Having lived fifteen years in Valeggio sul Mincio, a stone’s throw from the Sigurtà Garden Park, gives this place a special meaning for me. The history of these sixty hectares of greenery, in close dialogue with the adjacent villa and the river Mincio (of which it exploits the springs), began in 1407, at the behest of Venetian patrician Gerolamo Nicolò Contarini. Intuiting its potential, at the end of the 18th century, Marquis Antonio Maffei transformed it into a splendid English garden, enlarged and redeveloped only in 1941 by the pharmaceutical entrepreneur Giuseppe Carlo Sigurtà. Strolling along the avenues and inner paths, one comes into contact with a surprising vastness of tree and flower species, and in the evocative setting of the green hills and ponds, one almost has the impression of being in a painting by John Constable. During your visit, you meet the real “masters” of this enchanted garden: deer, donkeys, squirrels, turtles and golden carp in the ponds and, mostly unseen, various birds, whose presence is made known by their melodic singing.
As in a true romantic garden, a small castle, a hermitage and a votive grotto also make their silent appearance, emerging amid the vegetation. Finally, if you want to kill two birds with one stone, your visit to Valeggio cannot be considered over without a stop at the Alla Borsa restaurant to try the local specialty: tortellini!