Saturday, May 27, 2017

A Bike Ride from Peschiera del Garda to Valeggio sul Mincio

Route between Peschiera del Garda and Valeggio sul Mincio. The route runs alongside the bastions of Peschiera del Garda.
Left: Route between Peschiera del Garda and Valeggio sul Mincio. Right: The route runs alongside the bastions of Peschiera del Garda, fortifications built by the Republic of Venice.

A bike ride to Valeggio sul Mincio makes for a nice day outing if you are coming from Bergamo, Brescia, or Verona. (We arrived from Bergamo by train.) The route from Peschiera to Valeggio is along the Mincio Cycleway (also called the Peschiera-Mantua Cycleway), and is named for the Mincio River that the trail follows. The distance between Peschiera del Garda and Valeggio sul Mincio is about 15 km over flat terrain.

The three top attractions of Valeggio sul Mincio are the Parco Giardino Sigurtà, Castello scaligero di Valeggio sul Mincio, and the hamlet of Borghetto. We were primarily interested in the gardens. When you rent your bikes in Peschiera (there are several places, we used the shop at via Venezia 15), ask if you can buy Sigurtà tickets as well so that when you arrive you can avoid the ticket line. Siguratà can be explored on foot, in golf cart, on a bus, or with a bike as we did. It’s a big park, so it was nice to get to different parts of the garden quickly on our bikes.

From the Peschiera del Garda train station, walk a few minutes north to find bike rentals. To catch the start of the trail, you must go through the town of Peschiera toward the Campo Sportivo on the west side of the historical center, keeping an eye out for the brown trail signs. The trail starts on a canal, down a small dirt path, southwest of the historic center of Peschiera. The first kilometer of the trail follows the contours of the massive fortifications of the city. Peschiera del Garda was one of the six fortified cities of the Republic of Venice, like Bergamo. Between the 15th and 17th centuries, Venice's mainland domains, called domini di terraferma, included the eastern parts of present-day Lombardy, Veneto, and Friuli-Venezia Giulia.

During the first half of the ride, the trail is on the west side of the Mincio. The path then crosses over switches over to the east side. When you arrive at Valeggio, the trail takes you very close to Borghetto, the little hamlet of Valeggio. You might be tempted to stop there thinking that’s the destination. Instead, climb the hill to reach Valeggio and follow the signs to Parco Giardino Sigurtà.

After three hours of riding to Valeggio and exploring the gardens – on bike and foot – we headed to a nice lunch at Alla Borsa. Wherever you eat, be sure to sample the Nodo d’Amore, delicate tortellini filled with meat, which are a specialty of this area. After lunch, we explored the castle and the Borghetto briefly before heading back to Peschiera.

Borghetto and the Visconti bridge/dam.Towers of Castello scaligero di Valeggio sul Mincio.
Left: Borghetto and the Visconti bridge/dam. Right: Towers of Castello scaligero di Valeggio sul Mincio.

A dish of tortellini (Nodo d'Amore) at Alla Borsa restaurant in Valeggio sul Mincio.The love story behind the Nodo d'Amore - it has a happy ending.Another view of the route from Peschiera del Garda to Valeggio sul Mincio. The jumble of lines in the lower part of the image are exploration of Parco Giardino Sigurtà.
Left: A dish of tortellini (Nodo d'Amore) at Alla Borsa restaurant in Valeggio sul Mincio. Center: The love story behind the Nodo d'Amore - it has a happy ending. Right: Another view of the route from Peschiera del Garda to Valeggio sul Mincio. The jumble of lines in the lower part of the image are exploration of Parco Giardino Sigurtà.

 Labyrinth of Parco Gardino Sigurtà.Sundial at Sigurtà.Water Gardens at Sigurtà.
Left: Labyrinth of Parco Gardino Sigurtà. Center: Sundial at Sigurtà. Right: Water Gardens at Sigurtà.

Parco Giardino Sigurtà brochure.Parco Giardino Sigurtà brochure.
Parco Giardino Sigurtà brochure.





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