Outside of Italy, Soave's white wine is probably better known than the village itself. That's unfortunate because Soave dates back to Roman times and is one of the best preserved medieval villages in all of Italy. It is so gorgeous that Italians have been asking themselves the question:
The Monte Tondo Winery (click for details)is the place I recommend. The Monte Tondo is not in Soave, but rather in the vineyard-covered hills just outside of the village.
Awake to the fragrances and gentle sounds of rural Italy and enjoy walks through the vines that tumble and fall down the hill into the valley below.
Monte Tondo is a working vineyard producing some excellent wine—savor the country bliss and at the same time base yourself in an area that is extremely central for exploring the Veneto. Even Venice is less than an hour away.
If you would prefer something right in the village, then consider the Hotel Roxy Plaza.
Soave is easily reached, being only around 10 miles (23 kilometers) from Verona in the direction of Vicenza and just off the A4.
Any time from May to October is ideal, although I would tend to avoid July and August because, over the last few years, the weather has been sweltering hot. September and October are particularly lovely; it is during these months that the vineyard-covered hills around town turn into russet-colored magnificence.
The third week of September is the month when the local grape festival – La Festa dell’Uva is held.
This is a fun time to be here, and the town is lined with stalls selling the best of local produce, and I can assure you that there is some seriously good stuff to eat and drink.
The festival continues late into the evening with a fireworks display, and the piazzas are buzzing with people until late into the night.
The highlight is the impressive castle. Built in the 13th century it is very well preserved and the castle contains some excellent 14th-century frescoes.
A tour around the castle is extremely interesting and well worth doing. I am fascinated by the torture chambers in this and other castles. The unbelievable cruelty of mankind astounds me.
After visiting the castle and its grim torture chamber, visit one of the pleasant churches in the town and restore a little peace to your soul. If I had to pick one particular church, the 15th-century Santa Maria Dominican church, located on the hill leading up to the castle, would be the best choice.
Last on the list of must-see architectural sights are the 14th-century law courts, the Palazzo di Giustizia in Piazza Antenna.
Still, visiting Soave is not only about history. Mostly, you should visit to enjoy the wonderful atmosphere and beautiful setting. Discover some of the nearby wineries, set in the delightful rolling hills that surround Soave and enjoy the local cuisine at the many restaurants and trattorias. A couple of good ones to try are the Locanda lo Scudo or the Trattoria dal Moro.
For more on Italian boutique wineries and some of the best wines from the Veneto and other regions of Italy, visit our Fine Italian Wines site.