I borghi

Veneto region is full of different backgrounds and historic sceneries. Located between Mountains Lessini, lake Garda and the beautiful Valpolicella valley, this Region is also an area of old and good preserved ‘borghi’. The old villages are usually caraterised by old castels, narrow streets, little bridges and a country land or wide woods around. There are manyof them in Veneto, and here some of the most spectacular ones you can find near Verona.


First of all: Soave. The name could explain its ryhtm of life, where everything goes slow. While the country land is popular for the Saove wine produced, this borgo is characterised by the Mountain Tenda and its imposing Scaligero Castel, a military and compact rockfort from which its narrow roads lead to the old town. It is not known for sure if its name came from the soft and tasty wine Soave, its peaceful atmosphere or the name of Sveve, the family that settled after King Alboino.


If you decide to take a ride towards Valeggio sul Mincio for a visit to the village of ‘Tortellino o nodo d’amore’, you should definitely have a stop into this very tiny Borgo. Its name is Borghetto. Located on the river Mincio, before the water flows into river Po, this little village has been defined one of the most beautiful in Italy. Its Middle Ages wind Mills, some of them still working, and the Bridge Visconteo (Ponte Visconteo) where the longest table dinner is set up once a year to serve the typical ‘tortellino’, make this borgo a magical hidden place. This borgo has been a border line for many Families and armies, such as Gonzaga, Scaligeri, Visconti, la Serenissima di Venezia, Austria; in addition this area was also the setting for Napoleone’s battles. Even though, the village still maintains its beauty and peace intacted, where you can have a little refreshing walk along Mincio, after a nice lunch with its notorious Tortellino.  In adiditon you can come to visit during its Sagra di Paese for a proper coulinar journey.


If you wish to go a little bit further away, towards Mantova (Mantua), you can have a visit to the borgo of Castellaro Lagusello. Laying on the Moreniche Hills of the southern Lake Garda, this is another UNESCO patrimony, like Borghetto. One side looks at the heart shaped little pond, perfect location for a bike trip. The Castel, with origin from 1100-1200, was a controversial source for its strategic position, between Verona and Mantova. Nowdays the walls are still preserved with the ‘cinte murarie con merli gelfi‘, together with four out of its ten towers and few medieval houses. In ‘600 the Castel was taken by Serenissima di Venezia, for its military purposes and it became a noble residence for Conti Arrigoni. If you are fascinated by its natural surroundings you could continue to discover the hillside on a bike. In addition, few local events occurr in this borgo: a buskers or street art Festival, Borgo in Fiore (a flower Fair), Festa dell’ Uva (a Grape Fair) in early Autumn and Festa di Santa Margherita in February. This last Fair is an old revocation of livestock and artisans; in particular during the Fair you can also taste the typical cake called Torta Margherita.

If you want to explore the wine valley of Valpolicella, then a proper trip to this borgo is a must: San Giorgio di Valpolicella (‘Ingannapoltron’). This borgo dates to I Century b.C. In fact in its surroundigns many archeologic sites have been found, belonging to Bronze and Iron Ages. When Romans arrived the population of Arusnati was set here; but fortunately, they both integrated prefectly. Then, during the Barbaric invasions, many religious buildings were destroyed for the spread of Christianity. In fact, the proof of the pagan origin integrated to Roman cult is defined by the Ara dedicated to the Sun and the Moon on a column of Romanic Monument of Pieve. Along the surrounded hillside the most famous wine produced are Valpolicella classico, Amarone, Recioto; you can taste some of these wines if you take our Valpolicella Tour or Food&Wine Tour as well. The artistical and musical events that make this Borgo still very lively are the following. Every September since 1981 there is a special event, called Premio Masi, that celebrates the Wine Culture. Recently the tradition of olives and cherry trees were also started to be revocated. Lastly, this borgo stone construction brings back to memory the Marble production. These areas became important for the extraction of the famous Rosso di Verona, a popular Marble now and a unique trade in the past.

But Lake Garda is not only known for its wine culture but also for its history and art. In fact borgo Gardone Rivera is the old village which hosts the house of the militar poet Gabriele D’Annunzio, with its Vittoriale degli Italiani, and its roman amphiteatre for musical International shows. Not only a military purpose village for its name Gardone, which means ‘guard’, this borgo has also an important microclimate, where many olive trees are cultivated around the near hills and its peaceful Botanic Garden gives to the area pleasent flavours from Asia or Africa and little streams surrounded by beautiful flowers give you a moment of break. If you prefer to taste some local dishes, then you have the chance to book a meal to one of its Taverne, such as Taverna del Borgo.

Lastly, the old Borgo of western side of the Lake is Tremosine. Its outstanding view on a rocky shore on the lake give unique emotions that you will definetely bring back with you at home. From this old village you could admire Lake Garda while the snowy Mountains come to your sight from far. For its location this borgo is also called ‘la terrazza del Lago‘, as it looks like you are lying on a terrace. This village is located in the heart of Parco Alto Garda Bresciano and after a walk between those narrow lanes, you could get yourself relaxed in the near nature. Your trip to this Borgo can be not just a holiday but also a magical journey of breathtaking landscapes, moments of eno- gastronomic traditions and silent walks.

by Matteo Pasqualotto

6 June 2017