By bike from Peschiera del Garda to Mantua
The Peschiera del Garda-Manua is very popular thanks to the variety of beauty spots offered by this territory connecting the provinces of Verona and Mantua. The route is almost entirely made up of flat, well signposted, asphalted cycle paths, therefore very easy for everyone.
The cycle route along the river Mincio starts in Peschiera del Garda. For many centuries the town of Peschiera del Garda covered an important military function: Roman fort, Scaliger castle and citadel, fortified town of the Venetian Republic, Napoleonic fortress, and 19th century Habsburg stronghold. The town owes this military past to its geographical position, squeezed between the southern end of Lake Garda and the banks of the river Mincio.
Leaving Peschiera del Garda behind and following the river Mincio, the route crosses the gentle landscape of the morainic hills amidst expanses of cereal crops and vineyards. Beyond the town of Salionze, the Castle in Monzambano, a town with a well preserved historic centre, stands out on the Mantua shore.
Roughly 15 km from its start, the cycle path reaches Valeggio sul Mincio, a tourist town that has preserved the original mediaeval fortifications built by the Scaliger family, lords of Verona. At the gates of the town, a short diversion takes you to the Parco Sigurtà, roughly 60 hectares of gardens and parkland, one of the most famous and enchanting of its kind in Italy. Alternatively, you can visit the town admiring the fortified village built on the hill overlooking the surroundings or walking among the beautiful houses of Borghetto by the calm waters of the Mincio, where you can see the ancient mills and the ponte Visconteo (Visconti bridge).
Moving on, the cycle route continues southwards to Pozzolo where the green oasis of Centrale del Corno provides an ideal resting place. From here the path leaves the river Mincio to follow the banks of the Pozzolo-Maglio flood canal. Along the cycle path, two possible deviations are signposted: towards the areas of natural interest of Parco Bertone (park and gardens) and Bosco Fontana (nature reserve). The latter is a rare example of fluvial forest, and is today protected as part of the Mincio regional park.
Along the last stage of the route, the cultivated fields begin to give way to urbanised areas, bringing you at last to the city of Mantua. Here the Mincio river widens to from a system of lakes. Having crossed the lake called Lago Superiore, you can enter the old town of this Renaissance city, which preserves intact the architectural jewels commissioned by the Gonzaga lords: the Palazzo Ducale (Ducal Palace), the cortile della Cavallerizza, the palazzo del Podestà, Palazzo Te, and the Torre della Gabbia (Cage Tower).
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