There are no golf fields in Valeggio sul Mincio or I didn't find any. There are no golf-carts on its streets as well. But there is rental of them opposite to the entrance to Sigurta Gardens, where I found this four person golf-cart on my picture.
I can't say that Valeggio sul mincio is a city of flowers. Most space in town center is asphalted but there is some green space outside and in small yards among mostly 2-store houses. Few locals created beautiful gardens in their small backyards.
Despite it's Italy, not the Netherlands, tulips are among most popular flowers in Valeggio sul Mincio. Add orchids, common (wild) dasies and others, I don't know.
One of the best biking paths we've encountered in Italy lies along the Mincio river, between Peschiera at Lake Garda, south to Mantova. We've only done the stretch from Lake Garda to Valeggio, this is about 15 km, nice level surface and well paved. The area is a national Park and the path is well maintained.
The ride up to the Castle and Valeggio is about 300 meters, but can be tiring, especially if you are towing 2 kids!
The most striking 'must see' in Verona is the arena. The first time I came to Verona to visit especially this Roman amphitheater. I spent hours inside, exploring every corner and feeling the atmosphere in this enormous construction. During the VT meeting in a bar nearby I left the party for a while and walked to the Piazza Bra to have a glimpse of the outside of the arena.
The amphitheatre, built in AD 30, could host more than 30.000 spectators. The round facade was originally built in white and pink limestone, but after a earthquake in the 12th century, which almost completely destroyed the outer ring, the stones of the arena were used for rebuilding other buildings.
The arena is lying at the Piazza Bra, the central square of the historical citycentre from where it will be nice to start your citywalk. There are also several cafes and bars with terraces. During our visit in May 2005 there was also a festival at the Piazza Bra in front of the townhall.
Peschiera del Garda at the south-eastern corner of the Lake Garda where the river Mincio flow into the lake, has a very strategic location. In the Roman times this place - called Arilica- was allready known as a fortress.
The actual fortress, Fortezza del Quadrilatero is built in the 19th century during the Austrian domination. The impressive complex of fortresses has different architectural styles from different times. Coming from the north we walked through the Porta Verona, the northern entrance of the fortress. Also cars are allowed to use this rather narrow gate.
Coming by train Peschiera del Garda is the railwaystation to get off the train for Valeggio sul Mincio. From there you can take the bus.
At the northern end of the peninsula of Sirmione in the Lake Garda you can find Grotte di Catullo about 1 KM north of the Rocca Scaligera . This large Roman villa originate from the Roman times.
After entering the complex (entrance fee 4 euro) you will find the entrance of a museum at the right hand side. Here you can have a look at the archaeological artefacts found in this place.
Between the olive trees you can walk into the complex to have a look at the remains of the Roman villa, the baths against the splendid background of the picturesque Lake Garda.
Sirmione and the peninsula is the most striking and known area at the southern side of Lake Garda. Also the ancient Romans knew not only the strategic importance of the peninsula, but also very well its charms, building a villa on the northern tip of the peninsula.
Approaching the old town of Sirmione the first you will see is Rocca Scaligera, the striking castle built in the 14th century by the Scaligera of Verona at this very strategic point. The crenellations of the castle look gorgeous. Before entering the narrow streets of the town, you have to cross the surrounding moat by bridge. Here at the right hand side is the entrance of the castle.
Rocca Scaligera is a very well defended castle. It has even an inner harbour where the ships could hide between the walls of the castle.
Lago di Garda is the largest lake of Italy. The lake lies north of the A4 between Bergamo and Verona. I visited Lake Garda twice, but only the south part around Sirmione and Peschiera. The area south of Lake Garda is a hilly wine growing area.
From the south, especially from the peninsula of Sirmione the views at the surrounding mountains in the north are great. At the northern end of the peninsula you can make a walk at the footpath along the eastern lakeshore to enjoy the views. Except rounding the lake by car, it's also possible to make boattrips at the lake and visit the villages and towns around the lake by boat.
In the museum of the Grotte di Catullo in Sirmione you can find illustrations and explanations how the Lake Garda did originate geologically (see picture 3).
I found three sundials in Valeggio sul Mincio:
- on the wall of my hotel Cacciatore
- old, horisontal sundial in Sigurta Gardens
- on the wall of Tre Corone bar (on the picture).
A sundial measures apparent solar time, usually by measuring (pointing) the position of the shadow of the sun as it changes through the day. Sundials are known from ancient Egypt. They were developed further by other cultures, including the Greeks and Romans. Well, sundials, I found in Valeggio, are new and have decorative function.
Almost all windows of Valeggio had two-wing shutters, usually modern ones, either plastic or mostly wooden and painted in various colours.
These charming shutters, on my picture, look quite different. There are seperate tiny windows in the lower part of the both wings. More, each of the little windows has a blind/shade with horizontal strips which are surprisingly made of wood. I found it unique although, in recent days, I've found wooden blinds/shades in... OBI supermarket in my hometown.
This small monument with a figure of a soldier on a post is put north of St. Peter's church, in the middle of small, square space, surrounded by bright green, pretty hedge and a metal fence with closed gate. Unfortunatelly there is no information what the monument symbolizes, both on the post and around, but a statue of soldier says enough.
Well, visiting many similar and larger towns in that region of Italy, I found very few monuments to local war heroes and never two in one town. Does it mean that war heritage is especially important for locals (authorities?) of Valeggio?
This monument, on my picture, stands on a green square just north of St. Peter's church. It commerates local victims of the two World Wars who were killed in 1915 -1918 and in 1940 - 1945.
There are lists of the victims put on commemorating plaques and there is a seperate plaque with 16 names titled "ragazzi 1899" (boys/guys 1899). Hmm... there was no war in Europe and Italy that year. So, what is that?
The smallest plaque says, surely in Italian: "Diciottenni difesero la patria a fianco dei piu anziani spianando la via alla vittoria finale." Hmm... it's something about the homeland and final victory, right?
Do not hesitate to get lost among chaotic labirynth of tiny, charming streets of the old town. it's the best way to discover some small architectural details and get closer to local life.
Only keep in mind that at the end you have to find out the way back to your car. Right, sweet Staphanie? :-). Well, the old town is small and easy to get around in half an hour or so.
Whenever I see such image, like on my picture, I know where I am: in the South. Look at empty streets of a tiny town of Valeggio at sunny, hot midday when Italians have saint for them siesta, opss... lunch break. There are no cars, no pedestrians, just hot air, deep shadows, closed shutters at most windows and silence of a sleepy little town.
When you get to southern Italy (my recommendation!) add to this image a little bit charming mess, some neglected houses, old women dressed in black (widows) sitting on wooden chairs in a shadow and doing nothing, young black-haired, dark-skinned guys passing by on terribly noicy scooters and a heat haze.
Walking off the beaten path in Valeggio I found this, how to name it, public tap, on my picture. Nothing fancy but this old, wide-nose stone face with newer tap in its mouth looked interesting.
Valeggio, like most small and larger old Italian towns, is full of various in style, charming, old and new, public taps or wells. Well, the water is to refresh your hands or face especially on a hot sunny day, not to drink unless it's stated: potable = for drink.