Italy

Italy Pic of the Day | Pagans Kept the View

For this week's Italy Pic of the Day, we venture outside Verona into the Valpolicella Wine region stopping at Sant'Ambrogio, San Floriano, and San Giorgio.

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?!

What to See in Valpolicella, Italy

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. Stopping to catch our breath we paused for family photo. Formaggio!

Italy Pic of the Day San Giorgio di Valpolicella Family Photo
Family Ferraris in San Giorgio di Valpolicella. Photo by Paolo Ferraris.

Turning around, the view took what was left of our breath away.

Italy Pic of the Day San Giorgio di Valpolicella View Lake Garda
View of Lake Garda from San Giorgio di Valpolicella

What to see in San Giorgio di Valpolicella

“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.

The Pieve di San Giorgio di Valpolicella

Pieve di San Giorgio di Valpolicella
Pieve di San Giorgio di Valpolicella

“The Pieve di San Giorgio di Valpolicella (also called Pieve di San Giorgio Ingannapoltron) is an ancient parish church [that] was probably built on a place previously assigned to the pagan cult and dating back to the VIII century.”

e-Borghi

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 knowlingly 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 undoubtably 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!

Follow for Pic of the Day & Moving to Italy Stories

Join me on Instagram as I share stories of moving to Italy and show what living in Italy is really like as an American expats. Or stick around right here on ALOR.blog for more Italy Pictures of the Day!


Previous Italy Pic of the Day Posts

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