Dip into history: small medieval towns and villages of Veneto, Italy
Veneto, and Italy, are full of medieval towns and villages, often with great medieval castles looming over them.
If you like to dip into history, and most of all you have a thing for art and architecture dating back to the medieval life, i.e. that period which runs between the end of the roman empire (476 AC) and the discovery of America by Columbus (1492), you might also want to plan a vacation away from the major touristic spots of Veneto.
There are some architectural jewels that most tourists simply do not see, due to a lack of time and to the fact that the main guide books often emphasizes only the most important and to the public most-well known destinations.
Corners of heaven just a stone's throw from the most touristic spots
Veneto is not that big of a land, so you do not necessarily have to drive for hours and hours to see one of the small medieval towns spread all over this region.
Sometimes they are just not that far away from the most touristic spots, and you may have to take only a quick detour off your itinerary.
These medieval castles, hamlets, monasteries and churches are often set in wonderful cultural and natural settings. Often they are not far from some interesting itineraries, such as a wine route or such.
Really.. it's worth the detour, especially if you are craving for a cultural and wine-and-food vacation away from the crowd!
The most beautiful medieval towns and villages of Veneto
Of course, you might first want to visit the most important of Veneto's medieval towns, which really deserve a getaway, as the romantic Verona, or the hilly picturesque Asolo , one of my favourites and rated as one of the most beautiful of Italy, beloved by poets, Heads of State and writers like Robert Browning and Freya Stark , surrounded by a mediterranean landscape of olive trees and cypresses.
Sleeping in one of the elegant ancient villas of Asolo turned into comfortable hotels is a romantic and pampering experience: click here to discover 3 superbly rated Asolo hotels!
The walled town Marostica, in the province of Vicenza, is famous for reviving every year a traditional medieval tournament in which flesh and blood pawns play a game of chess in the main square.
Plus, don't forget Bassano del Grappa, a town with a centuries-old tradition of prestigious distilleries, the first one dating back to 1779.
Castelfranco Veneto is another noteworthy medieval walled town, with its imposing and well preserved redbrick circular walls.
Other worth seeing medieval towns and villages in Veneto
You cannot miss Arquà Petrarca , province of Padua, a really enchanting village, an authentic little jewel in the volcanic Colli Euganei (Euganei Hills).
It is maybe one of the best preserved Veneto medieval towns, having kept all its full medieval atmosphere, both inside the hamlet and in the surrounding landscape.
It takes the final part of its name from the italian poet Francesco Petrarca, born in the town of Arezzo, Tuscany, in 1304. He spent his last years of life right here in this Veneto hamlet, where he passed away.
Possibly he got to know this restful village while treating himself in the renowned Abano thermal baths.
Not far from Arquà Petrarca, at the foothills of the Colli Euganei lies Monselice, a medieval town with a very beautiful 1200's castle and a scenic trail going uphill towards Villa Nani Mocenigo, villa Duodo and the Rocca.
Still at the foot of the Euganean hills lies the medieval walled city of Este, a worth-seeing town with very remote origins.
Soave - Province of Verona
Soave is a walled hilltop town. You can see it very well from the A4 highway that goes across the plains from Venice to Verona.
The castle is well preserved and it's one of the Veneto's most sumptuous ones.
The external walls of the building embraces all of the village, looming over the whole valley and the neighbouring hills spotted with vineyards.
You can observe the typical medieval structure: keep, bastions, 24 crenellated towers and walls surrounding the village below.
Across this old village goes a wine route, called Strada del vino Soave, i.e. Soave wine route.
The hamlet is in fact immersed in a well-known wine area, whose main wine is a white one called Soave, just like the village.
This wine area is rich in many Veneto style renaissance mansions, restaurants and hiking trails.
The Castle of Soave, like other Veneto's medieval castles, is open to visitors.
Inside you can see the different manor halls, among them the dinner hall, where you can admire a very beautiful antique kitchen cabinet.
The castle is so well preserved that it's also available for prestigious wedding parties or business meetings.
Sirmione, Province of Verona
It's a picturesque village by the shores of the lake of Garda, and located in a long and narrow peninsula.
Worth seeing is the Rocca degli Scaligeri - i.e. a Della Scalas fortress, a dynasty which ruled over Verona from 1262 to 1387 -
This castle, open to visitors,medieval towns was built in three different phases lasting from 8th to 14th century.
It is completely surrounded by the lake water.
You may cross the drawbridge, climb the stairs and go for a walk along the crenellated walls, taking a look underneath at the ancient dock, used to dock the fleet of the Della Scala family.
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Read more about Middle Ages Art in Veneto
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