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The story and legend of the Tortellino di Valeggio – Lovers Knot

Tortellini verona
Every year in the middle of June, Valeggio celebrates the Feast of Love Knot, an event which celebrates the typical tortellini of the area. The Feast of Love Knot is without doubt, one of the most fascinating events of Veronese tradition. 
It all started with a legend that, in classic tradition, has two characters which are deeply in love but unable show it. The characters are Malchus, captain of the Visconti troops, and Silvia, beautiful water nymph of the Mincio.
The castle of Valeggio sul Mincio
At the end of the fourteenth century, the Viscount’s troop reached the banks of the River Mincio. The jester Gonella entertained the soldiers by the light of the campfire telling an ancient legend that the waters were populated by beautiful nymphs that danced near the shore disguised as witches. The soldiers slept whilst Captain Malchus lay awake and watched as the witches came from the river and began to dance among the sleeping soldiers. He confronted the mysterious creatures and they fled to the Mincio. He caught one of the witches and in a desperate attempt not to loose her cape she unexpectedly revealed her beauty. They fell in love, but at dawn Silvia the beautiful nymph, had to return to the depths of the river, leaving a golden, knotted silk handkerchief on the bank as a sign of their love.

Hand made Tortellini di Valeggio, a real specialty
Malchus returned to the count and attended a banquet where he recognised one of the dancers as Silvia. They noticed one another, but Isabella, a noble lady cousin of the Viscount, who had fallen in love with the handsome captain, saw the looks between then and was driven wild by jealousy. Isabella, denounced Silvia as a witch, the party was immediately stopped and Silvia was arrested. Malchus came to her rescue allowing her to escape to the river, but he was imprisoned. 

Borgetto by night, just a couple of minutes from Valeggio
Silvia reappeared from the river to save her beloved captain, and proposed to Malchus that there was only way out - not on earth, where there could be no happiness, but in the water where they could live as nymphs. Malchus accepts without hesitation and heads towards the river with Silvia. The Viscounts guards were in hot pursuit, but Isabella called for respect and understanding, for a love that without limitation.
Today’s Festa Tortellino di Valeggio remembers the history of the two lovers. The dough of the tortellini is pulled as thin as silk, trimmed and tied like a scarf of gold, and embellished with a delicate filling made pumpkin and amaretto, and that was how the legend of Valeggio’s pumpkin ravioli began.


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