The Soave Castle, war and sweetness
There is such a sweetness to its name: Soave, in Italian, means sweet and mellifluous. Yet everyone must realize that this medieval fortress, nestled up on a hill, probably was a theater of war, blood and bitter episodes and not delicate memories.
Just by way of example, in 1338 there was a terrible battle between Rolando de’ Rossi from Parma, a general at Venice’s service who attacked the castle hoping to take it over, and Mastino II della Scala, a condottiero of the Verona dynasty who defended it.
A late-18th-century chronicler stated, “The Soave village was taken by force and reduced in shambles, despite the double moats and double trenches that surrounded it. Countless men, animals and valuables were taken.”
According to legend, Dante named Soave – while drunk on the local wine at a banquet in the castle. Actually, the iconic Italian poet used the term in his “Paradise”, writing about the descendants of Costanza of Altavilla, “who from the Swabians’ second gust [Henry VI] engendered / the one who was their third and final power [Frederick II]”: Soave thus comes from “Swabian”, meaning a descendant of the Germanic people who traveled across Northern Italy and were subdued by the Lombards in the 6th century.
Luckily, all that’s left for us now is the sweetness of this gorgeous landscape.