Volta Mantovana, Cereta, Olfino and fresh morel pasta

Continuing the Easter holiday… There was enough to keep ourselves busy without having to drive out of the way. From Valeggio sul Mincio the following places were about 5 miles away.

Palazzo Gonzaga gardens, Volta Mantovana

The gardens at this palazzo will appeal more to those who can appreciate the elegance and symmetry of boxed hedges and decaying stone figures. The doors were open to the public for the Monday after Easter (a holiday in Italy) and no one objected to our dogs coming in.

Gardens at Palazzo Gonzaga

Chiesa Madonnina and frescoes in Cereta

Partially covered by a layer of lime, the walls of this 13th century church depict a series of frescoes dating from 1400-1500 and give testimony of folk art during those times. Located less than 3 miles south of Volta Mantovana on strada Madonnina 16 in Cereta.

Chiesetta della Madonnina fresco

Olfino’s bell tower rings 24/7 and lunch at Trattoria dei Colli

Finding a place to stay at the last minute wasn’t easy but we were directed to a vacation rental 4 miles out of Valeggio sul Mincio. Cascina Roveri sits behind a vineyard located at the end of a cypress-lined road. The church bell tower rings every hour on the hour and every half hour.

Olfino

The highlight of the trip was finding a cozy trattoria within walking distance from the rental. Trattoria dei Colli (Via Ortaglia 1, Monzambano) serves tempting, homestyle-cooking such as pumpkin-filled tortelli in butter and soft polenta with boiled luccio (freshwater pike) gently flavored with vinegar and seasonings. On the day that we had lunch, tagliatelle with spugnole (morels) was the special du jour. It was the first time that I tasted, much less seen, fresh morels in a meal. Fabulous! Portions are good and prices reasonable. Reservations highly recommended. No dogs allowed.

Tagliatelle con spugnole
Tagliatelle with fresh morel mushrooms

Luccio con polenta
Luccio with polenta

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