“A bike ride is an escape from sadness.”
James E. Starrs
After the long period of stress, but above all of lockdown, that we have passed, the call of nature becomes more and more strong. The Euganean Hills offer various solutions of itineraries and excursions with different difficulties in order to discover the territory and its typical products… it is worth going slow to enjoy the best of the history, of the flavors and of the art of which the Veneto is extremely rich.
The bicycle is the ideal travel proposal, a dynamic and complete opportunity to live our extraordinary heritage. Viaggiare Curiosi offers some very funny guided tours, even with electric bikes, but even without guide there are very interesting routes in an almost perfect ring that embraces the Euganean Hills starting from Padova, Bresseo, Praglia, Monselice, Este or Vo’.
Let’s take Padova as starting point, going on along Strada Battaglia.
Here we are to the Castle of Catajo, a monumental building unique of its kind built from the 16th century by Pio Enea I degli Obizzi at Battaglia Terme. It is said that the ghost of Lucrezia Obizzi, murdered in her bed in 1654, is still roaming the 350 rooms of the castle. In Battaglia Terme, we find the Museum of Fluvial Navigation as well, which is worth a quick visit, as well as Villa Selvatico-Sartori.
Then we go ahead to Monselice, passing through Este: the so-called “lookouts” south of the Veneto, two strongholds that transhippe of art and culture between sanctuaries, gardens, museums and the highly visited Duomo that contains the Pala of Tiepolo.
It’s time to come back, but not without stopping at Cinto Euganeo where the Museum of Cava Bomba, a ex furnace of the 1800s, boasts one of the most important collections of minerals and fossils: outside, life-size prehistoric animals create a sort of small Jurassic Park in the heart of the Euagneans.
On the way there is Arquà Petrarca, one of the most beautiful medieval villages in Italy, where we also have the house of Francesco Petrarca and his tomb.
Stunning views lead us to Vo’ Euganeo where, instead, we go back in time with the ex Lager of the Second World War: Villa Contarini Giovanelli-Venier, a beautiful seventeenth-century Venetian villa that has been recently restored to bring back its splendor and trying to blur the memory of what was among the darkest of the periods.
Going on with the journey we pass several vineyards until we arrive at the Abbey of Praglia, a Benedictine monastery that houses the National Library, an Italian national monument.
Then we go back to the hotel, to the AbanoRitz, with the Thermae of Abano, the oldest in the world, already known at the time of the Romans: the perfect relaxation after a day exploring the Euganean territory.