Between labyrinths and water lilies, enchanted roses and ponds, educational farm and views of the Mincio river, we suggest you a weekend in the nature of the Sigurtà Park, in Valeggio sul Mincio, to be discovered slowly, on foot or by bike.
Whether you choose autumn with the warm colors of the foliage, or spring to admire the blooming tulips, every season is right to immerse yourself in the nature of the Sigurtà Park. A stone’s throw from Borghetto in Valeggio sul Mincio, one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, Sigurtà Park is one of the most beautiful parks in our country. In this haven of peace, set between Verona and Mantua, and very close to Lake Garda, nature and romance are guaranteed. It is also the perfect place for an outdoor weekend with children. We have chosen to visit the park on a warm October weekend, and we will tell you about the 10 experiences that you can’t miss!
1. Discover one of the most beautiful parks in Europe
It was the most beautiful in Italy in 2013, and awarded by the European Garden Award 2015 as the second most beautiful park in Europe. Sigurtà Park extends for about six hundred thousand square meters, on the edge of the moraine hills near Lake Garda. It was the garden of Villa Maffei, built by a student of Palladio. In 1859 it was also the headquarters of Napoleon III.
If in autumn you can admire the shades of red, yellow and orange of the foliage, in spring the park surprises with its blooming tulips, a natural wonder like few others in the world. A million tulips, of 300 different varieties, in addition to hyacinths, daffodils, and an avenue with thirty thousand roses. The main blooms that can be admired during the seasons are: tulips, roses, water lilies, asters and irises. But do not underestimate the beauty of the park in the fall, which – as Albert Camus says – is a second spring.
2. Try the soft mobility
You can decide to walk the park on foot, but also by bike, electric bike or special electric vehicles with four wheels. At the entrance to the park you have the opportunity to rent a bike (for those who have not taken it with you), the ebike, or a four-seater electric vehicle that also offers a guided tour of the park, through a narrating voice that will tell the story of the places that you’ll cross.
3. Admire ponds and water lilies
Walking through the large expanse of lawn in the park we meet beautiful flowering ponds. Surrounded by weeping willows and beautiful trees whose autumn leaves are tinged with red, yellow and orange, the pond transports us into the magical atmosphere of an oriental garden. Inside the lake, among the flowering water lilies, there’s a Japanese carp. Walking through the park we discover many other stretches of water, some of which are hidden among the trees. The pools of water amplify the beauty of the park and reflect the nuances of the trees between a water lily and the other.
4. Get lost in the labyrinth of Sigurtà Park
Going through the labyrinth of Sigurtà Park is by far the most exciting experience of the whole visit. Surrounded by the green of the boxwood we follow the paths, making a mistake, trying and trying again, until we arrive at the panoramic tower at the center of the labyrinth, inspired by that of the park of Bois de Boulogne in Paris. Children can not resist the temptation to run through the green corridors, and to retrace the labyrinth several times. The panoramic tower at the center of the maze is the place to meet and where we admire the perfect geometry of the great plant sculpture from above.
5. Meet the farm animals
Sheep, Tibetan goats, horses, donkeys and hens. In the ancient farm inside the Sigurtà park we discover different animals that we can observe, caress and photograph. An opportunity to get to know the habits of animals, take care of them and give them hay. Absolutely the children’s favorite experience. In another area of the park you can instead observe deer that graze in a group or go back to the sun. These beautiful animals have a coat that changes color according to the seasons.
6. Embrace the big oak
With its 400 years, the great oak is the oldest plant in the whole garden. Its immense foliage covers an area of almost 1000 square meters, and its trunk is so large that to embrace it we must be at least three.
7. Read the thoughts scattered in the park
Among the green of the boxwoods, we discover a large stone engraved with the verses of the American poet Samuel Ullman (1840-1924). It is a beautiful hymn to being young in spirit and heart. In another corner of the garden, on a large stone surrounded by ivy we read “the earth is one country: we are waves of the same sea, leaves of the same tree, flowers of the same garden”. A phrase that strikes me because it expresses very well the harmony that we breath in this place.
8. Visit one of the most beautiful villages in Italy
A few minutes from the Sigurtà Park there’s Borghetto, one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. In this charming village, the ancient houses have been restored to become taverns and typical restaurants. The visit of the village lasts an hour, but every two steps you must stop to capture glimpses of flowers, and breathtaking views, such as the walls of the Scaliger that are reflected in the Mincio. Walking a short uphill stretch towards the woods, you can then reach the ancient manor of Borghetto, from which you can admire the landscape over the entire Mincio valley.
9. Taste Valeggio’s tortelli and other local specialties
A stone’s throw from the Sigurtà Park we find the historic center of Valeggio sul Mincio, the main town of the area. Here it is easy to reach the Pastificio Ramelli, where we can buy the famous tortellino pasta, in over twenty variations, from the classic one to the one with celery of Verona and Monteveronese cheese. Legend has it that the tortellini of Valeggio, also called “knot of love”, were born in 300. Inside the pastry, made with flour and eggs, there’s a stuffing of beef, pork, chicken, herbs, Bardolino wine and breadcrumbs. To discover all the secrets of the production of this excellent fresh pasta you can book, a few days in advance, a visit inside the bakery.
10. An eco-friendly holiday near the Sigurtà Park
To experience the emotions of the Sigurtà Park, open every day from March to November with prices ranging from € 6.50 to € 12, it is possible to stay in different eco-sustainable accommodations. Nestled between fields and vineyards, in Monzambano, a five minute drive from Valeggio sul Mincio, there is the B&B Villa Pille, a true oasis of peace. Rooms decorated in a Provençal style with pastel colors and antique beds, a beautiful terrace where you can enjoy the mild spring temperatures, and the excellent breakfast with homemade cakes and cup cakes prepared by Ilaria that takes care with playful refinement even the mise en place of the cappuccino will make the stay truly unforgettable. In the hills of the village, the Monte Vento farm awaits us. In addition to produce oil and wine, it offers comfortable eco-friendly apartments. Another possibility is the farmhouse and Agricamping Le Nosare. Here every room has been furnished with care, preferring light bulbs with low consumption or LED, TV and air conditioners in class A, natural materials, water or ecological paintings and water-saving mixers in bathrooms as well as the use of solar panels for the hot water and photovoltaic panels for electricity.