Upper Lessinia in summer

Upper Lessinia

The summer season is perfect for discovering one of the most uncontaminated and ancient territories in Italy: it is theUpper Lessinia, mountainous group of the Vicentine Prealps, located between the provinces of Trento, Vicenza and above all Verona.

Upper Lessinia occupies a large part of the "Lessinia Regional Natural Park”And is between Val Lagarina, the Veronese Po Valley, Val Leogra, Val di Ronchi and the mountains of the Carega Group.

This territory, populated in the past by the Cimbrian population who arrived here in the Middle Ages, is a riot of landscape, historical and above all geological riches: in fact, not everyone knows that exploring the Upper Lessinia means taking a trip back in time, with places where they are clearly visible. rocky stratifications linked to very distant geological eras.

What to do and what to see

Spending a holiday in Alta Lessinia means spending whole days in the open air, between sports and excursions among spectacular landscapes where rocky moors alternate, valleys dotted with mountain huts, stables and jassara, that is typical underground cavities where ice was stored to be used in summer in the mountain pastures.

The woods of black hornbeams, tall red and white firs, in particular the forests of Giazza And that of folignano. There is no better occasion to meet, with a little luck, some specimens of the rich local fauna, such as alpine chamois, deer, roe deer and marmots.

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In Alta Lessinia the more sporty can have fun on a mountain bike or e-bike, which can be rented in the villages of Erbezzo and Bosco Chiesanuova. Younger people can instead have fun among Tibetan bridges, swings and cableways inside the "BoscoPark", an adrenaline-pumping adventure park located in Bosco Chiesanuova: the 6 paths wind through the heart of a dense forest, with picnic areas perfect for nibbling on a frugal meal before attempting other stunts.

The main village of Alta Lessinia is Molina, a medieval jewel immersed in the woods that enchants visitors with its ancient houses with stone roofs and elegant courtyards: in Molina the ancient crafts have not disappeared and it is not difficult to meet here and there figures such as the miller and the herdsman. Absolutely to see is the "Museum of Botany", where it is possible to learn more about the plant species of the Upper Lessinia and nearby Valpolicella, including in particular the wonderful wild orchids.

Not far from the village are the Molina waterfalls, set in an enchanting naturalistic context made up of caves, rocks shaped by the water and small lakes between high rocky walls. The name of these waterfalls refers to the ancient presence of mills in the area and to visit them there are several themed routes, thanks to which you meet rocks with rock carvings, the Belvedere della Valpolicella and above all a swing that allows you to touch the water of the Molina waterfalls.

Not far from Molina rises one of the symbols of Alta Lessinia, namely the Veja Bridge: it is considered one of the most beautiful and spectacular natural bridges in all of Europe. This stone monument is in fact 50 meters long and 29 meters high and was formed following the collapse of a colossal rocky cavity.

It is said that Dante Alighieri found inspiration precisely from the Veja Bridge to describe the eighth circle of Hell, the Malebolgia: it is certain, however, that Mantegna depicted him in the fresco of the Camera degli Sposi, inside the Mantuan Palazzo Ducale . Near the Ponte di Veja it is possible to visit two caves where artifacts dating back to the Paleolithic have been found, including the remains of what has been defined as "the man who came from the ice".

There are many museums to visit in Upper Lessinia and one of them is located in Giazza, a village immersed in the forest in the heart of Val d'Illasi, in the shadow of the Carega and Tre Croci mountain ranges. This is the "Ethnographic Museum" and is dedicated to the Cimbri, the people of German origin whose culture and traditions can be learned from working tools and everyday objects.

The "Paleontological and Prehistoric Museum " di Sant'Anna d'Alfaedo, rich in fossils found in the Upper Lessinia, including a sea turtle dating back to the Cretaceous period and a 5 meter long shark. Many of the finds, such as objects in flint and cave paintings on stone depicting a shaman in the act of making a sacrifice, come from the Fumane cave: it can be said with certainty that this cavity has hosted both Neanderthal Man and Homo Sapiens Sapiens.

Speaking of prehistory, during a summer holiday in Lessinia, a stop in Bolca and its "Museum of Fossils": here are kept the fossil remains found in the deposits of Monte Postale and nearby Pesciara, including specimens of Angelfish, jellyfish, eels and crocodiles. Different habitats have been recreated to perfection in the tanks in the museum, in order to show visitors the faunal difference between modern times and those of 50 million years ago.

A stone's throw from the museum is precisely the Pescara, a dense system of tunnels and caves that gave away the fossil finds that today we are lucky enough to admire in the Bolca museum: next to the Pesciaria there is also an educational area where young visitors can dress up as Indiana Jones and find a few shark teeth with the equipment made available to them.

Among the most beautiful excursions to do in Alta Lessinia, for example, there is the one to the vault of Valley of the Sphinxes located at 1200 meters above sea level: it is a basin which, between pastures and beech woods, holds monumental limestone formations, with the most curious and bizarre shapes. Not far away is the famous Covolo of Camposilvano, a spectacular chasm where the air is always very cold even in summer and which is said to have inspired the Supreme Poet in structuring the Hell of his “Divine Comedy”.

Also worth seeing Covoli di Velo, a grandiose system of tunnels dug over the centuries by the erosive force of water within which many remains of the Cave Bear have been discovered. Impossible not to reach the summit of Monte Purga because from here you can enjoy the most beautiful view over the whole of Upper Lessinia.

Holidays in Alta Lessinia

In Alta Lessinia the accommodation facilities are many and meet the needs of every type of tourist, from the youngest and most sporty to families with children. There is therefore no shortage of B & Bs, agritourisms, family-run pensions and hotels that also allow the rental of sports equipment. You can always opt for a stay in the welcoming mountain huts, to fall asleep and wake up surrounded by the peaks of Alta Lessinia.

To enjoy this splendid corner of Veneto in complete tranquility, without forgetting any historical and naturalistic jewel, it would take at least ten days. This time seems ideal also to discover the traditions of the place, perhaps by participating in folk events such as "Fire Festival" in Giazza, with the participation of the traditional Pistonieri groups and their guns firing blanks.

Furthermore, do not forget that you need to have time to discover the Upper Lessinia, between excursions to the alpine huts transformed into dairies where you can taste butter, puina and ricotta, but above all characteristic places where you can discover the traditional cuisine local. Absolutely to taste the dishes based on grisa hen, brogna sheep (Slow Food presidium) and then the Sbatui, that is mountain dumplings born in the mountain pastures during the summer season, accompanied by a glass of Soave DOC or Valpolicella DOC.

Summer holidays Alta Lessinia

If you are considering a summer holiday in Alta Lessinia, below you can find useful links to find hotels and holiday apartments.

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    Region: Veneto
    Minimum altitude:1100m above sea level
    Maximum altitude: 1800m above sea level
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