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Valeggio sul Mincio, a charming medieval village in Veneto
Valeggio sul Mincio, a charming medieval village in Veneto

Located on the border of two regions, Lombardy and Veneto, just south of Lake Garda, is the extremely charming village of Valeggio sul Mincio, spread across the hills. It's a true discovery for tourists, who will wonder how such beauty can remain hidden in such a beautiful setting and at such a short distance from art cities like Verona and Mantua. The Mincio river winds its way through one of the most beautiful valleys of the Po area.

The establishment of this idyllic village is closely linked to the area in which it lies, specifically the land of the Po Delta, thriving agriculture, deeply rooted traditions of craftsmanship, but also growing industrial activity (which seems to have bypassed the village); over the past ten years, the village has primarily become a popular tourist destination. The rich heritage makes Valeggio sul Mincio especially appealing for visitors who want to enjoy a bit of culture, untouched nature, and delicious gastronomy.

Valeggio sul Mincio

You can immediately taste the medieval atmosphere, which is further emphasized by the Ghibelline battlements, the tower of the Church of San Marco, the typical antique watermill, the imposing castle, and the Visconti bridge.

The Summer Festivals of Salionze History tells us that a battle took place in 452 AD between Attila the Hun and Pope Leo the Great. The papal army traveled from Rome to stop a devastating invasion: every year in mid-July, a historical spectacle is organized by the village during the Feast of Salionze to commemorate this event. It is undoubtedly the most significant historical event in Valeggio's past, curiously the festival has a kind of doppelganger in the province of Matera in the Basilicata region as here too the battle of Leo the Great against the Huns is celebrated with a similar spectacle. This pope was made the patron saint of both places.

Photo gallery Valeggio sul Mincio

Valeggio sul Mincio - Castello Scagliero

Scagliero Castle

The Scaligero Castle From the top of the hill, you have a view of the valley and the village; you stand in the middle of the ruins of a once mighty medieval fort. The oldest part was almost completely destroyed in an earthquake in 1117, but the remains, including a giant round tower, continue to define the village. The tower is actually a rather bizarre building in the shape of a horseshoe. The castle was equipped with three drawbridges, only one of which has been preserved. In the summer, various fun events take place in the castle courtyard, such as the local Summer Festival full of entertainment and culture.

Valeggio sul Mincio Cultural Treasures and Heritage Another rather imposing construction of the village is undoubtedly the Ponte Visconteo, a bridge that was built over the dam of the river. It was a project of the then Duke of Milan who wanted to protect his estate from floods. A grand construction of 650 meters long and 25 meters wide with a paved road of 16 km to connect the castle with fortifications. Unfortunately, this construction can be categorized as 'useless constructions', as the dam was never put back into use after the death of the duke.

The small church of San Marco Evangelista (18th century), built on the ruins of an earlier Romanesque church from the 11th century, is entirely dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Near the Ponte San Marco, opposite the church, are also the old city walls 'Nepumoceno' and the statue of St. John, the patron saint of people who fall into the river.

The church of San Pietro in Cathedra in the center of Vallegio, was built in 1753 on the ruins of an earlier church that stood here around the year 60. The large neoclassical nave of the church directs the gaze to a huge altar from 800.

Valeggio sul Mincio Cycling and Active Holidays

The Italian government is doing a lot to promote cycle tourism and in the valley of the Mincio you will find paths and roads that are excellent for cycling trips. There is a bike path along the Mincio River from the village of Vallegio that shows you the wider surroundings; part of the path goes through the village, after which the path turns into country roads along reed fields and forests. Heading north, you will eventually reach Lake Garda and the town of Peschiera after about 15 km, which is on the route to the beautiful art city of Mantua. The first part of this route was also designed as a jogging course with various exercises and tasks along the stages.

"The Antique Market of Vallegio The antique market has become a major attraction since 1993. The market is held every 4th Sunday of the month on the Piazza and the nearby streets in the historic center. More than 100 exhibitors attend with furniture, prints, rugs, antiques, coin collections, Bakelite, porcelain, and precious pieces of modern art and design.

Valeggio sul Mincio The Local Legend of the 'Nodo d'Amore'

The Nodi d'Amore of Valeggio sul Mincio

As is common in Veneto, the village of Valeggio sul Mincio can also proudly boast its own legend: The story of Malco and Silvia: 'The Knot of Love'. The story goes that Captain Malco falls in love with a nymph, the beautiful Silvia, who lives at the bottom of the Mincio river. Malco begs Silvia to stay with him forever, but the nymph dives into the river; she will turn into a cruel witch if she stays on the surface after the night with Malco. Before she disappears, she leaves Malco a golden scarf in which a knot has been tied as a symbol of eternal love. Silvia returns to Malco during successive nights, but the two lovers must hide because the daughter of the local count, the mean Isabella, has already set her sights on our sweet Malco. Malco and Silvia swear to escape the world together and dive into the river... on the banks of the Mincio river they leave the knotted golden silk scarf behind, which is found there later. The symbol of Malco and Silvia's eternal love. The story is of course still told to the young ladies of Valeggio. The legend lives on in the form of a special tortellini that represents Silvia's knotted scarf. The recipe for this very special tortellini is protected, the taste is unique and extremely tasty, and of course, every mom and every trattoria in Valeggio prepare it according to their own secret recipe.

Valeggio sul Mincio The Feast of the 'Nodo d'Amore' - Knot of Love Every year on the 3rd Tuesday of June, the Feast of the Nodo d'Amore is celebrated in Valeggio. On the beautiful Visconteo bridge, the famous tortellini are eaten at long tables, and more than 40 chefs participate in this event. An unforgettable event and well worth a visit."