Background and writing
Del Rey described the song as "probably the [one] that's the most different from all the other tracks on the record." She described it as having an "Old World, Italian feel," and classified it as a "weirder" and "filmic" song. She stated that she loves the chorus of the song. The track was recorded at Electric Lady Studios in New York City, New York.
After the song was premiered on BBC Radio 1, Jon Blisten of Rolling Stone described the track as a glamorous, sensual new ode and also said: "From its title to its marching drums and swelling, aching string melody, "Salvatore" has a classic Italian feel, and Del Rey's breathy, delicate vocals bring a strong sense of cinematic nostalgia to the lyrics."
Del Rey sang an a cappella snippet of the song on July 13, 2016, at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland by audience request and on August 1, 2017 at the House of Blues in Anaheim, California. The song was partly performed again on February 1, 2018, in Sunrise, Florida at the LA to the Moon Tour.
- Miami is also mentioned in "Florida Kilos".
- "Soft ice cream" is also mentioned in "Carmen".
- The "downtown scene" is also referenced in "Art Deco", "So Legit" and "Dum Dum".
- "Shady blue" is similar to "dark blue" from "Honeymoon" or "shades of blue" from "Shades of Cool".
- A hot summer is also mentioned in "Shades of Cool", while summer is mentioned in "Summertime Sadness", "Summer Bummer" and "Summer of Sam", among many other songs.
- Jazz is mentioned in many songs like "Ultraviolence", "Brooklyn Baby", "Terrence Loves You" and "Shades of Cool".
- The ocean is also mentioned in "Religion", "Bentley" and the poem "LA Who Am I to Love You". It is also the alternate title for "Kill Kill".
- The blues is a common theme in "Terrence Loves You".
- "Salvatore" is first mentioned in "Backfire".
- Del Rey calls her lover a king in "Heavy Hitter", "Prom Song (Gone Wrong)", "Hawaiian Tropic", "JFK", "Starry Eyed", "Queen of Disaster" and "Catch and Release".
- The melody of the bridge is an adaptation of the saxophone intro from "Careless Whisper", a 1984 hit song by George Michael. Whether it's intentional or not is not known.
- Rain is also mentioned in "Born to Die", "Hot Hot Hot" and "God Knows I Tried".
- The phrase "I adore you" also appears in "Tomorrow Never Came" and in the poem "LA Who Am I to Love You".
- A reference to rap also appears in "Art Deco".
- Album version — 4:41
- Instrumental version — 4:43
- Lana Del Rey – vocals, songwriting, production
- Rick Nowels – songwriting, production, pads, mellotron, strings, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, piano, bass, percussion
- Kieron Menzies – production, engineering, recording, mixing, percussion
- Brian Griffin – live drums, percussion
- Patrick Warren – orchestrations
- Trevor Yasuda & Chris Garcia – engineering, additional recording
- Phil Joly & Iris Sofia – assistant engineering
- Adam Ayan – mastering