
It is the ideal place to have a pleasant break with relaxation, art and sport, be in contact with nature, and where you can taste the traditional cuisine based on fish from the lake. Visitors are welcomed in a nice lakeside promenade with benches and planters, from which to admire the small medieval town with its four towers – strategically positioned – and with the historic buildings, remains of the ancient fortifications of which the town was fenced.
Among little stairs, frescoes and arcades, the houses almost seem to support one another, as if to protect themselves from the fresh wind that blows from the South.
The first settlements of the village date back to prehistoric times, but the most visible remains now date to the Middle Ages. It is marked by the powerful families of Oldrati and Foresti. So powerful that in 1330, the Emperor Louis of Bavaria, honoured Matteo Foresti with the title of “Count Palatine”.
When the area became part of the Republic of Venice, a flourishing and prosperous period began for the village, thanks to the extraction and commercialization of black marble of “Zù”. This marble was used for important buildings, such as, the columns of the Basilica of San Marco in Venice.
What to see in Riva di Solto
From the center of Riva di Solto, take a 10 minutes walk along the coast towards Lovere and you can reach the Orrido of Bogn; a small bay, quiet and eerie, dominated by tall, jagged cliffs layered vertically.
The Bogn is one of the most iconic landmarks of Lake Iseo and it is even more impressive when admired from a boat. In the area there is also a beautiful pebble beach that becomes pretty popular in summer. The Bogn, one of the surprises of nature of Lake Iseo, it is the subject and source of inspiration for many painters and artists.
Church of San Nicola Vescovo
The ancient parish church of San Nicola Vescovo (XI cent) has a Romanesque map, but was later rebuilt and expanded (mainly in the XVIII cent). The Baroque façade is two levels: the lower, where the entrance is flanked by two statues (one of which represents San Nicola) and the top one, where a large window illuminates the three inner aisles containing statues, paintings by Orazio Pilati (like “The Appearance of Christ to St. Nicholas” – XVII cent.), Antonio Cifrondi and Enea Salmeggia. The organ is the work of the great organ builder, Adeodato Bossi.
Church of San Rocco
The small church of San Rocco, was built in 1530 by a popular vote during an outbreak of plague. Inside there are fragments of frescoes, and the beautiful altarpiece “La Pietà con San Rocco e San Sebastiano” by Enea Salmeggia.
This amazing palace once belonged to the noble family of Martinoni, and is structured around a courtyard with a beautiful frescoed portico visible from the street. Next to the palace there was the garden, detached from the rest of the building after the construction of the coastal road, and a basement where it was stored the locally produced wine.
Originally built in the ancient fortification that surrounded the village, was a former monastery and only later became a patron building: the entrance – with a coat of arms – is visible from the road to the lake. The structure, which is built around the sixteenth century portico, decorated with contemporary frescoes, was equipped with a large garden with direct dock from the lake.
Church of San Cassiano
In the small community called Gargarino there is the lovely and ancient church of San Cassiano (XI-XII century). Inside the church there are still fragments of a fresco decoration dated back to 1300 that showed the story of the Passion of Christ and Christ himself with the four evangelists.