Soave is a small town and commune located in the Veneto region of Italy in the province of Verona. The town is spread over an area of 22 sq km and has a population of close to 6800. The town was a center during Roman rule in the region on the Via Postumia that connected Genoa to Aquileia. The castle of Soave was first mentioned in 934 during the Magyar invasions. During the 13th century the castle was taken over by counts of Greppi who later gave it up to Verona.
The ancient walls that were built in the town are still visible today. The walls were built in 1379 by the Scaliger family. After the Scaliger family the Visconti from Milan and the Carraresi of Padua also ruled the region.
Attractions in Soave
The castle of Soave is the most visited location in the town. It is a typical military fortification which is located on top of a high hill. The castle is made up of a donjon and three walls that form three different sized courts. The outer line of walls has a gate and a draw bridge which was built in the 15th century by the Venetians. There is a small church that was built in the 10th century, in ruins now. The second court is larger and is original. This has a large fresco dating back to the 14th century. There is another beautiful fresco of a soldier in the inner court. The most impressive feature of the castle is the mastio which is believed to have been used as a torture chamber and prison due to the number of bones that were found there. Roman coins, weapons, medals and several other things were also found in the castle during restoration works. The kitchen of the castle has ancient vessels and there is a fresco of St. Mary and Madeleine made in 13th century in the bedroom. There are several impressive portraits throughout the castle.
The Ancient Walls
The Scaliger Palace is located close to the ancient Porta Aquila and is well worth a visit. The palace was built by Cansignorio and was the residence of the governors of the area during the rule of the Venetians. The garden surrounding the palace is quite beautiful.
Chiesa Parrocchiale was built in Soave in the 18th century at the location of an ancient church. The church was enlarged and restored in the 19th century. Inside the church are various beautiful paintings dating back to the 16th century and various precious art works.
Sancturary of Santa Maria Della Bassanella
One of the most important religious places in Soave is the sanctuary of Santa Maria Della Bassanella which was built in the 11th century and has been restored recently. The sanctuary has been beautifully decorated inside and has several precious frescoes dating back to the 14th century that depict various saints like St. Benedict.
Getting to Soave
Soave is located quite close to the city of Verona so reaching here is fairly easy. Visitors can travel by the state buses that operate in the Veneto region. Buses depart a few times every day from the main bus stations of Verona and other smaller towns in the province. Tickets can be purchased from the station and except for the peak tourist seasons, getting tickets is not a problem. Visitors who have a car can also drive down to Soave quite easily. The town is located 23 km from Verona on the east. Visitors can take the A4 motorway and exit at Soave-San Bonifacio to reach the town.
Moving Around the Town
Soave is a small town and the main sight-seeing attractions are all located in close proximity to the historic center of the town. This area of Soave is quite compact and can be easily visited on foot. The streets are quite narrow in some places which make it impossible to park cars or even navigate a car so the best option is to walk around. Those who are interested in exploring the surrounding regions and the villages that are situated close to Soave can also move around in cars. Another option is to travel by the local public buses.
Stay and Accommodation
Soave is quite a small town but it has a few good accommodation options. The town has a few good hotels and some bed & breakfasts, most of which are located close to the center of the town. The hotels are all small and homely. Some of the best hotels to try in Soave are Hotel Cangrande, Hotel Albergo Roxy Plaza, B&B II Grappo D'Oro, Albergo Soave Di Daniella Margherita, Agritourismo Libero and Albergo Oriene.
Eating in Soave
There are many good options available to tourists to choose from when it comes to dining out. There are several small restaurants, pizzerias and trattorias in the town where visitors can sample home style cooking and excellent local wine at inexpensive rates. Most restaurants in Soave serve regional dishes and other Italian specialties. There are also a few good cafes and bars in Soave. Some of the most well known restaurants in the town are: Al Gambero, Antica Locanda El Grio, Lo Scudo, Barchessa Snc Di Piccoli Luigino, Morello Snc Di Aspetti Anna and pizzeria Al Camin Di Guadin Loreta.
Shopping in Soave
Soave is quite a charming town and has many old cobblestoned pedestrian streets that are lined with various small shops selling plenty of items. Visitors would find shops selling souvenirs, handicrafts and various other gift items to tourists as well as a lot of other shops that sell food products that are typical to this region like cheese. Soave is also well known for its local wine that is made in the neighboring regions and exported worldwide.