FUMANE | VERONA PROVINCE
The town of Fumane, located in the middle of Valpolicella near the city of Verona, is made up of a wide lower valley and the lower plains of the Lessinia plateau. The name Fumane comes from "a le fumane" place where there are smoke due to the production of wood coal. The community of Fumane also includes the hamlets and villages of Breonio, Cavalo, Gorgusello, Manune Mazzurega and Molina.The lower valley is part of the "Progni", with the Grotta of Fumane and the Molina Falls Park, is part of the Regional Natural Park of Lessinia. The area around Fumane has been inhabited since prehistoric times. The Grotta of Fumane is one of the oldest and most important prehistoric site in the area. Stone slabs dating back to Roman times testify to the presence of the Arusnati, a population that was probably of Etruscan origin who lived by cultivating the vineyards and working with stone materials. The area is also interesting for its so-called castellieri, fortified villages high up on the hills.
HOW TO GET TO FUMANE
The town of Fumane can be easily reached from the A22 highway: exit at Verona Nord and follow the service road (“tangenziale”) towards Valpolicella. There are also local train and bus connections to and from the city of Verona.
- Distance from verona: 18 km.
- Surface area: 43 km2.
- Altitude: between 155 m and 1,128 m a.s.l. Popolution: 4,081.
- Twin cities: Atapuerca (Spain) Tratalis (Sardinia) and Urdinarrain (Argentina).
THINGS TO SEE AROUND FUMANE
THE GROTTA OF FUMANE
Discovered in 1664 by Giovanni Solinas, the Grotta of Fumane gives evidencetes that Neanderthals were present between 90,000 and 35,000 years ago. And articles from one of the first groups of Homo Sapiens Sapiens or modern man between 35,000 and 25,000 years ago. One important find was one of the oldest stone drawings in Europe, in red coloring, with one of painting that seems to show the silhouette of a shaman. Visits to the The Grotta of Fumane are to be made by reservation at the Consorzio Pro Loco Valpolicella.
SANTUARIO DELLA MADONNA DELLA SALETTE
The Madonna della Salette Sanctuary was built in 1860 on the hill overlooking the inhabited area of Fumane in 1860. The inhabitants made a vow to build the Sanctuary and dedicate to Our Lady of La Salette (France), during a period in which there was an epidemic of downy mildew which was devastating the vineyards of the valley, if relief was provided. The beautiful square in front of the church dominates the entire valley of Fumane and Valpolicella. The Sanctuary can be reached by car, or, on foot, along a path about 450 metres long that goes through a pine wood. (The chapel is open Sundays, from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM).
VILLA DELLA TORRE
The villa of Torres is one of the most interesting examples of country houses from the XVI century in the Veronese area, and it may have been planned by the architect Michele Sanmicheli. The main feature of the villa is its blend of nature and architecture, a unique quality which is best expressed in the enormous replaces shaped like the mouths of monsters, in the mask decorations, and in the arti cial grotto between the two flights of stairs that lead to the garden. The closed nature of the layout recalls that of an ancient Roman domus. Next to the tower which gives the villa its name is an octagonal temple that is most certainly by Sanmicheli.
MOLINA AND THE FALLS
A nice visit in this area, especially if you have young kids, is Molina, a splendid “borough” that has been well preserved with its ancient stone courtyards and houses. To the southeast part of the village lies the Waterfall Park (80,000 m2) which presents wonderful hiking areas with its woods, meadows, streams and falls. The Lessinia Botanical Museum displays all the different types of vegetation of the Park. Unique to this area are the springs, located just north of the inhabited area of Molina, which provide an abundant source of water.
The present day San Marziale Church reflects restoration works done between the 1400s and 1500s upon a thirteenth century building. It has the form a Latin cross, a single nave, two side chaples and a square apse. Inside there is wooden polyptych on two orders, carved and painted by Francesco Badile around 1535, and other votive frescoes by Francesco Morone carried out around 1510. There are also frescoes dating back to the second half of the 1500s on the vault and lunettes.
S. MARIA DEL DEGNANO CHURCH
More commonly known as the Vaio Church, The Santa Maria del Degnano Church has been mentioned in documents dating back to 1163. Of the Romesque origins still extant, there is the outer lying wall on the southern side, and the base of the belltower, restored around 1400. Inside the belltower there are four mullioned windows with small columns all having different capitels, which appear to be have been taken from two 14th century columns cut in half. In 1610, Paolo Ligozzi did frescoes for the church on panels depicting the life of the Virgin.
Wine-making has a centuries-old culture within the local population. The hard work and passion they put into growing the indigenous grapes produces some of the nest wines in the world: Valpolicella, including Classico, Superiore and Ripasso, Recioto and Amarone. The wines are produced according to traditional methods which must be considered a true art.