What to see in the dream village of Valeggio sul Mincio

Valeggio sul Mincio is a town crossed by the Mincio river and the Virgilio canal, about 30 kilometres from Verona. The town comprises two villages gathered in the same municipality: Borghetto and Valeggio, both of Lombard origin, although the most important buildings date back to the medieval period when the area was at the centre of clashes and attempts of expansion by the local lords and the Republic of Venice.

Valeggio sul Mincio
 

What to see in Valeggio sul Mincio

Valeggio sul Mincio is a tiny village which can be toured in a day, but it offers many things to see and do and, because of its proximity to Verona, Lake Garda and Mantua, it can be an ideal destination for putting your feet up for a few days and explore the region without the crowds of the lake towns.
 

The Scaliger Castle

Our itinerary in Valeggio sul Mincio can only start from the symbol of the city, namely the Scaliger Castle. This imposing building was built starting from the 10th century by the Scaliger dynasty of nearby Verona and over the centuries has undergone many renovations.

The castle is located on the top of a hill that dominates the entire Mincio valley and is a building that keeps its medieval features intact, even if some parts have fallen into disrepair. The part of the Rocca, however, has recently been restored and can be visited.  In spring and summer, it is also possible to climb on its towers, among which the characteristic "round tower" stands out, built with a horseshoe plant and decorated with Guelph battlements.


Villa Sigurtà and its magnificent park

Not far from the Scaliger Castle is Villa Sigurtà, built in the XVII century in Palladian style. Initially inhabited by the local counts, it has become, since the 1800s, an important place for the history of Italy so as to be the seat of the Habsburg empire in the northeast of Italy.

The villa was the residence of the emperor Franz Joseph before becoming the headquarters of the French and, for a month, the residence of Napoleon III. The villa is private property but can be visited and is used for ceremonies and private parties.

Next to Villa Sigurtà, and once linked to it, is the Sigurtà garden park, winner of the most beautiful park award in Italy in 2013 and the second most beautiful park in Europe in 2015.

The park is worth a visit especially in the spring when you can admire the first blooms. A myriad of tulips of different qualities blooms between March and April, while in May it is time for irises and roses. If during the summer, paths and avenues are coloured with dahlias, in autumn it is possible to admire a particular quality of roses, called re-flowering.

Sigurta Gardens - Valeggio sul Mincio
 

The Visconteo Bridge

We continue with one of the most fascinating places of Valeggio sul Mincio or the Visconteo Bridge, a fortified dam, built to defend the city of Verona and built at the end of the 1300s by Gian Galeazzo Visconti. It was built on the Mincio river and on 4 other canals that cross the area and, taking into account the historical period in which it was built, it is a project of great engineering interest.

The work is composed of three large masonry towers with imposing walls that cross them.  In the 20s, an iron bridge was built which allowed the return to the circulation and from which one can admire a splendid panorama of Borghetto sul Mincio and the houses built on the river's edge.
 

Borghetto sul Mincio and its water mill

At the foot of the Visconti bridge rises the characteristic hamlet of Borghetto, a town where time seems to have stopped, with the houses that overlook the Mincio river with adjoining suggestive water mills, some of which have been put back into operation. The parish church of San Marco Evangelista is flanked by a bell tower from the Scaliger era, in which an original bell from the 1300s is playing.

Borghetto is included in the list of Italy's most beautiful villages and was also set for the movie Senso of Luchino Visconti.

The Village of Borghetto
 

What to eat in Valeggio sul Mincio

Our itinerary can only end at the table to taste the local specialities and the excellence. In Valeggio sul Mincio, there are plenty of places to taste the typical products accompanied by an excellent glass of wine and we recommend you not to miss the tortellini, also called Agnolin in the local dialect

Only the 15 restaurants of the Restaurateurs Association know the secret recipe of Nodo d’Amore, the real Tortellino from Valeggio sul Mincio, unique, original and inimitable. Depositors of the original recipe, they will be proud to serve at your table true Italian excellence: a casket of very thin golden dough enriched with a fragrant stuffing of braised meat, strictly handmade, as tradition dictates. (ristorantivaleggio.it/associazione/)

 

 

Where to Stay

A stone's throw from Borghetto, about five minutes walk, there is La Finestra sul Fiume (Window on the river).

An old restored watermill near the river offering five rooms, all furnished with a sublime taste by Pietro and Mattea, who manage the B&B. If you are looking for a relaxing and intimate holiday, here the only noise that can disturb you is that of geese cackling in the meadow.


La Finestra sul Fiume