La Lessinia

Walking along the gentle pathways of Mount Baldo and looking east, we see the first peaks of the Lessini Mountains: Corno d' Aquilio (its peak interrupted by one of the longest Carso cavities: Spluga della Preta), Corno Mozzo, Mount Tomba. Endless meadows reaching up to more than 1500 metres leave behind them the residential areas in the foothills around Verona.

Lessinia is well-blessed with centres and localities of enormous interest, in the valleys which join the area to the Atesina-Padana plains, the high plateaux and the innermost places.The Valpolicella area is known for its quality wines all over the world (Valpolicella, Recioto, Recioto Amarone) and for its burgeoning economic and artistic life, dating back to the dawn of our civilisation.

The Valpantena valley is the site of prehistoric findings, such as the Riparo Tagliente, the Ponte Veja, the Orsara. The Val d'lllasi is rich in splendid Venetian Villas and orchards of cherry trees reaching almost as far as Giazza, and is an area of a linguistic heritage which links Lessinia to the culture of northern Europe. The Val d' Alpone, together with Val d'Illasi, has vineyards where one of the most famous ltalian white wines is made: Soave, named after the ancient house of the Svevia, still alive today in the dignified towers of the imposing Scaliger castle. At the end of the Val d' Alpone stands the Bolca locality, one of the most interesting geological sites in the whole of ltaly. the Pesciara area here has been and still is the site of many very important findings of fossil marine flora and fauna, dating from the time when these mountains were immersed under a tropical sea.

The meadows and the woods of Lessinia have from ancient times been nurtured by a mountain community which still retains its characteristic features and its own history of work and traditions. Travelling along the excellent provincial roads which rise up to the very peaks of Lessinia, one can see the long, low houses of the shepherds and herdsmen and the dairy produce installations, whose unusual roofs are made of giant slabs of stone, cut from the numerous quarries which are still an important factor in the economic life of the area.

The S. Ambrogio di Valpolicella Red Marble and the Nembro stone with its refined pearly finish are famous throughout the world. Yet other unforgettable surprises lie in store in the woods between S. Anna d'Alfaedo and Fosse: the Romanesque church of S. Giovanni in Loffa and the houses in the hamlet of Ca' del Per, near Cerna, as well as the Zivelonghi, singular frescoes of secular art dating from the XVll and XVlll centuries, nearby to a Gallic cemetery formed by around thirty, still largely intact tombs. It is here, in winter, that the long tracks of cross-country skiing extend out in all directions, turning the entire snow-capped Lessinia area into one huge sports field, with ski lifts at Pian dei Parpari, Branchetto and S. Giorgio and the very recent lce Rink-Winter Sports complex at Bosco Chiesanuova.

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