Our day started innocently enough. From Sant’Ambrogio the Door of Valpolicella, we drove Paolo’s parents up a winding hillside to San Giorgio di Valpolicella. All we were looking for was a view. Surely the highest hill had the best view?!
Pictures of Italy | Valpolicella
As with most small, historic hilltop towns in Italy, San Giorgio restricts centro (the center) of the town to local traffic. Parking down the hill, we began the inevitably steep hike. Turning around, the view took what was left of our breath away.
“Questo è il Lago di Garda” said Paolo pointing his lens for the shot above. Sure enough, San Giorgio di Valpolicella is high enough you can see all the way to Lake Garda, Italy’s largest lake and neighbor to Lake Como.
I could stop here and make this view the Italy Pic of the Day, but not yet my friends. You’re coming with us. Papà was headed for the top. In Italy, every hilltop town has a church, surely San Giorgio would too.
Sure enough, at the tippy top of the hill on which San Giorgio di Valpolicella is perched, sits an ancient church. Its soft monotone stone hues alone could make it an Italy Pic of the Day, but there’s more than meets the eye below this clock tower.
Picture of Pieve di San Giorgio di Valpolicella
Wait, what?! A pagan cult? I know! Imagine my surprise. After all the time I’ve spent exploring churches in Italy, this was the first time I had knowingly stood where pagan worship had once taken place. Something tells me I’ve just scratched the surface on this side of Italian history.
Pagan curiosity aside, for anyone who enjoys Romanesque architecture, The Pieve di San Giorgio di Valpolicella is undoubtedly one of the most interesting stops in the province of Verona. Join me for tomorrow’s Italy Pic of the Day to go inside The Pieve di San Giorgio. I’ll share more about the history of the church, plus an anecdote about what to do when the lights going out and you’re alone in a dark Italian church!