Azzarino, an ancient Cimbrian settlement later incorporated into Velo Veronese, where hamlets, stone steles, sundials and frescoes tell tales of bygone times.
Itinerary: Velo Veronese – Purga – Croce del Gal – Chiarenzi – Battisteri – Pozze – Covel – Campe – Riva – Foi – Chiarenzi – Tecchie – Croce – Fontani – Retz – Valle – Velo Veronese.
Starting from Piazzale Crosara in Velo Veronese, follow the main road towards San Francesco for about ten minutes until you reach the hamlet of Purga, where there is a stone cross dating from 1884. Next, follow the signs for Azzarino. Once you have passed through the hamlet, after a small votive stele, go up to the left along an old mule track, known as 'Via Cara', until you see a large cross in 'rosso ammonitico' stone on the left in the middle of the meadow: this is the Croce del Gal (1,170 m). Now descend to the right on a road bordered by dry stone walls until you reach the hamlet of Chiarenzi (1,100 m). Continue along the paved road, then turn left towards Battisteri and Pozze, where a fountain and some rows of houses and stables/haylofts offer a fine example of the structure of the hamlets. You will also find a column here, an artefact in 'rosso ammonitico' stone featuring religious depictions. Continuing along a dirt road, you will next come to Covel (1,021 m), whose carved window portals and marble stele are a fine example of rural architecture. Now take the dirt road to the south, passing by a fountain and a hut, until you reach Campe. Here, the 19th-century church, fountain and capital tell the hamlet's story. Next, take the paved road on the right that leads to Riva and then Foi. As you enter the hamlet, you will notice an old house with a particularly elaborate façade featuring the remains of a sundial and a fresco. Continue on to return to Chiarenzi, then Tecchie, until you join a path in the woods just before Purga. This will lead you to the hamlet of Croce, where you can admire the marvellous 'volti barbari', a kind of closed Gothic arcade dating back to the 15th century. From Croce, take the path on the left that descends towards Fontani, where you can see the ancient stable of the 'Ballarin', featuring a fresco depicting Saint George slaying the dragon. From here, take the main road that leads uphill to Velo. Once you reach Retz, turn left towards Valle. After passing through the hamlet, continue along a dirt road until you get back to Velo Veronese.
Length: 10 km
Walk time: approx. 3 hours