Between Lombardy and Veneto is an area beloved by foreign tourists as a vacation destination, but still little exploited by Italian tourists who usually experience it as an ‘out-of-town trip.’
This is the whole area of the Mincio Mountains that outreach tourism has only discovered in recent years, partly as a result of the pandemic.
The scenery is really unexpected: medieval hamlets, green hills, vineyards, long bike paths. A landscape that is almost ‘Tuscan’ but actually abuts Lake Garda.
And a very interesting food and wine offering, starting with the historic ‘tortelli di Valeggio,’ a 100 percent local delicacy.
Here is a small guide with places and experiences we enjoyed.
Hu Altomincio Village, the allure of the open air in a glamping on the river
The best way to experience a vacation in such a ‘green’ place is to embrace eco-sustainability. Choice made by Hu Altomincio Village of Human Company, a Florence-based group specializing in open-air vacations.
We are located in a campsite nestled in the Moreniche hills with independent mobile homes made with eco materials scattered in nature and all the comforts for an all-inclusive vacation, also ideal for the whole family.
The location is really strategic: 7 kilometers from Peschiera del Garda and as many from Valeggio sul Mincio, it is right where the 44-kilometer bicycle path to Mantua passes. The perfect place to relax by disconnecting from everyday life, but also to use as a base for visiting the surrounding area. And speaking of surroundings: right next to the property is the San Leone Winery, for discovering and tasting excellent local wines.
Borghetto sul Mincio, an atmosphere of yesteryear
A hamlet of Valeggio sul Mincio, Borghetto is a small medieval jewel listed among Italy’s Most Beautiful Villages with an almost fairy-tale atmosphere, romantic little restaurants, old bell towers and water mills. The historical relics make it truly special: the Ponte Visconteo built by the Duke of Milan Gian Galeazzo Visconti, the Scaligero Castle… But there is nothing more beautiful than strolling through the narrow streets of the old town center taking a dip into the past and stopping to taste love knots (that’s what tortellini are called here).
The cooking class for making Valeggio tortellini.
At Locanda Il Cacciatore of Valeggio sul Mincio we learned the ancient art of handmade tortellini together with the owner Paola Galdini who created ‘Tortellinando’, an artisan workshop where they work with organic flours, handmade doughs, and classic but also very special fillings such as those with spirulina, broccoletti and Monte Veronese cheese, or pomace flour. They also do cooking classes and team building here, as well as tastings by reservation, with tortellini, of course. Goodness!
Visiting the surrounding area: the Sigurtà Garden Park and Mozambano
For a full immersion in greenery, the right destination is the Sigurtà Garden Park, with its multitude of plants and flowers of all species, ponds, rose gardens and even a labyrinth. It can be visited on foot, by bicycle, by a small train that takes a scenic tour, or by golf cars.
The small medieval town of Monzambano, a short distance away, is also worth a stop: you can visit one of the castle towers and enjoy the panoramic view of the town. One local event to mark in your diary: in September there is the Grape Festival, with food stands, wine tastings and music, as well as a medieval historical reenactment throughout the village.