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Borghetto sul Mincio – How to Visit and What to Do in Italy’s Village on Water (With Maps and Practical Tips)

Borghetto sul Mincio is a dreamy Italian hamlet of ancient watermills.

It’s built across the rushing river Mincio and it’s a place of centuries-old history and legends.

Officially recognised as one of Italy’s most beautiful villages, Borghetto stands right next door to Valeggio sul Mincio – one of the prettiest towns in the Northern Italian region of Veneto. A castle-crowned low-lying hill separates the town from the hamlet. Peach orchards and lush vineyards dot the surrounding area. Draped in blooming wisteria, the local restaurants serve a traditional delicacy – plump handmade tortellini which are known as nodo d’amore – love knots.

The ancient watermills on the River Mincio nowadays are restaurants and exclusive hotels - Borghetto sul Mincio, Italy -

It’s a charming corner of Italy with lots of things to do starting with a 14th-century fortified bridge. You can come here for a mix of medieval history, inspiring views, and delicious food. Plus, in Valeggio sul Mincio, you will find one of Italy’s most beautiful landscaped gardens as well as a large water park. Both are lovely to visit on a day when the sun is shining bright.

Even better, Borghetto and Valeggio sul Mincio are just a stone’s throw away from:

  • Italy’s City of Love – Verona;
  • Italy’s Renaissance Pearl – Mantua; and
  • Italy’s largest lake – Lago di Garda.

All of this makes the lovely hamlet of Borghetto and the small town of Valeggio a great destination for a delightful day trip in the Italian countryside. You can also easily combine them with many more must-see attractions and sights in the immediate area.

The best bit is that you can head there in any season for both the town and the hamlet look beautiful in the crisp winter light and in glorious sunshine.

Old watermills converted into short-term rentals - Borghetto sul Mincio, Italy -

So, to make your Italy travel planning an easy and enjoyable experience, here are the very best things you can do in Borghetto and Valeggio sul Mincio. You will see that for their small size, they offer a surprising number of experiences and activities.

In the second part of this blog post, I have also included an exhaustive list with practical tips for your visit to Borghetto and Valeggio. From how to reach them to where to stay, everything is covered in helpful bite-size pieces of information.

It’s all based on my numerous visits to Borghetto sul Mincio and Valeggio sul Mincio – easily one of my most favourite destinations in the north of Italy. I loved spending time here and learning more and more curious details about the local history and traditions. Now, I am only happy to pass the word along!

Have a look!

13 Best Things to Do in Borghetto and Valeggio sul Mincio, Italy – Legends, Watermills, and Tortellini

13 Things to Do in Borghetto sul Mincio - Italy's Village on Water -

1. Walk across the Medieval Visconti Bridge over the River Mincio

The Visconti Bridge with the River Mincio in winter - Borghetto sul Mincio -

With everything that Borghetto and Valeggio sul Mincio have to offer, the indisputable gem in their crown, at least for me, is the 14th-century Visconti Bridge. Stretching for 650 m over the river Mincio and its adjacent canals, the bridge is 25 m wide and it stands nine metres above the fast-rushing waters.

The river Mincio flows out of Italy’s largest lake – Lago di Garda. Along its way, it serves as a natural border between the Italian regions of Veneto and Lombardy. It then feeds the lakes surrounding the city of Mantua before flowing into Po – Italy’s longest river.

Borghetto sul Mincio stands at one of the prettiest spots along the course of the river Mincio. During the Middle Ages, the hamlet was a lively and important fortified settlement where toll charges were collected for the crossing of a small wooden bridge.

Then, in 1393, Gian Galeazzo Visconti – the first Duque of Milan – ordered the construction of a large new bridge just upstream from Borghetto. The Visconti Bridge or Il Ponte Visconteo as it is known to this day in Italian. At the time, the Duque had just conquered Verona, Vicenza, and Padua and was eager to protect his new territories from attack.

The bridge was designed as a fortified dam by the Ducal engineer Domenico dei Benintendi who was originally from Florence. It was erected in just two years making it an outstanding achievement of medieval engineering and architecture. Some say that the Duque wanted to use the dam bridge to cut the supply of water to Mantua’s lakes thus making the city vulnerable to attack.

The Visconti Bridge has three imposing towers of bricks and river pebbles rising high above the wide lane that supports them and stretches over the river. Although quite ruined, the bridge is still incredibly impressive. It’s interesting to note that in 1801, its central portion was blown off by the troops of Napoleon. A century later, a metal structure was inserted in that spot making the bridge viable again.

You can walk across the whole bridge and you can drive on it, too. And then, in June each year, the bridge is the focal point of one of the largest food celebrations in this corner of Italy. This is when a feast celebrating the local handmade tortellini is enjoyed by thousands of people on tables that span the length of the bridge.

Above all, the Visconti Bridge is the best point to enjoy a stunning panorama of Borghetto sul Mincio. For me, this is one of the best views in Italy! Standing on the medieval bridge, your eyes travel over the water – a soul-inspiring blue on a clear-sky day and dark and brooding in winter. Lush low-lying hills brim the river. They form a natural amphitheatre where, centre-stage, stand the ancient mills of Borghetto – in shades of ochre and burnt orange. Built above the water, they huddle together right across the river bed. A long weir adds a final dramatic touch to this landscape where the beauty of nature meets the inventiveness of men.

2. Explore Borghetto sul Mincio’s Ancient Watermills and Hidden Corners

The ancient watermills (nowadays restaurants) seen from the wooden bridge - Borghetto sul Mincio, Italy -

Borghetto sul Mincio is tiny. A handful of houses, an old parish church with a bell tower where one of the bells dates back to the 14th century, some shops selling local crafts, a surviving crenellated wall, and the medieval watermills which nowadays function as restaurants serving the local delicacy – handmade tortellini. Peach groves border the village and you can admire their stunningly pink blossoms in early spring when you go for a leisurely walk around Borghetto.

Small as it is, Borghetto stands at a spot that has been inhabited by people for millennia. An ancient ford existed here facilitating the crossing of the river. Archaeological excavations in the adjacent area have revealed traces of Bronze Age communities followed by Celtic tribes and Roman colonists.

The hamlet itself was founded by the Lombards – a Germanic tribe – in the 5th/6th centuries AD. It was then a fiefdom of the Abbey of San Zeno in nearby Verona. Its name – Borghetto sul Mincio – means ‘fortified settlement on the river Mincio’ in a direct reference to the very first incarnations of what nowadays is a tiny peaceful village.

Throughout its history, Borghetto sul Mincio has had many ups and downs. From a lively fortified settlement relying on the river for its sustenance to a milling hotspot where the locally cultivated grains were turned into flour. And even a point of contention between many rulers.

Looking at Borghetto sul Mincio nowadays, it’s easy to focus just on its instagrammable beauty and gastronomic flavours. Yet, this is a place where history was made more than once. The Lords of Verona – the Mighty Scaliger dynasty – built a huge fortified complex here crowned by a hilltop castle the remains of which still look over Borghetto and Valeggio sul Mincio. The Visconti of Milan added not just the fortified dam bridge but also two long crenellated walls connecting it to the castle.

On 30th May 1796 and then again on 6th August of the same year, Napoleon fought the Austrians at Borghetto. The hamlet was a battlefield, too during the First Italian War of Independence in 1848.

Borghetto is small but a walk through it will take you centuries back in time. Take it easy and slowly when here. Spend time in the 18th-century parish Church of San Marco Evangelista which was built over the remains of a medieval stone chapel. Stop in front of the small statue of St. John of Nepomuk – a martyr from Bohemia (nowadays Czechia) who saves from drowning those who fall in the river. Cross the small bridge – half made of stone and half of timber – that connects the river shore to the islet with the ancient mills.

It’s a beautiful experience, especially if you come here during the low season when Borghetto sul Mincio seems to exist in a world of its own.

3. Hike to the Scaliger Castle That Crowns the Hill Between Valeggio sul Mincio and Borghetto sul Mincio

View of the Scaliger Castle - Valeggio sul Mincio, Italy -

Right on top of the hill that stands guard over Borgetto sul Mincio, you will see the imposing ruins of a large medieval castle. You can walk up there following a pebbly path that starts on the outskirts of the hamlet and scales the hill one wide low step after another. It’s a bit of a strenuous yet short exercise that awards you with stunning panoramic views over Borghetto, the river Mincio, and the Mincio Valley on one side and the town of Valeggio sul Mincio and the Venetian Plains on the other. On a clear-sky day, you can see as far as the Venetian Alps.

I like hiking up the hill after a nice plate of handmade tortellini served in the local restaurants. It’s the perfect activity to keep you bright and fresh instead of feeling snoozy after the hearty Italian meal! However, if you prefer, you can park in Valeggio sul Mincio and then walk to the castle following a much more level path.

The hilltop castle was first built in the 10th century probably on the orders of Milone Sanbonifacio – the first marquise of Verona. The spot to erect it was not chosen lightly. It was right above one of the safest at the time crossings of the river Mincio. The river itself then served as a border between the Holy Roman Empire and the March of Tuscany – borderlands ruled over by the powerful family of Canossa.

On 7th January 1117, a strong earthquake hit that corner of Italy and raised the castle to the ground. Only one tower – the horseshoe-shaped Torre Tonda – survives to these days from that earliest structure.

Between the 13th and 14th centuries, the powerful Scaliger dynasty from nearby Verona re-structured and re-built the castle.

Not only that! They also designed and erected a long defensive wall that stretched for 16 km. The wall was known as the Serraglio Scaligero – the Scaliger Enclosure. It was crenellated and around 16 m high. Between 150 and 200 towers were dotted along the wall at a distance of 80 m from one another.

When the Duque of Milan – Gian Galezzano Visconti – conquered these lands, he built the fortified dam bridge that still stands and linked it to to the Scaliger fortifications via two long defensive walls.

In the centuries that followed, however, the Scaliger Castle of Valeggio sul Mincio suffered a slow decay. Nowadays, the ruins of its original fortress are still imposing and are a lovely place to visit in order to admire the picture-perfect views. Sometimes, in summer, concerts and film screenings are taking place here. The panoramic courtyard is usually free to access and it’s open every day. A small fee is in place if you want to scale the towers which are open to the general public at specific times during the high season.

If medieval castles and fortifications are a passion of yours, then spend some more time in the area and explore the best castles around Lake Garda. Many of them were built by the Scaliger dynasty, too.

4. Go for a Walk around Valeggio sul Mincio

Beautiful villa - Valeggio sul Mincio, Italy -

Valeggio sul Mincio is small and very walkable. Go for a quick tour of its historic centre and streets to tick off the town’s main sights:

  • Palazzo Municipale – the historic seat of the town council is on Piazza Carlo Alberto in the heart of Valeggio sul Mincio.
  • Church of San Pietro Apostolo – a large 18th-century church with an unfinished facade, a historic pipe organ, and a huge bronze portal.
  • Villa Maffei-Sigurta’ – a historic villa in the Palladian style. Nowadays, it hosts lavish events and ceremonies. In the past, it was used by Napoleon III as headquarters during his Italian Campaign in 1859. The villa is right next to the Parco Giardino Sigurta’ (see point 8 below). It can be visited during the high season as part of a guided tour which may also include a wine tasting. Click to get a ticket.

5. Learn the Legends and Stories of Borghetto and Valeggio sul Mincio

Handmade tortellini - Borghetto sul Mincio, Italy -

As a place with a history that spans many centuries, Borghetto sul Mincio has a rich cache of legends and traditions. There is a hush-hush talk about ghostly apparitions and unexplained laughter in the middle of the night. Don’t go around asking the locals to confirm this though. They may crack a joke at your expense as it may have happened to me…

There are two local legends though which the locals of Borghetto and Valeggio sul Mincio are very proud of and love retelling.

One is of the beautiful water nymph Silvia who fell in love with the mortal Malco. He was a captain in the army of the Duque of Milan – Gian Galeazzo Visconti. An old curse, a jealous lady, armed soldiers, a prison cell – Silvia and Malco faced many obstacles on the way to being together forever. The most important part of the story (which you can read here in full) is that Silvia gave Malco her golden handkerchief as a symbol of her undying love for him. This handkerchief inspired the shape of the local delicacy – the handmade tortellini which to this day are known as tortellini nodo d’amore – love-knot tortellini.

Looking at the fast-rushing waters of the river Mincio and the lush reeds that grow along its shores, it’s easy to imagine this being the perfect ground for nymphs and other mythical creatures.

The other legend that you may hear as you explore Borghetto sul Mincio and the adjacent town of Valeggio concerns the medieval Scaliger Castle that overlooks the hamlet, the town and the plains that stretch all the way to the horizon.

They say that the castle is haunted by the spirit of one of its former lords – Andriolo da Parma. At the beginning of the 15th century, Andriolo conspired to surrender the castle to the Republic of Venice. This enraged the Lords of Padua who at the time controlled the lands around Borghetto.

Andriolo was captured and then promptly quartered. Just imagine a cruel way to kill your foe by either cutting him into four pieces or tying him to four horses and letting them run in four different directions. Yes, it doesn’t sound nice at all! Well, they didn’t treat political traitors lightly in those days.

They say that on full-moon nights Andriolo’s ghost haunts the ruins of the hilltop castle and the locals tend to stay away from it then.

By the way, if haunting stories and bewildering legends appeal to you, click to read about other mysterious places you can see for yourself in Veneto, Italy.

6. Tuck into a Plate of Traditional Handmade Love-Knot Tortellini

The stone and wooden bridge seen from a local restaurant above the waters of the River Mincio - Borghetto sul Mincio, Italy -

You cannot come to Borghetto and Valeggio sul Mincio and not tuck into a plate of the local delicacy – love-knot tortellini. They are made by hand in the many pastifici artigiani – or artisanal pasta workshops – in the area.

There are many restaurants serving them both in Borghetto and Valeggio. Obviously, the prettiest places to eat them are the trattorias nestled in Borghetto’s ancient watermills. With wisteria-draped terraces right above the waters of the river Mincio, they are picture-perfect. Still, there are many tortellini-making eateries here, so have a look around and see which one appeals to you the most.

Alternatively, you can buy fresh tortellini to take to your Italian accommodation and cook there yourself.

Valeggio’s tortellini are highly-prized and you can also see them sold in some of the best delis in Verona and Vicenza with signs proudly proclaiming in Italian: Tortellini di Valeggio sul Mincio!

The shape of the tortellini is inspired by the golden handkerchief of the nymph Silvia who tied a love knot in it and gave it to her mortal beloved Malco. Another, lesser-known name for them is ‘Navel of Venus’.

Valeggio’s tortellini are made of fresh pasta squares with a delicious filling combining a mix of meats – pork fillet, veal, beef, chicken breast (or livers), and prosciutto. A touch of parmesan, a sprinkle of rosemary, some nutmeg and onions complete this gastronomic bouquet. The squares of pasta are then folded and twisted into a beautiful shape with plump middle and overlapping slim triangular ends.

They are then boiled and served either in broth or dripping with butter and sage.

Nowadays, the tortellini of Valeggio can be made with seasonal fillings, too. So, see what’s available during your visit.

Every year, on the third weekend of June, Borghetto sul Mincio and Valeggio sul Mincio celebrate the Festa del Nodo D’Amore (The Love-Knot Festival). This is when a historical parade takes through the streets of the town and its hamlet. At the head of it walk the water nymph Silvia and her mortal beloved Malco. A huge feast then takes place on the Visconti Bridge. Tables are placed along its whole length and thousands of people eat their fill in tortellini. The night ends with spectacular firework displays over the hilltop Scaliger Castle.

By the way, if you have a sweet tooth, don’t leave Borghetto and Valeggio sul Mincio without trying the local sweet delicacies:

  • Torta delle Rose – this sweet loaf is shaped like a bouquet of roses. It’s soft, fragrant, and very buttery. Its recipe dates back to 1490 when it was first prepared to celebrate the wedding between the ruler of Mantua Francesco II Gonzaga and Isabella d’Este – one of hte most famous patrons of the Italian Renaissance.
  • Chocolate Tortellini – a recent addition to Valeggio’s traditional love-knot tortellini, these are made with sugar, cocoa butter, and molasses for the shell which is then stuffed with chocolate. Yum!

7. Fall in Love with Borghetto’s Wisteria

Wisteria in bloom - Borghetto sul Mincio, Italy -

Borghetto sul Mincio is beautiful in any season but particularly so in spring when the wisteria is in full bloom. This usually happens during the month of April when – for a glorious period of a couple of weeks or so – the huge wisteria vines all over the hamlet erupt in an explosion of purple fragrant petals.

It is then such a delight to amble through the hamlet’s lanes and to sit in the shadow of the wisterias whilst tucking in a plate of tortellini. It’s the perfect Italian experience! It pleases all the senses in so many different ways.

If you can schedule your visit to coincide with the wisterias blooming in Borghetto sul Mincio, do it. They make this place even more special.

8. Visit Parco Giardino Sigurta’ – Officially, One of Italy’s and Europe’s Most Beautiful Parks

The ponds - Parco Giardino Sigurta' - Valeggio sul Mincio, Veneto, Italy -

Parco Giardino Sigurta’ is one of the major attractions to visit during your time in Borghetto and Valeggio sul Mincio. Just across the road from the Scaliger Castle, this is one of Italy’s most important and most attractive landscaped garden parks. It’s open from early March to mid-November. Click to get tickets.

The park is splendid and incredibly large. It represents Italy’s best gardening practices and traditions. Hence, in 2013, it was selected as Italy’s Most Beautiful Private Park. That’s not all though! In 2015, Parco Giardino Sigurta’ took second place at the European Garden Award.  In addition, the park has won many awards for its amazing tulip displays. One million tulip bulbs are planted here. They bloom in incredible displays every spring.

The history of the park spans several centuries and its area stretches over 600,000 sq. m. If you have only a day to spare for Borghetto and Valeggio sul Mincio, pencil at least three or four hours for your visit to Parco Giardino Sigurta’. From ponds and lush lawns to seasonal blooming events and a labyrinth, it has many corners that you will want to see.

If you have more than a day for Borghetto and Valeggio sul Mincio, then you can spend as long as you want in the park. Bring a picnic if you want to take full advantage of its wide green spaces and just relax surrounded by flowers and tall trees.

If walking long distances is not for you, there are golf carts that can be rented by the hour as well as an electric train circumnavigating the park.

If gardens and gardening are your thing, then don’t miss three more award-winning gardens in Veneto, Italy. You can read all about them here:

Alternatively, you can head to the Heller Garden in the small town of Gardone Riviera on the western shores of Lake Garda. It’s just over an hour away from Parco Giardino Sigurta’.

Another option is to split your leisure time in Borghetto and Valeggio sul Mincio between Parco Giardino Sigurta’ and Cavour Water Park (see point 9 below). In this case, you can get a cheaper combo ticket for both.

9. Spend a Relaxing Day Swimming and Sunbathing in Parco Cavour

Parco Cavour is right next door to Valeggio sul Mincio. This large water park is one of the most exciting theme parks near Lake Garda. It is a great place to spend a hot summer day at. There is lots to do and see here for the whole family.

Among the main attractions are Palm Beach, Paradise Island, the Rainforest water route, and the Kamikaze turbo slide. I particularly love the events held here, especially the Carnival Party.

If you love swimming, sunbathing, and having fun or if you want to treat your kids to a fun day out, Parco Cavour is a great place to visit during your time in Borghetto and Valeggio sul Mincio. Click to get tickets. Alternatively, you can get a combined ticket for the water park and the nearby Parco Giardino Sigurta’.

10. Indulge in a Spot of Shopping

The entrance of a local shop - Borghetto sul Mincio -

Although very small, Borghetto sul Mincio has a nice handful of shops selling local crafts and tidbits. Visiting them makes for a nice thing to do when exploring this little hamlet on the waters of the river Mincio.

Most importantly, Borghetto and Valeggio sul Mincio hold different fairs throughout the year – from a lovely Christmas market in winter to a castagnata in autumn. Plus, every fourth Sunday of the month, an antiques fair takes place here. Come to rummage for Italian antiques that would look pretty and special in any home all over the world.

Also, twice a year – usually in spring and autumn – you can experience Valeggio Veste il Vintage. This is the most popular open-air market fair of fashion, vintage accessories, design, and modern antiquities in the Province of Verona. It takes place in the historic centre of Valeggio sul Mincio with lots of live music and copious amounts of tortellini and local wines.

In Valeggio, you can also explore the local shops. Many of them are family-owned and specialise in a particular type of product. It makes for a nice change from the huge multinational companies that have taken over the high streets in many cities around Europe.

I love craft fairs in Borghetto. Small and easy to see in a short amount of time, they usually have a very good selection of local artisans who also demonstrate their skills. I remember buying a handmade basket during Borghetto’s castagnata fair some years ago. We had a lovely chat with the artisan who made it and he gave us a great insight into the millennia-old traditions of basket-weaving. It was a very enriching experience!

The basket was one of the things we brought home from Italy with us when we returned to live in England. It takes a pride of place on top of one of my bookshelves. And I actually have been glancing at it while writing this blog post about Borghetto sul Mincio.

11. Alternatively, Indulge in a Spot of Birdwatching

A curious duck on the River Mincio - Borghetto sul Mincio -

If shops are not your thing, then turn your gaze to nature. The beautiful surroundings of Borghetto and Valeggio sul Mincip are great for birdwatching. The river Mincio is a protected natural area and its valleys form the widest internal freshwater wetlands in Italy.

Here you can see herons, swans, storks, and diurnal birds of prey. Plus, swans and many different types of ducks are a given. Just going for a walk around Borghetto and a bit down the river Mincio, we were always able to spot several birds.

If you want to explore deeper the beauty, the botanical richness, and the fauna of the area, then look into spending longer in the Parco del Mincio. This is a protected area in the Province of Mantua, so just a short distance away from Borghetto sul Mincio. Here you can go on boat trips among flowering lotuses, enjoy kayaking, and get closer to nature in many different ways.

12. Get Active in the Area of Borghetto and Valeggio sul Mincio

The River Mincio and the tables of a riverside restaurant - Borghetto sul Mincio, Italy -

There are many ways to get active here. From cycling, kayaking, and horseriding to golf, tennis, and hiking, the area of Borghetto and Valeggio sul Mincio is rich in opportunities for those who love to practice sports and get in touch with nature.

Here are some places to check and some organised activities to book:

  • Bike tour along the river Mincio to Borghetto and Valeggio. Take in beautiful Italian views and enjoy a plate of handmade tortellini.
  • A circular e-bike tour starting from Borghetto and taking you to Custozza – a small Italian town famous for its wine.
  • Cycle path along the river Mincio – you can cycle from the lakefront town of Peschiera del Garda all the way to Borghetto sul Mincio. The track follows the river Mincio and it’s incredibly beautiful. It’s about 15 km long. From Borghetto you can continue by bike to Mantua – about 30 km away.
  • Garda Adventure organises canoe and kayak trips down the river Mincio. It also offers quad bike tours in the area.

In addition, have a look at this blog post:

It gives you a detailed overview of several adventure, amusement, and water parks within an easy driving distance from Borghetto and Valeggio sul Mincio. There you can get active whilst having oodles of fun. They are great to visit no matter if you are travelling solo, with friends or with your family.

13. Take a Trip to Splendid Italian Cities and Italy’s Largest Lake

Gondola and fortified walls - Peschiera del Garda -

If you are spending a holiday in the area around Borghetto and Valeggio sul Mincio, then you will be spoilt for choice in terms of sights to see and attractions to enjoy nearby. Here are some of the best destinations to head to on a day trip to remember:

Castellaro Lagusello – this small fortified village is less than 15 mins away. Perched on the shores of a small heart-shaped lake, it’s a great destination if you love medieval walled towns and their history.

Lake Garda – Italy’s largest lake is only 15 mins away. Dotted with stunning lakefront towns, castles, vineyards, and Italy’s best amusement parks, this is a great area to explore and enjoy the Italian way of life. Pictured above are the thick defensive walls of the lakefront town of Peschiera del Garda.

Mantua – Italy’s Renaissance Pearl is only 35 mins or so away. You can also cycle there following a nice cycling path. Have a look at point 9 in this blog post for ideas on what to see and do there in a day.

Verona – the City of Romeo and Juliet is less than 40 mins away. Click to find out all the best things to do in Verona in a day.

Brescia – this impressive city in Lombardy is less than an hour away. It has a host of Roman ruins, a mighty castle, and some of Italy’s most beautiful squares. Have a look at point 4 in this blog post for ideas on what to see and do there in a day.

Vicenza – Italy’s City of Gold is one hour away. Come here to see Italy’s highest concentration of Palladian architecture and to shop for jewellery with centuries-old goldsmithing traditions. Check this blog post for the best 25 things to do in Vicenza.

Cremona – the City of Violins, also boasts Italy’s tallest brick bell tower. It’s less than an hour and 15 mins away. This very picturesque place produces some of the country’s best torrone (Christmas nougat). Have a look at point 6 in this blog post for ideas on what to see and do there in a day.

Padua – this is the Italian city that revolutionised medicine and is also famous as a pilgrimage site for the devotees of St. Anthony of Padua. It is just an hour and a half away. A great day trip with lots to do and see, have a look at this blog post for a full itinerary covering Padua’s best sights.

Venice – the beautiful city of water and canals is just over an hour and a half away. A must-see if you are spending time in this corner of Italy. Here are the major landmarks and the hidden gems you can enjoy in Venice. Plus, some essential tips to help you plan your visit.

Map of the Best Things to Do in Borghetto and Valeggio sul Mincio, Italy

The Visconti bridge with the river Mincio and a yellow house - Borghetto sul Mincio, Veneto, Italy -

Here is a map of the best things to do in Borghetto and Valeggio sul Mincio. It shows the exact locations of the main local sights and attractions covered above.

You can zoom in and out, click on the stars to see more details, check directions and travelling times, enlarge the map and even share it. In a nutshell, you can use it just like any other map created with Google Maps.

Here is a list of the sights and attractions mapped below:

1. Visconti Bridge 2. Ancient Watermills 3. Church of San Marco Evangelista 4. Wooden Bridge 5. Scaliger Castle 6. Parish Church of San Pietro Apostolo 7. Villa Maffei-Sigurta’ 8. Parco Giardino Sigurta’ 9. Parco Cavour

Practical Tips about Visiting Borghetto and Valeggio sul Mincio in Italy

How to Visit Borghetto sul Mincio - Italy's Village on Water -

Where in Italy are Borghetto sul Mincio and Valeggio sul Mincio?

The ancient watermills seen from the Visconti Bridge on the River Mincio - Borghetto sul Mincio, Italy -

Borghetto sul Mincio is a tiny medieval hamlet next door to the town of Valeggio sul Mincio in the Northern Italian region of Veneto. It stands next to the river Mincio and its historic watermills are built over the river at the spot of an ancient ford.

Borghetto and Valeggio sul Mincio are around 15 minutes away from the town of Peschiera del Garda on the southern shore of Lago di Garda – Italy’s largest lake. They are also about 40 mins away from the provincial capital – the city of Verona – and from Mantua – a beautiful Renaissance city in the neighbouring region of Lombardy.

Fewer than 200 residents live in Borghetto sul Mincio. The inhabitants of Valeggio sul Mincio are just over 15,000.

Both the hamlet and the town are easy to reach by car and bus from Verona and Mantua and by car from the most important cities and the prettiest towns in Veneto and Lombardy, Italy. Among them are:

  • Brescia – around 55 km away from Borghetto/Valeggio sul Mincio;
  • Vicenza – around 80 km away from Borghetto/Valeggio sul Mincio;
  • Padua – around 110 km away from Borghetto/Valeggio sul Mincio; and
  • Venice – around 140 km away from Borghetto/Valeggio sul Mincio.

Here is a map showing the exact locations of Borghetto sul Mincio and Valeggio sul Mincio in Italy. You can click on it to zoom in and out, to check specific distances, and to get directions from other destinations in Italy and abroad.

How to reach Borghetto sul Mincio and Valeggio sul Mincio in Italy?

A bike, the old mills and the Visconti Bridge at the back - Borghetto sul Mincio, Italy -

There are several ways to reach Borghetto sul Mincio and Valeggio sul Mincio in the Northern Italian region of Veneto. Here they are:

By Air

Although quite small, Borghetto sul Mincio and Valeggio sul Mincio have very good connections by air to anywhere in Italy and Europe. Both are only about 15 km away from Verona Villafranca Airport which is one of the major airports in Northern Italy. Many low-cost and national airlines use it heavily for its proximity to Lake Garda, Verona, and even Venice.

Once you reach Verona Villafranca Airport, you can rent a car and head straight to Borghetto and Valeggio sul Mincio. Alternatively, you can take the shuttle to Verona Porta Nuova train station and then use the local bus for the hour-long journey to the hamlet and the town.

By Train

Valeggio sul Mincio doesn’t have its own train station. You can travel by train to Peschiera del Garda (the nearest train station), Verona or Mantua. Once there, you can take the local bus to Borghetto and Valeggio.

To check train travel times and buy tickets in advance, I use Omio. It shows prices and travel times for all available types of trains in Italy irrespective of the company that runs them. This way I can compare costs and times of departure and arrival. It really makes travel planning so much quicker and easier.

By Bus

Local buses connect Borghetto and Valeggio sul Mincio to several nearby large Italian cities and towns:

  • Route 160 – it leaves from Verona Porta Nuova train station and it takes under an hour to reach the hamlet and the town.
  • Route 46 – it connects Mantua to Valeggio sul Mincio and then it continues onwards to Peschiera del Garda. The journey from Mantua to Valeggio is about 40 mins. The journey from Peschiera del Garda to Valeggio is around 20 mins.

Please, always check the current timetables before travelling as there may be seasonal changes, disruption of services, weekend or seasonal cessation of service.

By Road

Two motorways pass near Borghetto and Valeggio sul Mincio. Here they are:

  • A4 – exit Peschiera del Garda;
  • A22 – exit Nogarole Rocca.

This helpful website will give you an estimate of how much the tolls are going to cost depending on your point of departure.

Be aware that the historic centre of Valeggio sul Mincio is a zone with restricted traffic (in Italian, ZTL). Unless you have special permission, you cannot drive through it. In principle, you also cannot drive into Borghetto sul Mincio. Here are some car parks to consider:

  • Valeggio sul Mincio – Piazza della Repubblica and Piazzale Europa;
  • Borghetto sul Mincio – Parcheggio Borghetto and Parcheggio Convenzionato.

If you are thinking of renting a car, click to check current offers and rates.

Where to stay in Borghetto and Valeggio sul Mincio, Italy?

Borghetto sul Mincio seen from the Visconti Bridge -

You can find all sorts and types of accommodation in and around Borghetto and Valeggio sul Mincio in Veneto, Italy to suit any budget. From fabulous hotels to cozy B&B’s in ancient watermills and small rural farms, there is something for everyone.

For ideas about the types of accommodation available in Veneto in particular and Italy in general, have a look at this blog post:

I usually prefer to book all my accommodation through It gives me many different options in terms of budget and location and I can also read and compare reviews left by real people. Click to see all available places to stay in and around Borghetto and Valeggio sul Mincio, Italy.

These three places are exceptionally good, too depending on your requirements and budget:

  • Economy: Hotel Eden – no frills yet comfortable accommodation and hearty Italian hospitality in a small hotel a walking distance away from the local sights.
  • Mid-Range: Il Borghetto Vacanze nei Mulini – stay in an ancient watermill right in the heart of Borghetto sul Mincio. The buildings stand on top of the fast-rushing waters of the river Mincio and offer delightful views. A memorable Italian experience.
  • Luxury: Regia Rosetta – Royal Rooms Borghetto – expect a stunning location, elegant decor, and very attentive staff.

If you need some visual help in terms of precise location and price range, have a look at this map. It gives you a quick idea of the prices and whereabouts of the many hotels and privately rented flats and houses you can book for your stay in Borghetto and Valeggio sul Mincio in Veneto, Italy.

You can zoom in and out in order to search for a place to stay. You can also click on the option that interests you to find out more details or to make a booking directly.

In addition, if you click on ‘Accommodation’ in the top right corner of the map and select either ‘Experiences’ or ‘Restaurants’ from the drop-down menu, then you can see some truly exciting experiences and excellent restaurants you can book directly in and around Borghetto and Valeggio sul Mincio, Italy:

When is the best time to visit Borghetto and Valeggio sul Mincio, Italy?

Christmas trees next to the ancient watermills - Borghetto sul Mincio -

For me, Borghetto and Valeggio sul Mincio are a great year-round destination. Especially for a day trip in the area between Verona and Lake Garda. A nice plate of tortellini tastes amazing in any season. And the views are stunning in summer and winter.

Bear in mind though that due to the proximity of the river Mincio, cold days may feel particularly chilly here. If you are planning to come here in winter for the local Christmas market or for a bracing walk, then wrap up warm.

The area really comes into its own in spring and early summer when everything is lush and green. Wisteria season (around April) is a particularly good time to visit.

During the hot summer days head to Parco Cavour and Parco Giardino Sigurta’ to sunbathe or to seek shadow. Mosquitoes in this part of Italy can be quite tenacious.

Autumns are also very beautiful here under the golden light of October. November may bring some fogs and chills though. Heavy snowfalls are rare in winter. Yet, when they happen, Borghetto sul Mincio looks plucked from a fairytale.

How long to stay in Borghetto sul Mincio? And in Valeggio sul Mincio?

The sign of a local restaurant - Borghetto sul Mincio -

Borghetto sul Mincio is tiny and you can walk all around it in under an hour. This time can easily stretch to two or even three hours though as you will feel compelled to stop for photos and to enjoy the beauty around you at every step of the way. Add to this a nice lunch in a local restaurant and you may never want to leave.

Pencil in 30 to 60 minutes for a visit to the hilltop Scaliger Castle. A bit longer if you want to scale its towers and see the breathtaking views from there.

Valeggio sul Mincio doesn’t need much time unless you decide to visit a local artisan pasta workshop.

Parco Giardino Sigurta’ needs at least two or three hours to scratch its surface. To fully enjoy it, especially during the seasonal flower bloomings, I would put half a day aside.

Parco Cavour is a great whole-day destination. Alternatively, you can split the day between Parco Cavour and Parco Giardino Sigurta’ with a combined ticket and then have a quick look around Borghetto and Valeggio sul Mincio.

What other beautiful historic small towns and unusual sights to see in this corner of Italy?

A medieval gate decorated with bunches of grapes for the Festa dell'Uva in the town of Soave - Veneto, Italy -
Discovering hidden corners.

If you love small walled towns and destinations rich in history yet off the beaten path, you will be spoilt for choice in this beautiful corner of Italy.

With their great location near Lake Garda and on the border between the Northern Italian regions of Veneto and Lombardy, Borghetto and Valeggio sul Mincio give you easy access to the following places:

  • Lake Garda’s towns – from Peschiera del Garda to Riva del Garda and back, you can circumnavigate Italy’s largest lake ticking off gorgeous lakefront towns one by one.
  • Lessinia Hills – a very beautiful area of hills and vineyards where you can visit caves, hike across lush meadows, and explore such wonderful and whimscial formations as the Valley of the Sphinxes and the Covolo di Camposilvano (see point 9 in this blog post).
  • Madonna della Corona – a sanctuary that seems half-suspended between heaven and earth and offers splendid views over the Valley of the River Adige.
  • Monte Baldo – the long tall mountain that shoulders the eastern shores of Lake Garda and it’s a great place for hiking. Plus, it has a rotating cable car (see point 2 in this blog post).

In addition, have a look at these blog posts for even more ideas for beautiful places to explore nearby:

In Conclusion

The 14th century Visconti bridge in the fog - Borghetto sul Minchio, Veneto, Italy -

Borghetto is a small hamlet of ancient mills built over the river Mincio in the Northern Italian region of Veneto. It stands right next to Valeggio sul Mincio – one of the prettiest towns in the area.

Officially recognised as one of Italy’s most beautiful villages, Borghetto sul Mincio is a great place to visit just off the shores of Lago di Garda – Italy’s largest lake.

From a medieval castle and a medieval fortified dam bridge to one of Italy’s and Europe’s most beautiful parks, there is lots to see and do here. And lots of delicious food to eat, starting with the local delicacy – handmade love-knot tortellini stuffed with a mixture of meats and inspired by a local legend.

So, to make your travel planning easier, in this blog post I have shared with you lots of useful information to inspire you to head there as soon as possible. From the best things to do in Borghetto and Valeggio sul Mincio to how to get there, where to stay, and what else to see nearby, everything is covered in details.

It’s all based on my personal visits to this beautiful hamlet and this lovely little town in Veneto and the wonderful experiences I had there.

I hope that all the information and first-hand tried and tested tips I share with you in this blog post will galvanise you to experience it all for yourself.

Have a wonderful time in Borghetto sul Mincio and Valeggio sul Mincio in Italy!

Now, get ready quick for your visit to Borghetto and Valeggio sul Mincio, Italy!



More Helpful Veneto Info for You

Veneto: Best Cities, Top Places to VisitUnique AdventuresMost Colourful PlacesMysterious PlacesMost Beautiful LakesReasons to Visit
Veneto’s Small Towns and Villages: Prettiest Small TownsMost Beautiful VillagesCittadella, MalcesineTorri del BenacoPunta di San VigilioEste, Montagnana, Campo di Brenzone
Venice: Major LandmarksEssential TipsHidden Gems, One Day Itinerary for Art LoversNearest AirportsBoats in VeniceHaunted VeniceDay Trips from VeniceArco del Paradiso
Verona: Things to Do in One DayDay Trips from Verona
Padua: Things to Do in One DayFacts About PaduaReasons to VisitDay Trips from Padua
Vicenza: Things to DoMust-See Museums, The Beauty of VicenzaDay Trips from Vicenza
Hiking in Veneto: Cadini del Brenton and Cascate della SoffiaLake Garda’s Tibetan BridgeRocca di GardaDante’s HillGrotta Azzurra di MelFamily-Friendly Walks and Hikes, Sanctuary of Madonna della Corona

More Helpful Italy Info for You

Best of Italy: Italy Gift GuideItalian PiazzasItalian Markets 
Italian Food: 
Best Italian Food GiftsCheap Italian FoodRules of Italian BreakfastItalian Breakfast Foods
Italian Coffee: 
Italian Coffee CultureItalian Coffee DrinksHistory of Coffee in Italy
Christmas in Italy: Fun Facts, Things to Do, Italian Nativity Scenes, Panettone, Christmas Guide
Northern Italy: 
Best Cities to VisitMajor Airports, Reasons to Visit
Lake Garda:
 Best TownsTheme Parks, Nearest AirportsTravel OptionsLake Garda with KidsMalcesineRiva del GardaTorri del Benaco
Lake Como: Things to SeeNesso
Lombardy: Best Cities and Towns, Brescia
Friuli Venezia Giulia: VenzoneMost Beautiful Villages
Emilia Romagna: BolognaRavennaComacchioMost Beautiful Villages
Marche: 6 Reasons to VisitGradaraFrasassi CavesTemple of Valadier

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