The Soave white wine from the rolling hills of Veneto

Soave - Castello e vigneti

Fifty kilometers of vineyards, castles and villas, rolling hills and volcanic soils, a glorious history and genuine flavors. And in all this two great excellences stand out, the Scaligeri castle and a DOC wine that bears the name of its land, Soave. Just 20 kilometers from Verona, the town was Orange Flagged by the Italian Touring Club for the intact appearance of a charming medieval village.  Most of the monuments overlook the axis formed by the streets Roma and Camuzzoni (the ancient Roman Cardo): the parish church of St. Lorenzo (1303), Palazzo Cavalli (1411), in a Venetian Gothic style, and the Palace of Justice (1375). Along Via Camuzzoni are also important noble buildings, including Scaligeri Palace which was restored in the twentieth century and is now the Town Hall.

There are also many churches to visit in Soave: the Sanctuary of Santa Maria della Bassanella, the parish church dedicated to the patron saint Lorenzo, the San Giorgio church that features on the facade a painting representing the saint on horseback slaying the dragon. In addition, the churches of San Rocco, Santa Maria of the Dominicans and St. Anthony. On the whole, dominates the castle (tenth century), rebuilt by Venetians and the Scaligeri family, around which Soave is embraced: three courtyards enclosed by high walls surround the tall central tower, the “mastio”, flanked by the residence of the lords. The St. George tower was built as a defense to the main entrance, which is also equipped with a drawbridge. Beyond the bridge you enter the first courtyard whose walls were built by the Republic of Venice in the early fifteenth century: here you can see also the remains of a small church with three apses. From here a door gate connects to the courtyard of the Virgin, so called because of the presence of a fresco from 1321 representing Mary while she accommodates under her mantle some devotees kneeled at her feet. The third courtyard is accessed via a metal ladder. The door is characterized by an archway on which you can still read, in Gothic characters, the names of men, commanders and soldiers who had entrusted the defense. Here we are in front of the most staunch bulwark of the building, the mastio tower on a granite base in a pyramidal shape. Most likely a place also used as a prison and torture room, for its square structure, very high, with no doors or windows at the time of use of the castle.

Visiting the Scaligeri Castle, you retrace the footsteps of the daily activities of the past, from weapon manufacturing to bread baking. Walking through its rooms, you can enter the “Captain’s House”, the medieval house that housed the garrison, and visit a room called the “body guard”, downstairs. Outside, one must climb the ladder to enter the hall “Caminata”, which features a large fireplace and is decorated with fine fourteenth century taste and coats of arms of noble families. From here you access to the viewpoint, a small pensile courtyard enclosed by a crenellated wall in a semicircle with window slits and slots for weapons. To beautify the other rooms of the castle there are fairytale furnishings, such as four-poster beds, richly carved furniture, wrought iron chandeliers, high-value cupboards ..

Soave - Borgo Rocca Sveva

Having conquered the castle of Soave, you just need to explore the flavors of its homeland and cellars, generous enough to have produced a white wine Doc, not only among the best in the Veneto but appreciated all over the world. The wine tourism has given rise to fascinating itineraries that lead along the Soave wine Road (www.stradadelvinosoave.it): an area rich in wineries that extends from the production area of ​​the historic Soave Classico between the Soave and Monteforte d ‘Alpone, up to the municipalities of San Martino Buon Albergo, Lavagno, Mezzane di Sotto, Caldiero, Colognola ai Colli, Illasi, Cazzano di Tramigna, Roncà, Montecchia Crosara, San Giovanni Ilarione and San Bonifacio. If you’re ever in these lands in April, you can admire the extraordinary flowering of the cherry trees, which colors of white the hilly landscape as far as the eye can see. While all year round the palate is teased by the genuine production of oil mills and local dairies, where they create food combinations that enhance the precious notes of Soave. To this wine is also dedicated the Medieval Festival of white Soave wine (16-19 May 2013), a charming celebration of the old times.

Among the routes that cross the area, the Soave Consortium (in collaboration with other local organizations) has recently chosen to retrieve the path of the Ten Capitals: a path dotted with a dozen of old shrines, about 10 kilometers long. This walk in the green and in the silence of nature gives you the chance to see historic capitals such as Val Ponsara, Val dell’Acqua, Foscarino and Bassanella, all places of Soave production.

For more information: www.ilsoave.com

Soave - Castello

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