On the Visconteo Bridge of Borghetto sul Mincio, approximately 3500 including people from all over Italy, as well as some foreigners, are seated at two 600 metre-long tables to taste the well-known Tortellini di Valeggio, poetically called “Nodo d’Amore” (knot of love).
The celebration officially begins with a medieval costumes parade, to evocate the protagonists of the legend from which the festival takes the name.
The first edition of this great event dates back to 1993 and it was created to celebrate the 600th anniversary of the construction of the Bridge Visconteo, the majestic fortification wanted by Gian Galeazzo Visconti, Duke of Milan, to protect the oriental borders of its possessions.
The Associazione Ristoratori (Restaurant Owners Association), which organizes the event, mobilizes three days before in order to close the bridge, assemble the kitchens and cooking equipment, allocate the tools, as well as set the table in the same afternoon, immediately before the festival begins.
The event can boast record figures: almost 300 waiters, 100 cooks and 100 sommeliers; 600,000 hand-made tortellini, which are prepared with around 500 kg of Grana Padano cheese, 10,000 eggs and 800 kg of flour; 3,500 bottles of Custoza that accompany the dishes and 800 bottles of sparkling wine for the aperitif that starts off the celebrations.
The dinner is followed by an impressive fireworks show from the towers of the Scaligero Castle. Meanwhile every guest receives a plate realized by the expert goldsmith Alberto Zucchetta.
The admission is allowed only to possessors of a ticket that can be booked and purchased at one of the restaurants members of the Associazione Ristoratori Valeggio or alternatively at the Pro loco Valeggio premises, from February 2015.
It is possible to find the complete list of the ARV restaurants and further information on the event at www.ristorantivaleggio.it.
In the afternoon of the Festival, the bridge can be reached only on foot, walking through the park. It is possible to leave the car at one of the car parks of Valeggio sul Mincio.