Soave Italy is a small walled town in the Veneto region, fourteen miles east of Verona on the A4 motorway. Known for its wine and historic fortified walls, this town is now being rediscovered by travelers and wine-lovers alike.
Soave has a long and somewhat violent history, as rulers from many different families and ethnicities fought to gain and retain control of Soave Castle, standing atop Tenda Hill. The earliest historical mention of the castle comes from the tenth century. During Roman rule, Soave was a prominent stop along Via Postumia, connecting Aquilei to Genoa. Before Soave became part of Italy in 1866, Soave Castle passed through the possession of the Scaliger family, the Visconti from Milan, the Carraresi from Padua, the Republic of Venice, the Gritti family, the French and the Austrians, all of whom left their influence on the city.
A must-see on any trip to Soave Italy is the castle itself. Three lines of walls form three courts and four gates. The innermost court houses the mastio, a keep that was once used as a prison and torture chamber, as well as a Scaliger family house. Recent restoration of these two historical buildings has revealed bones, weapons, Roman coins, medals, and other artifacts. The house also showcases Scaliger family portraits, medieval kitchenware, and a thirteenth-century fresco of St. Mary and Madeleine. Beyond the walls of this court is a second court, the first of the original castle, named della Madonna after another fresco of St. Mary. Through another door is a third court surrounded by an outer wall that was built by the Venetians in the fifteenth century. It surrounds the remains of a tenth century church. Soave Castle is backed by a moat on the west and south sides.
Soave Italy offers more than just the castle, however. The Palazzo di Giustizia, meaning Palace of Justice, was built in 1375 by Cansignorio della Scala. The Scaliger Palace housed the city's governors during Venetian rule and boasts a beautiful garden. The fourteenth-century frescos in the sanctuary of Santa Maria della Bassanella have been recently restored. San Bonifacio Italy also boasts several historical churches. The Romanesque Abbey of St. Peter dates back to the seventh century, with a crypt and bell tower built in 1131.
One of the primary attractions to Soave is its wine industry. The vineyards of Soave and nearby San Bonifacio Italy draw wine connoisseurs from all over the world. The region is one of the 41 Denominaziones di Origine Controllata e Garantita, producing a dry white wine primarily from the white garganega and Trebbiano di Soave grape varieties. It is one of the top selling wines in Italy and exported all around the world. Travelers wishing to incorporate wine tasting into their itineraries should consider the area's wine resorts as alternatives to Soave hotels. The Conti di San Bonifacio, for example, offers lodging at a restored farm with beautiful vistas of the surrounding vineyards. Many of the wineries offer tours to the public that can be booked in advance by contacting the vineyard directly. Otherwise, book a wine tour with one of the area's many tour companies. An experienced guide, frequently a sommelier, will give you an expert look at multiple vineyards in Soave and San Bonifacio Italy.