Soave is a walled middle age town located in the eastern end of Verona province, at the foot of an impressive middle age castle built by the Scala family, the ruling family of Verona in the XIV Century.
Where today is the castle of Soave, there was almost certainly a Roman watch tower along the Via Postumia, an important road linking the north east of Italy with the north west. The Via Postumia connected Genoa with Aquileia and crossed also many towns in northern Italy such as Verona, Vicenza, Padua. From the highest tower of Soave castle it is still possible to admire a breathtaking view above the plain and the A4 motorway, running along the same route the via Postumia followed more than two thousands years ago.
In Italian language the word soave means “sweet“, “gentle“, and many believe that the name comes from the excellent white wine produced here, but in fact there is a different explanation.
With the fall of the Roman Empire in 476 a.D. the village found itself on the way of the Germanic tribes that swarmed the Italian peninsula coming from central and eastern Europe. One of these Germanic tribes, the Svevi, took control of the former Roman watch tower and settled. It is probably from the name of this tribe, Svevi, that the name Soave derived.
Soave and the Castle
Through the centuries this hill outstratched over the Padana plain kept its important strategic role. In XIV century, the powerful Scala family took the power in Verona and started to expand the territory around the town. To keep the control over the conquered land they built many castles enthrusted to their lords. In Soave too an impressive castle was built on top of the hill. The castle an embattled wall with towers surrounded the whole village making it an important stronghold.
After the end of the Scala family period, Soave too, like Verona and the rest of its territory, fell under the power of Venice. With the rapid development of gun powder, cannons and artillery, warfare change. The high but relatively thin middle age walls were easy and weak targets and castles were quickly abandoned. It was the same for Soave castle that became a farm. The towers and the battlements on the high walls started to fall into decay.
It was only at the end of 1800s that an important family of Verona bought the ruins and started a thoughtful restoration that brought the Soave castle back to its ancient splendour. The castle is still privately owned but it’s possible to visit it. From the top of its keep it is possible to have a breathtaking view over the surrounding hills, the valley below and the ‘sea’ of green vineyards that covers all the area around the castle as far as your eyes can reach.
Wine Tours in Soave
With with an half day wine tour in Soave it is possible to visit both one of the many wineries in the area and the castle. The walled village offers also othe interesting sights such as piazza Antenna, Cavalli palace and the old middle age Court of Law.
Some excellent wineries are located inside the village, others just outside the middle age walls, other are in the nearby village of Monteforte d’Alpone or up on the hills surrounding the castle.
With a full day tour it will be possible to add a panoramic drive up to Castelcerino and to try local cuisine in one of the many restaurant in the area.
For further information or to book a wine tour in Soave send us an e-mail at:
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