Recently recognised as “The first rural and historical landscape in Italy” by the Ministry of Agricultural Policies, the town of Soave lies at the foot of the Lessini Mountains and is a medieval village located 20 km from Verona and 30 km from Vicenza.
Being easily accessible from the highway tollbooth from Soave-San Bonifacio on the A4 highway, it is presented to the visitor even today as an intact medieval town, with picturesque scenery made of towers and crenellated walls which, almost disentangling themselves from the imposing Castle, they descend to enclose the oldest heart of Soave, the old hamlet with its shady streets and its gothic palaces.
The Castle is one of the best examples of a castle structure in Veneto and is the main attraction of Soave; you can also see it with guided tours, as well as being available for weddings, meetings or receptions.
The surrounding area of Soave, for viticulture, with an undulating flight of fertile and green hills seems to want to protect it, and a small river, the Tramigna, skims lightly against its walls.
Easy to visit, Soave seems to enter your line of vision at one go with an incomparable perspective, and offers plenty of things to see, historical sites and artistic beauty full of fascinating memories, which seem to recreate a living picture emerging from the Middle Ages.
The first human settlements date back to the Stone Age. In Roman times there was an important “pagus” along Via Postumia. The old town, from reliable sources, however, was founded in the Lombard period, in 500, by a tribe of Swabians from which the name “Suaves”, “Suevi” is derived which then became “Soavi” and finally Soave.
The first documents that mention the Castle date back to the tenth century; the manor looks like a typical Medieval military artifact, which stands on the Monte Tenda and overlooks the valley. The fort, according to a diploma issued by Frederick Barbarossa in 1100, belonged to the Sambonifacio Counts of Verona. In 1237 it was owned by the Greppi feudal family who sold it in 1270 to the City of Verona.
Under the rule of the Scaligeri, the importance of Soave and its Castle increased so much so that its walls were restored and reinforced numerous times. Many harsh battles were held for its ownership. In 1338 it was conquered by Rolando de’ Rossi from Parma and again by Mastino II della Scala as the captain of the Venetian troops. Once the Scala dynasty was terminated, it was passed on to the Viscounts of Milan and therefore to Carrara di Padova.
In 1405, with the help of Gonzaga, the rule of the Venetian Republic was re-established to which it remained loyal, so much so that in 1517 it earned the Antenna and the Banner of St. Mark. A period of peace commenced – lasting three centuries, until the arrival of the troops of Napoleon Bonaparte.
In the 1889-92 period the Camuzzoni family, who became owner of the castle, carried out the reconstruction and restoration of those parts of the building with proven existence.
WHAT TO SEE
Apart from the Castle, in its historical town centre, Soave offers numerous other monuments such as: the Palace of the Sambonifacio Counts of the XIII century, the Palace of the Cavalli Counts of 1411, the Justice Palace and the Palace of the Captain of the 1375, the Pullici Palace of the XV century residence of Ippolito Nievo, the Palace of the Moscardo Counts of the XVII century, the Cathedral of St. Lawrence martyr of 1303, the Churches of St. George of the XI century, of Saint Mary of Monte Santo of the Dominican Friars of 1443, of St. Rocco of the XV century, of St. Anthony of 1667 and the Sanctuary of Saint Mary of Bassanella of the first century.