Borghetto Sul Mincio

Mills and medieval Castles

Borghetto Sul Mincio is a medieval village full of mills nestled between orchards and medieval Castles. It is situated a few kilometers from Garda Lake in the Po Valley. The village is a Frazione (administrative division) of Valeggio sul Mincio. The name bears Lombard origin which means “fortified settlement”. Valeggio, the other inhabited village, means “level place”. Thanks to some archaeological discovery, a settlement from the Bronze Age, Iron Age sculptures and finds of Etruscan civilization came up.

After the discovery of some Roman tombs, it is sure that the occupation of the area dates back to the first century b.C.. The birth of the two villages is between the VIII° and IX° century a.D.. In 1202, after many disputes between Mantua and Verona, Borghetto passed under the Scaligeri control who reinforced the town with a system still present nowadays with Torre Merlata and, together with Valeggio, was turned into a military stronghold. In 1405 the village passed under the Venetian Republic which develops the cereals grinding work as highlighted the existing mills.

Borghetto Sul Mincio

After the Venetian rule in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, with the Napoleonic wars, destruction and death occurs. In 1814, the territory was enclosed to Austria into the Lombard-Venetian Kingdom and in 1866 it took part of the Kingdom of Italy. Between 1859 and 1866, Borghetto is divided in two between Austria and Italy with, in the middle, the Mincio river. Borghetto is a rarity of the past, a landscape submerged onto Mincio’s river echoed by ancient medieval buildings.

The town is an ancient village of mills. Visconteo Bridge, majestic dam built in 1393 by Gian Galeazzo Visconti, Duke of Milan, as a defensive barrier for its Verona achievements. The bridge, changing the course of the Mincio has made the ford (crossing) impassable. The ford is connected with the overlooking Castello Scaligero (castle) by two high cortine merlate and originally was part of the fortified “Serraglio. On top of the hill the castle with two towers built around the fourteenth century which dominates the Mincio valley, the oldest tower “Tenda” dates back to the XII° century. Just one of the original drawbridges is still preserved.

It is possible to visit the Church of San Marco Evangelista rebuilt in neoclassical style in 1759 on the ruins of the Pieve (rural church) of Santa Maria – as well as the three old mills on the river with their huge iron wheels. On Visconteo Bridge, every third Tuesday of June, takes place a festival called “Nodo d’Amore” dedicated to the famous tortellini of Valeggio. Dinner is anticipated by a procession of medieval costumes.