Enjoy the cycling on the back roads and visit Villa Ghirardina
Mantua: melons and watermelons
Come by bike to smell and taste them
There is a cycle path which starts from Verona and arrives in Tuscany, through Lombardy! What about a long bike slow tour through the north of Italy the next summer?
You could have a tasty stop in the surroundings of Mantua, a land famous for its delicious melons and watermelons!
Smell and taste the different kinds, a great food experience!
Main pic courtesy of GiuliaDuePuntoZero (Flickr user @halighalie)
Video full text: Mantova, Melons & Watermelons
Excuse me, you look like a serious cyclist
can you give me a hand here? I can’t figure it out.
What’s your name? Erminio.
Listen, we are here in Commessaggio, I have to go to Sabbioneta.
Now, I know there’s this whole Mantua-Sabbioneta cycle path
It is very long, it starts from Verona and arrives in Tuscany.
You will get lost!
You are famous for melons here
Is there a melon farm around?
Along the cycle route is Mr Rossi, who has melons and watermelons. Delicious.
The famous melons of Mr Rossi.
Which way do we go? This way.
This is the honeymoon, a kind of melon with a smooth skin
See that it has neither meridians or the usual netting.
Sweet? Very sweet. Good.
Here you have as much water as you want.
Then there is that summer heat that ripens them,
but the key element is the soil.
How should the earth be to produce good melons
The soil needs to be fresh, very clayey, because it retains moisture longer.
Then we see this variety, IGP
IGP means protected geographical indication
It identifies melons produced in the province of Mantua.
How nice to be a taster! First you feel important and second you enjoy it.
I love it, it’s fresh
This is called honeysweet
Oh! But this one is red.
They are called pigmented. Selected varieties that are red.
A little sourer, I think. More aromatic.
I could go on until night eating a slice of this, a slice of another and saying which is the best:
I’m a little better prepared with watermelons.
There are the local ones and the American ones, right?
This round one is a classic local one
the American one is more oblong
I wouldn’t want to take advantage, of course, but for scientific reasons
I know that I cannot not taste the watermelon!
I reckon it will sing, smile and give off a fragrance when you open it.
This is the heart. It’s authentic…
Let’s take a photo: Giorgio, me and the watermelon
Smile! The watermelon too!
Visit Mantua: helpful hints
Italian name: Mantova
There is no airport in Mantua but you can come easily from Milan or Bologna.
Milan: from Malpensa Airport reach Milan Central Station by train or by bus (the Malpensa Express train leaves every 30 minutes, it takes 50 minutes and costs 13€. The Malpensa shuttle bus leaves every 20 minutes, it takes 60/70 minutes and costs 10€). At Milan Central Station, look for the train to Mantua, it costs 11,5€ and it takes 1,5 hours.
Bologna: from Bologna Airport reach Bologna Central Station by bus (rides every 15 minutes). It takes 30 minutes and costs 6,5€. From the Central Station you can choose between the train and the bus: with Trenitalia company there is a combination of two trains, taking 1,5 hours at all for 8,95€. With Flixbus service you pay 4,99€ and it takes 1,25 hours.
You can visit Mantua on walk, or you can choose between bus or bike. APAM manages the local bus service. The single ticket costs 1,4€ and it lasts 75 minutes. Otherwise you can choose the bike and pay 0,69€ for a 20 minutes ride.
What to do
Mantua is a wonderful art city surrounded by lakes. It is in Lombardy region, Northern Italy. The city is famous for many stunning architectural treasures, such as Palazzo Ducale made by the Gonzaga family, or Palazzo Te. Nearby don’t miss the Olympic Theatre of Sabbioneta, the first designed just for entertainment in 1500.
Every year in September takes place here one of the most important Book Fair in Italy, Festivaletteratura.
For more tips, watch Italia Slow Tour web serie about Mantua.