Medieval atmosphere south of Lake Garda

On the border between Lombardy and Veneto, south of Lake Garda, Borghetto di Valeggio sul Mincio was once a strategic ford point on the river of the same name and owes its charm to the harmonious relationship between history and nature. It is one of the most visited destinations in the "Club dei Borghi più Belli d'Italia" (Club for the Most Beautiful Villages in Italy). The medieval atmosphere is accentuated by the fortresses on the Visconti Bridge, built in 1393 by Gian Galeazzo Visconti, Duke of Milan. Completed in 1395, it was connected to the Scaliger Castle by two crenellated walls and integrated into the fortified complex of Serraglio, which extended as far as Nogarole Rocca.

The nearby town of Valeggio sul Mincio is situated in the natural amphitheatre on the Morainic hills overlooking the Po Valley.

From the top of the hill, Castello Scaligero dominates the village and the valley of Mincio, with its three towers, preserving the grandeur of the medieval fortifications. All that remains of its oldest part, razed to the ground by an earthquake in 1117, is the Torre Tonda, a unique horseshoe-shaped construction. It was equipped with three drawbridges, only one of which has survived.

In the historical centre of Valeggio, there is Palazzo Guarienti, in strict neoclassical style, where Napoleon Bonaparte stayed in 1796 during the Italian campaign, and the sumptuous Villa Maffei Sigurtà, which housed the headquarters of Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria in 1859. At the back of the villa is the Parco Giardino Sigurtà, a botanical and landscaped area considered one of the most beautiful garden parks in the world.

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