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Lessini Mountains, Prealps Veneto

The Lessini mountain group in the Veneto Prealps, are the hills that rise just north of Verona and acts as a border between the Veneto Region and Trentino Alto Adige Region. The Lessini mountain group reaches to, just over 2000 meters a.s.l. and has multiple valleys and long ridges that descend down towards the pianura veneto (Po Valley).  

The range is covered with woods, vineyards and orchards, there are many nice creeks with old mills, waterfalls, and on higher regions some unique stone formations can be found; example being the huge natural stone bridge found in the Valpolicella zone. Higher regions are bare of trees and grassy, forming many broad plateaus and shoulders, some of the summits can be reached by mountain roads. This is a great area for mountain biking!

The highest part of the this group in the northern part, consisting of beautiful 'real' mountains like the Cima Carega. The Cima Carega is has been an important mountaineering goal for many centuries. Actually, Cima Carega is not a single mountain, but a broad massif and on the northern peaks are made up of wide rock faces.

Monti Lessini, Prealps

Lessinia Regional Natural Park

The upper area of the Lessinia has been made a national park in-order to protect the rich natural, cultural, and historical heritage of the Verona plateau. The most important tourist center of the Veronese Pre-Alps is Bosco Chiesanuova, which has excellent ski slopes nearby. Around it there are woods and meadows and the Lessinia Plateau which is furrowed by Val d'lIlasi, Val di Squaranto, Val Pantena, and Val Policella. Numerous towns in this charming area are excellently equipped for both winter and summer vacations. Of particular interest are the fossil deposits at Bolca.


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Things to not miss in the area are:

  • Bolca Fossil museum,
  • Fossil museum and Covolo di Camposilvano,
  • "Buso" del Valon,
  • Rovere Mille grotto,
  • Ethnographic Museum of Bosco Chiesanuova and Giazza,
  • "Giassare" of Cerro Veronese and Griez,
  • "Baiti" of la Colletta and Corbiolo,
  • Mulino di Bellori,
  • Waterfall Park and Botanic museum of Molina,
  • Palentological museum of S. Anna d'Alfaedo.
  • Excellent local cheese is produced from the cattle that graze in the upper fields.

The Stone Villages

The landscape of the Lessinia is characterized by the continual presence of Prun stone, which is extracted locally. The roofs, or "unici" of many buildings in la Lessinia are made with large slabs of this stone. It is interesting to visit the "giassare" at Griez (Bosco Chiesanuova) and Cerro Veronese, where two of the many hypogeal storage caves were used, until a few decades ago, for preserving the natural ice that the mountain people collected in the winter to sell on the plain in summer.

The Grottoes and the Karstic Phenomena

In Lessinia there are numerous karstic phenomena worth noting from Ponte di Vela (S. Anna d'Alfaedo), characterized by a rock arch more than 50 m long; from the "Buso del Valon" (Bosco Chiesanuova), a cylinder shaped chasm 35m in diameter and about 55m deep, to Covolo di Camposilvano (Velo Veronese), another striking example of karst phenomena in Lessinia; from the "spinxes" which rise up in the nearby valley of the same name (Velo Veronese), to the grotto of Roverè Mille or "Il Capriolo" (Roverè Veronese), with its beautiful calcite concretions.

The Water fall Park of Molina

This is a park within a park, situated in the middle of the Valpolicella, above Fumane.. A torrent runs through it, forming five waterfalls, which although not huge are certainly striking. Walkways and wooden bridges allow the visitor to admire the surroundings, the clear water, the roaring waterfalls, the ravines, the caverns, the overhanging rocks. A botanic museum, in the square in Molina, allows the visitor to discover over 300 species of local fauna.

The Fossil Museum

The Bolca museum is one of the best known, in perhaps one of the most important Fossil digs in the world; for fish fossils from tropical seas. At Bolca you can observe important finds brought from the nearby "Pesciara" fossil quarry. There is a museum to visit and see fossils of reptiles, crustaceans, insects, amphibrach, cephalopods and numerous kinds of vegetation. Other fossil remains, which supports the theory that the sea covered the Lessinia mountains millions of years ago, can be seen in the museum at Camposilvano (Velo Veronese), in Roncà museum and in S. Anna d'Alfaedo museum.

Prealps,, Monti Lessini,

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