Near Verona stands Soave, a fortified village famous for its white wine. Let's discover it together.
The village of Soave, in the province of Verona, lies at the foot of the Lessini Mountains. The village looks like a pretty medieval town, from the top of which the majestic Scaligero Castle stands out.
Heading towards the village, the first thing you will notice when you arrive will be the high and imposing walls. Soave, in fact, is one of the few villages in Italy to preserve the ancient medieval walls in excellent condition.
Moreover, Soave is world-famous for its eponymous white wine. The gentle hillsides are home to the Garganega grape, the base grape for the Soave DOC, Soave Classico DOC, Soave Superiore DOCG and Recioto di Soave DOCG wines. In fact, it is said that it was Dante Alighieri, guest for a banquet at the Scaligero Castle, who gave the name "Soave" to the town in virtue of its delicious wine (soave means pleasing).
Originally, the village was a small centre along the Via Postumia, the Roman road that connected the whole Cisalpine Gaul, today's Po Valley. In the Middle Ages, the historic centre of Soave reached its peak.
Where the Scaligero Castle stands today, it is likely that an ancient fortress of Roman origin once stood. The castle is a medieval fortification that dominates the plain below from the slopes of Monte Tenda. It consists of a high tower, the Mastio, around which the rounds of the walls encompass three courtyards.
The walls were built in 1379 at the behest of Cansignorio Della Scala (the Della Scala or Scaligeri were a dynasty that ruled over the city of Verona for one hundred and twenty-five years, from 1262 to 1387) and gather within them the historic centre of Soave.
Soave and its DOC wine
Soave is also the name given to the white wine produced in this area. The Soave production area is located in the eastern part of the hilly arc of the province of Verona.
It includes the territories of the municipalities of Soave, Monteforte d'Alpone, San Martino Buon Albergo, Lavagno, Mezzane di Sotto, Caldiero, Colognola ai Colli, Illasi, Cazzano di Tramigna, Roncà, Montecchia di Crosara, San Giovanni Ilarione and San Bonifacio.
The historic area, first delimited in 1931 and coinciding with Soave Classico, is located on the hills of the municipalities of Monteforte d'Alpone and Soave and has a vineyard surface area of 1,700 hectares.
In 1999, the Strada del Vino di Soave (Soave Wine Road) was founded, with 130 members. The road is a route of about 50 km along which it is possible to admire the landscape, visit wine cellars, taste wine, sample typical dishes and come into contact with the hospitality of the people.
Things to see in Soave
First of all, once in Soave, a visit to the Scaligero Castle is a must. You can visit both the manor rooms and the armoury in total autonomy. The walk along the patrol walkway is wonderful and ends at the tower where the tricolour stands out. The panorama opens onto a wide view of Soave historic centre and the vineyards that envelop the surrounding countryside.
Along the main street in Soave, Via Roma, there are the main historical monuments. The Duomo di San Lorenzo is the main church in the village and features a Renaissance style tending towards Baroque.
A little further on you will find the Palace of Justice. In ancient times, the palace was the seat of the city government. Today the ground floor of the building houses a very nice wine shop. From the Palace of Justice begins the panoramic road that leads to the Scaligero Castle.
In addition, if you are in Soave, what about making a stop in Verona, the city of Romeo and Juliet?