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Abano Terme | Veneto Region

TOWN OF ABANO TERME IN THE PROVINCE OF PADOVA

Abano Terme Padova

Abano Terme, in the Padova Province, is located in the Northeastern section of the Euganean Hills just a few km from the city of PadovaOne tourist brochure I read said that the town is "considered" to be the worlds largest spa city, but I do not see how unless they are counting all the land area of the Padova as well. Abano is a hotel and tourist town, busy from May until Oct and a ghost town during the winter months. The city is working to make itself a year round destination, but it will still take some time to achieve.

The Abano Terme "Spa" area is centered on health not hot springs for a decedent living. Everything is therapeutic medicine and even the rhythm of the town and surrounding area runs on the treatment schedule. If you want a mud treatment, O2, thermal mineral water bath or 100 other types of service this takes place in the morning hours. Many treatments must be approved by a Doctor, but this is not always a rigid rule (we are in Italy remember). By lunch time the treatments are done, and everyone is having lunch before the tour buses start taking people to various located sites.

This holistic health center has been running since the Roman times, Pliny the Elder mentions the area in his reports to Roma. During the late 1700's when the Austrian-Hungarian Empire controlled much of Northern Italy,Abano Termewas a holiday spot for nobles of the Empire. Even today there is a strong Central European atmosphere with many restaurants offering Sud Tyrolean style menus.

Arquà Petrarca | Veneto Region

TOWN OF ARQUA PETRARCA IN THE PADOVA PROVINCE

Arqua Petrarca

Why did Francesco Petrarch choose this village to spend his last years peacefully? Time seems to stand still in Arquà with narrow lanes, that climb the slopes of the hills, made of medieval palaces and villas celebrating the Venetian past. Arquà sits at the foot of the Castello and Ventolone hills of the Euganie, about 21 km from Padova.

Here everything honours the memory of Francesco Petrarch. His house retains its 14th century character (the small loggia with two arches was added in 1546) and contains a collection of works and objects that belonged to the poet laureate, while the square houses his tomb: a sarcophagus of red Verona marble. The church of S. Maria, built just after the year 1000, was expanded and embellished with paintings. Of particular interest is the painting by Palma il Giovane (Young Palma).

The Touring Club has awarded this spectacular medieval town the title of "Orange Flag" for the value of its historical and cultural resources that are widely available and well preserved.

But Arquà Petrarca is famous throughout the world for a curious fruit, the jujube, a sweet autumn fruit that comes from far away lands and has found an excellent habitat in the sunny slopes of the Euganean Hills. It is celebrated in the month of October during the Feast of the Jujube

In Piazza San Marco you can see the Holy Trinity oratory, a church that was dear to Petrarch, containing a seventeenth-century wooden altar and another altarpiece by Palma the Younger. The Loggia of the Vicari is adjacent to the church and is decorated with the crests of the noble Paduan rectors. A visit to the house in which Petrarch lived is a must for those who come to Arquà. The house is surrounded by a charming garden and still holds a series of historic relics and some of the Poet's works.

If you continue to stroll the streets of the town, you will see Villa Alessi, the current venue for concerts and events, Casa Strozzi, now an art gallery, and Villa Rova, a typical example of a Venetian villa of the 1400s. Villa Centanin hosts a permanent exhibition of antique pianos and is home to concerts, including a classical music festival.

Battaglia Terme | Veneto Region

TOWN OF BATTAGLIA TERME IN THE PADOVA PROVINCE

Battaglia Terme sits along the Battaglia canal that was main commercial route for good and people to the sea ports near Chioggia. There is still a medieval town center and picturesque bridges over the Venetian style canal. An interesting stop is the Museo della Navigazione Fluviale and see the way of life and old ferry equipment, much of it very similar to what was utilized along the canals dug in the United States a few hundred years later.

There are several monuments and artistic treasures to visit; the San Giacomo Parish Church, the 135 steps that lead up to the XVII century villa Selvatico-Sartori with its frescos by Luca Ferrari da Reggio, and an English style garden designed by Giuseppe Jappelli (also famous for building the historic Caffe Pedrocchi in Padua. Just outside the town is the Catajo Castle with over 350 rooms.

Bike Touring The Anello dei Colli Euganei Route

BIKE TOURING AROUND THE COLLI EUGANEI | ANELLO DEI COLLI EUGANEI

anello eugenia bike

From Padua, the Euganean Hills stand out on the horizon with undulating lines in a surprising variety of forms; conical silhouettes atop gently rolling hills.  With this excursion you can take a complete tour around the hills to discover the natural, artistic, and historical heritage of the Euganean Hills regional Park.

  • Distance: 63 km
  • Route: bike path and secondary roads, one uphill section
  • Start/Finish: Train Stations at Abano and Monsilice.
  • Type of Path: mostly paved, some non paved sections
  • Best Time of Year: March through October
  • Special Notes:  You must get off the path to really explore the area.

anello eugenia bike 1

anello eugenia bike 2

anello eugenia bike 3

Este | Veneto Region

TOWN OF ESTE IN THE PADOVA PROVINCE

The town of Este, Italy

In the suggestive landscape of the Euganean hills, Este was the main settlement of the ancient Veneti who lived here during the Iron Age. The city was at one time a major fortified city of the region, and it still has traces of the Este and Da Carrare families, who were rulers of this area. The town sites in the Province of Padova and is about 33 kms south of the city of Padova, on the southern point of the Euganei Hills

Today, the walls that once protected the city are home to a lovely public garden and 'The National Atestino Museum' is housed in the adjacent Mocenigo Building, one of the most important in Italy for its pre-Roman collections. You can visit the ruins of the old Tower Bridge Fortress that was designed to defend the city in during early medieval times, while the Civic Tower of the Old Port was rebuilt around 1500.

The almost four centuries of Venetian rule can be seen in the beautiful buildings of the central Piazza (including the Town Hall, an elegant open gallery building, and the Scaliger family Building from the fourteenth century) and the beautiful villas. Among the many religious buildings, there is the Duomo of Saint Tecla that houses the mortal remains of Beatrice d'Este and the great altarpiece by Tiepolo that depicts Saint Tecla. The Basilica of Santa Maria delle Grazie with its peculiar Latin cross plan and the church of Santa Maria della Consolazione, structured on a single nave and with a mosaic floor from the Roman period are worth visiting.

The town of Este was named after the Adige river, or Athesis in Latin, which ran in this territory until the year 589 when a devastating flood changed its course to a few kilometres southward.

The conquest of the Veneto by the Romans was a peaceful, the people of the Veneto joined forces with the Romans against the Gauls, and Este became a Roman colony. Este proved able to preserve its administrative independence until the end of the Roman Republic, while the centralization of the political power in the Roman Empire prevented the continuation of past magistratures. After the collapse of the Roman Empire, the town of Este was wrecked by Attila's troops and came to a mere rural village.

The town rose again after the 10th century, when its feudal lord Azzo, who later became Azzo II d'Este, built a castle there. The Lords of Este, having received the title of marquis, initiated one of the most important Italian dynasties and moved their capital city to Ferrara (1239).

Conquered twice by Ezzelino da Romano, who had its castle pulled down (in 1238 and 1249), in the 14th century Este was disputed by the della Scala, the da Carrara and the Visconti Houses until it surrendered spontaneously to Venice in 1405. This marked the beginning of a long period of peace. Under the rule of Venice Este experienced a period of economic and demographic growth, which was unfortunately interrupted by the tragic plague of 1630.

The administrative reorganization by Napoleon and the rise of the middle class gave new thrust to the town governors, who promoted various initiatives of great interest as the establishment of the museum called Museo Nazionale Atestino and the opening of public schools. The development of Este continued also after it was annexed to the Kingdom of Italy, in 1866.

WHAT TO SEE IN ESTE

  • Porte di Torre
  • Porta Vecchia
  • Town Hall
  • Palazzetto of the Scaligeri
  • Prince's Palace
  • Abbey Cathedral of Santa Tecla
  • Basilica of Santa Maria delle Grazie
  • National Museum of Este

Today the town of Este is an important center of production of high-quality art pottery. Ceramic  production has been continuous in this area, almost without interruption, from prehistorical times to the present.

 

Galzignano Terme | Veneto Region

TOWN OF GALZIGNANO TERME IN THE PADOVA PROVINCE

Galzignano Terme, in the Province of Padova, Veneto Region Italy, a small village in the valley west of Battaglia, and off the main north to south transportation link between Padova and Bologna. It is easy to see why many noble families selected the area to built some wonderful homes.  Benacchio, Rizzoli, Sagginin, and the Bofian families all built homes here and they all have played a role in the development of the Veneto Region. The valley still has a quiet and specialatmosphere, there are a few hotel spa's to select from and this is a good base area for exploring the hills and surrounding area.

Things to see:

  • Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta
  • Giardino di Villa Barbarigo
  • Orto Botanico di villa Marina
  • Ruderi del Monastero di Santa Maria Annunziata
  • villa Barbarigo

Galzignao Terme is a perfect quick stop for a cafe or snack if you are bike riding or hiking in the area.   

Hiking in the Euganean Hills

HIKING THE EUGANEI HILLS | ITALY

colli eugenia hiking trails

HIKING TRAILS IN THE EUGANEAN HILLS

N.1 - THE ALTA VIA

N. 2 - CENTRAL EUGANEAN HILLS (printed brochure unavailable)

N. 3 - ATESTINO TRAIL

N. 4 - G.G. LORENZONI TRAIL ON MOUNT VENDA

N. 5 - MOUNT LOZZO TRAIL

N. 6 - MOUNT RICCO AND MOUNT CASTELLO TRAIL

N. 7 - MOUNT CALBARINA AND MOUNT PICCOLO TRAIL

N. 8 - MOUNT CECILIA TRAIL

N. 9 - MOUNT VENDA TRAIL (a trail with a stretch designed for those with impaired motor skills)

N. 10 - MOUNT GALLO, MONTE DELLE GROTTE, MONTE DELLE BASSE TRAIL

N. 11 - MOUNT CINTO TRAIL

N. 12 - MOUNT FASOLO TRAIL

N. 13 Unlisted trail

N. 14 - MOUNT GRANDE TRAIL

N. 15 - 'HORSESHOE’ TRAIL

N. 16 - MOUNT ROSSO TRAIL

N. 17 - MONTE DELLA MADONNA TRAIL

Monselice | Veneto Region

TOWN OF MONSELICE IN THE PROVINCE OF PADOVA

Monselice, Padova Italy

Monselice is a small town sitting the lovely Eugenia Hills, about 24 km south of Padova.  The lower part of the town hosts the remains  of a medieval settlement that extended up to the Rocca (Fort), on the hill.  Today, Monselice is a lively crossroads town between the local farming and industrial areas. 

During Roman times, the small coned hills were known as Mons Silici (hill of Flint).  On the eastern side of the hill is a trachyte quarry which once supplied the sone to pave St Mark's Square in Venice.

Its In 602 the Byzantine Castrum fell to the hands of the Lombard king, Agilulf, as reported by Paolo diacono in his  Historia Longobardorum, the first written account of the area. Previously a neo-Aeneolithic (fourth-third millennium BC), Bronze Age (second millennium BC) and Roman settlement, under the Lombards and Franks, Monselice was a major  military stronghold and administrative center controlling a vast territory including the Adige river and the euganean Hills (Colli Euganei).

It became a free city-state in the mid-12th century and in 1237 was taken by Ezzelino III da Romano, deputy of Emperor Frederick II of Swabia for the area around Venice. The Tyrant Ezzelino ordered extensive fortification works and used this area as his base from which to wage violent military campaigns against Padua, Este and nearby castles.

It was conquered in 1338 by the da Carrara noble family of Padua and, following an enervating siege lasting a full year, in 1405  it became part of the Serenissima Republic. The long and prosperous Venetian period saw the gradual  decline of its military role and the flowering of local agriculture, industry ( quarrying and spinning) and commerce, thanks to extensive waterway transport. Stone quarrying in the hill of the Rocca and Mount Ricco marked the industrial growth of the town which reached its height in the 1700s. In 1722, a large load of trachyte from Monselice was used to pave Piazza San Marco in Venice.

monselice city map

WHAT TO SEE IN MONSELICE

  • Piazza Mazzini
  • Chiesa di San Paolo
  • Antiquarium Longobardo
  • Villa Nani-Mocenigo
  • Villa along the Bisatto Canal
  • Monte Ricco

WHERE TO SLEEP IN MONSELICE

  • Cefri, via Orti 7/B, tel 041904595

WHERE TO EAT IN MONSELICE

  • La Torre, Piazza Mazzini 14, tel 042973752

Montegrotto | Veneto Region

TOWN OF MONTEGROTTO TERME IN THE PADOVA PROVINCE

Even though Montegrotto is a separate town it is not easy to understand when Abano Terme stops and Montegrotto starts. With lots of new roads and by passes to help the daily traffic flow the town network is a maze. But it is not a bad place to get lost, Montegrotto still has a holiday resort feel, but a little more low key then it's neighbor Abano.

Montegrotto is a good stop for a bike ride because of the train schedule and the station is right in the center. It is claimed by some that Montegrotto is the spot Phaethon fell when struck by Zeus's thunderbolt, thus creating the hot springs. There are Roman ruing that have been uncovered, and a villa Draghi has a nice park full of rare plants.

Torreglia | Veneto Region

TOWN OF TORREGLIA IN THE PROVINCE OF PADOVA

Another one of the special hidden valleys of the hills that has seems to connect you with earth and nature itself. The valley holds several surprises, there are still parts of the Fonte Regina spring, that feed the Roman aqueducts that ran to Abano and Padua. Above the town in Luvigliano is the villa dei Vescovi, designed byFalconetto and built by Andrea da Valle, and nearby is the Euganean HillsHeadquaters for Consorziodei Vino D.O.C., the organization that guarantees the quality of wines in the Euganean region.

The Camaldolese monks chose to build the Monte Rua Hermitage in Torreglia, a tranquil site fit for mediation. The Camaldolese monks and nuns are part of the Benedictine family of monastic communities which follow the way of life outlined in the Rule of St. Benedict, written in the 6th century.

Things to see in Torreglia

  • Chiesa di San Martino
  • Chiesa di San Sabino
  • Ermo di Monte Rua
  • Hotel La Torre
  • Il Castelletto
  • villa Barbieri Verson
  • villa dei Vescovi
  • villa Imacolata
  • villa Isabella
  • villa Tolomei
  • villa Venturini Ferri

Vo | Veneto Region

TOWN OF VO IN THE PROVINCE OF PADOVA

Vò is a comune (municipality) in the Province of Padua in the Italian Veneto region, located about west of Venice and about southwest of Padua, in the western end of the Euganean Hills. Mount Venda forms part of its territory, at the highest of the Hills area. Along with four other Italian towns, Vò shares the distinction of having the shortest town name in Italy. As of 31 December 2004, it had a population of 3,416. Vo' borders the following municipalities: Agugliaro, Albettone, Cinto Euganeo, Galzignano Terme, LozzoAtestino, Rovolon, and Teolo.

Vò takes its name from the Latin "Vadum," probably the ancient commercial port on the Adige River, which until 589 forked near Monte Este, and its secondary branch ran alongside the Euganean Hills, skirting Monte della Madonna. During the medieval period two castles went up: one belonging to the noble Da Vo' family and another at Castellaro belonging to the Maltraversi family.

Between the 16th and 17th centuries noted Venetian families (including the Contarini and the Veniers) built a number of villas in the area, and at this same time the old center, Vo' Vecchio, was founded, seat of the comune until 1900. In 1900 a new municipal "capital" was set up at Vo' Centro, known also as Ca' Erizzo; in 1933 the name Vo' was made definitive. As for orthography, the name is properly written with an apostrophe, although it is sometimes erroneously spelled with a grave accent (Vò). One of its most famous villas is the Ca' Morosini. The villa, which goes back to at least 1300 and was once a Benedictine hermitage, has belonged to the Zavattiero family since 1930.

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