The segment travel to Italy started on June 23rd and until the 28th, is dedicated to the visit of 2022 Biennale Arte, (work in progress) and then to other Italian cities.
Departing Lake Garda The 22 km drive from Malcesine along Lake Garda to Valeggio - most charming agricultural town (on the way to Bolognia),which our friend Dani, kindly recommended to visit, again through wine country. took only about 40 minutes
The morning after the Rain-Storm at lake Garda
Following the big rain-storm of the previous night, a cooler clear bright sky day welcomed our departure of the Garda lake, this morning.
Great Breakfast and View at the Hotel Vega - Malcensine
Views along the lake on the way back
Driving through the wine country - Cavaion-Veronese
Valeggio sul Mincio
Close by to Villagranca di Verona, the small town of Valeggio is made-up of the 2 tween villages: Valeggio and Borghetto
The creation of the villages of Valeggio and Borghetto dates to the Lombard rule in Northern Italy, as their names derive from 'flat place' /fortified settlement 'respectively,.
Valeggio's main Square
Parish Church of St. Peter in Cathedra
Documented since 1145 in a place where previously stood the Romanesque (12th-16th c. and the baroque 17th-18th c buildings
.The current Neoclassical in style, church was built between 1760- 1782
The bells which were preserved from a previous destroyed tower.
The beautiful 18c building has its origins in the middle ages, however it was completely restored and returned to its original architectural entirety in 1997
At the main square a great Deli specialized in food of the Pugliese region, where we tasted the best and freshest Borattha cheese
Its towers can be seen from most corners in both villages.
The large medieval fortifications characterizes Valeggio by another Scaliger castle,
Its most ancient part was almost completely destroyed by an earthquake in 1117; only the Round Tower, a particular horseshoe-shaped building dating back to the 10th century, remained standing.
Lords of Verona, called upon the Scaligeri family (in 1285) - the ruling family of Verona and mainland Veneto (except for Venice) from 1262 to 1387, for a total of 125 years,
to rebuilt and fortified the Castle, which was located in a strategic place for the defense of their borders
The part that can be visit nowadays is called “rocca” (fortress) and it had two entrances through two drawbridges. The remain third drawbridge, leads into the widest part of the building, called “castello” (castle), and the rest are the ruins of side-walls. In the inner area stands a private villa, built in the first years of the 20th c.
The Borgetto - Most Charming hidden Gem
Nested on the banks of the River Mincio, in avalley surrounded by morainic hills, and just a short walk from Vagglio's town-center, this most quint area is truly an enchanting dreamily romantic corner, lush with verdant vegetation, flowing water, medieval ambiance, and doted with many tempting restaurants, right under the shade of the trees
Dating back to the medieval ages, it has preserved balanced relationship of history and nature almost intact over the centuries representing a unique village,
The oldest part of the village still keeps the characteristic appearance of a "medieval village", with the bell tower, the wheels of the water mills (once used for milling wheat and cereals) and the fortresses of the Ponte Visconteo (Visconti Bridge), an extraordinary fortified dam built in 1393 at the behest of Gian Galeazzo Visconti, Duke of Milan,
called also long bridge (ponte longo in local dialect),
The The Bridge Ponte Visconteo -a bridge-fortress built in 1393 by Gian Galeazzo Visconti, Duke of Milan, is about 650m long and 25m wide, with a road surface 9 m above water level.
The Top of the Bridge
The main reason for the construction of this extraordinary fortified dam meant to reinforce the water border and guarantee the impenetrability of the western borders, to defend the city of Verona and to ensure connections with the Veronese territories added at the tine to the Visconti dominions
It is connected to the overlooking Castello Scaligero by two high crenellated walls and integrated into a fortified structure called the "Serraglio", which stretched for about 16 km to the plains of Nogarole Rocca in its time.
Every year in June the Festa del Nodo d'Amore (Love Knot Festival) is now held on this bridge.
The small 18thc Chiesa di San Marco Evangelista church (sec. XVIII), is built on the remains of a previous 11th c Romanesque church, and next is a mysterious statue of S. Giovanni Nepumoceno (St. John of Nepomuk) who, according to tradition, protects those who fall into the waters of the river from drowning.
The sheer beauty peace and tranquillity of the quiet streets is beyond wordy description
We were sorry we ate before as having a meal under the trees by the river's water seemed like a wonderful treat we hope to materialize on some future occasion.
Personalities such as the emperors Franz Joseph I of Austria and Napoleon III of France were among its visitors as well as, Queen Victoria Eugenie of Spain, King Constantine of Greece, King Simeon of Bulgaria, King Philip of Belgium, Prince Charles of England, the Prince of Monaco, the Duke of Aosta, several Nobel laureates and other famous people such as Maria Callas. ++++++++++
The drive to bologna which took 1.5 hours via agriculture land was not that interesting. Crossing the Po River - the longest river in Italy which flows eastward across northern Italy starting from the Cottian Alps., was the main interesting point.
Arriving late afternoon in the heat of the day, we checked into an old city-center hotel"
Art Hotel Commercianti - Bologna
Via Pignattari 11 +39 051 745 75 11 email@example.com
(more about the hotel in next segment)
To be Continued...