In Marano di Valpolicella, about 20 minutes from downtown Verona, on the border with the vineyards, there is a prosperous natural area, the Valpolicella Park: a former mining area recently converted into a protected area and characterized by a rich bio-diversity.
The walk started from Tenuta Santa Maria Valverde, in the locality of Gazzo, in Marano di Valpolicella (VR)
Park the car in the opposite vineyard and walk through the vineyard rows towards the north-west. In front of us an imposing mountain ridge that, crossed, outlines the Val d'Adige. The shades of green are a multitude: large jagged areas of lighter green, in the woodland, stand out varieties of trees that are budding after winter.
Continuing west through the vineyards, past a source of natural water hidden in a clearing, go down a short slope until you reach a stone path.
In the enchanted valley you can immediately see two light blue lakes, originating from human activities during mining. Now they are two places of peace, animated by many species of animals and fish. In fact, a crumb of bread thrown into the water is immediately surrounded by a myriad of small trout.
Continue downhill to the two lakes.
Stop to observe the various species of trees: downy oaks, wild cherries, chestnuts.
A keen eye recognizes the traces of the wild animals that populate these woods: wild boar legs imprinted in a pond, foxes and birds (the red woodpecker and its green and black brothers).
When you reach the lakes, go up along a stony road that rises gently, which curves and ends in Santoccio. From there, there are two possibilities to go up north: continue in the vegetation along the main road, or walk along the side of the roadway.
If you choose the wilder option, you will walk through a garden of centuries-old olive groves, well cared for in their typical hand shape facing the sky. This is one of the highest olive groves in the Mediterranean basin: the oil that comes from milling is fruity and light, due to the very ferrous soil and the climatic conditions on the edge of the Mediterranean (to find out more, take part in our experience on olive oil extra virgin Italian).
Along the way back there is a source of fresh water, a stone basin serving a cottage in the middle of the vineyards, from which it is possible to take drinking water.
A few more minutes of walking separate you from the starting point.
You can already see Tenuta Santa Maria Valverde from the perspective to the south, perched on the crest of a mountain, in a dominant position. The result of the wisdom of the past, the building was built in the 14th century in that position to make the most of the wind currents and convey them to the loft for various purposes, including the drying of the grapes suitable for producing Recioto wines. and Amarone.
After the walk in Valpolicella, return to Tenuta Santa Maria Valverde and take the opportunity for an experience of tasting wines and local products, to refresh yourself after the excursion or for a simple wine tasting. (more information at this link or firstname.lastname@example.org)
Another fun way to spend a sunny day in Valpolicella is to participate in the first truffle hunt in Valpolicella: a walk with the truffle dog and the truffle hunter with wine and truffle tasting at the end (info at this link)
Recommended season: spring and autumn, during which you can enjoy a thousand-colored foliage.
Suitable for: groups of friends, lovers of walking dogs in nature, families with children. In the nearby Tenuta Santa Maria Valverde it is possible to book a food tasting experience as a solution for lunch, to continue the day in Valpolicella relaxing on the panoramic terrace.
Duration of the walk: 2 hours
Difficulty: simple (suitable for all ages)