Borghetto sul Mincio
Borghetto is a romantic village with water mills on the banks of the Mincio river a few hundred meters from Valeggio sul Mincio.
In that area, already in the prehistoric age, the presence of a ford had favoured the settlement of a small village. Archaeological excavations conducted in an area south of the village have brought to light finds dating from the Late Bronze Age to the Roman period. The construction of a bridge dates back to the Lombard era when the small settlement, a fiefdom of the Abbey of San Zeno in Verona, was charged with the collection for the crossing of the wooden bridge. It was during the Scaliger lordship that the village was protected with a wall with towers and a moat obtained thanks to the canalization of the Mincio waters. This intervention is part of the Scaliger defence policy. In the same period, the Valeggio castle was built overlooking Borghetto from where the Scaligeri could control a large part of the river course. From the castle of Valeggio the so-called Serraglio Scaligero stretched towards Villafranca di Verona. It was a long fortified wall, combined with a moat, which after reaching Villafranca bent towards Isola della Scala to end in the marshes of Grezzano.
After the fall of the Scaligeri in 1387, Gian Galeazzo Visconti Duke of Milan, between 1393 and 1395 decided to build the fortified bridge a few meters upstream of Borghetto. This bridge that connected directly to the castle and the Scaligero Serraglio had been built to create a barrier capable of deviating the course of the Mincio river to lead to the drying up of the lakes that surrounded, defending it, Mantua. The project to be completed also required clearing of the hills that line the river, works that were not undertaken, however. In 1801 the Napoleonic troops blew up the central span of the bridge which was rebuilt in iron at the beginning of the 20th century. The small village with its typical mills experienced a phase of abandonment after the Second World War and was then rediscovered and restored after the creation of the cycle path that connects Peschiera with Mantua following the old railway route.
Visiting Borghetto and Valeggio sul Mincio we recommend you to taste a dish of tortellini that are traditional in this area.