A lot of small towns have won my heart over our years spent in Veneto, but Soave remains one of my favorites. A small town nestled in the mountains, dotted with vineyards and covered in castle walls? It's as picturesque as you can imagine, yet completely untouched by tourism. Soave is a dream!
We've been to the town many times, and there's something for everyone there. Whether you want to winery hop, antique shop, get local goods or explore castles, Soave has something to offer for everyone — and there's something to find even if you just want to wander aimlessly. The city streets are clean and beautiful, and the region is famous for its white wine, plus it has some pretty other stellar wine varieties nearby, too. But you don't have to have a bottle to enjoy this town! It's easy on the eyes and will definitely win you over.
THINGS I LOVE TO DO IN SOAVE:
- Take a trip to Soave castle: The castle in Soave is the first thing you'll probably see as you exit from the autostrada, and the castle walls encase the entire historic downtown. It's definitely worth a trip up to the castle, which is actually called Castello Scaligero. You can drive up there and park nearby, or take a scenic hike. The castle, if nothing else, provides extraordinary views of the Veneto countryside, lined with olive mills and wineries. It's a great visit for a day trip — just make sure to plan your visit, as it's closed midday during Italian lunch hours. Via Castello Scaligero, 37038 Soave VR
- Explore the Wineries for Soave Classico: I've written extensively about Venetian wineries, and Soave is crawling with them. The typical wine of the region, Soave Classico, is actually one of my favorite white wines, and it's perfect in the summer to cool off. You can also find the coveted Valpolicella or Amarone variety at a few wineries surrounding Soave, as it's technically in the right region. You can definitely just wander the streets and pop into whatever winery, but some of my favorites downtown are Rocco Sveva and Coffele, plus Pra, Fratelli Giuliari and Monte Tondo on the outskirts of the city. I've written in depth about some of the wineries here, but there are plenty of gems to visit.
MORE THINGS I LOVE TO DO IN SOAVE:
- Stock up on olive oil at Bonamini: Olive oil is liquid gold in Italy, and if you're in the area, you must stop at Bonamini's olive mill. The mill has a wonderful shop with an incredible range of product, including huge tins of olive oil, flavored oils, olive-related snacks and my favorites: their pesto and their olive oil beauty products, like soaps and lotions. You can simply stop into their shop to stock up, or if you arrange beforehand, they also do tours and cooking classes in English! Località S. Giustina, 9/a, 37031 Illasi VR
- Get lunch on the patio at Il Drago: I'm a sucker for cute places to eat, so Il Drago was obviously a draw for me, with its gorgeous covered patio nestled in the old town and its demijohn lamps. The restaurant is a little on the fancy side, but it's great or a long lunch if you want to people watch between courses or enjoy the weather. Piazza dell'Antenna, 1, 37038 Soave VR
- Haggle for deals at the monthly antique market: I love antique markets in Italy, and sometimes, the smaller the town, the better. Soave's market is quite good, because it's not as huge as some of the other local markets and vendors are more willing to haggle. Plus, people have a lot of good stuff! The market is easy to find once you step through the old castle walls, on Piazza Antonio Marogna and Corso Vittorio Emanuele, and it happens on the third Sunday of every month (even in August).
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Photos and text copyright © Katie Currid, 2017. All rights reserved.