The Euganean Hills area has many places worth visiting in terms of nature and monuments. Some villages in Veneto, for example, have been home to important figures such as Francesco Petrarch, the famous poet, considered one of the founders of humanism. In the latter period of his life, he lived in both Arquà Petrarca and Padua. The area also has many Venetian villas to visit, as well as castles, walled towns and gardens, small artistic masterpieces that will hurl you back to the atmospheres of the past thanks to the shared harmony between man and the natural environment.
The places to visit in our landscape definitely include Venetian villas, such as Villa dei Vescovi, in Torreglia, built between 1535 and 1542 as a summer holiday residence for the Bishop. Originally designed as a meeting place for intellectuals, it has remained intact over the years and is a perfect example of harmony between the building and the surrounding environment.
Other buildings to visit include Castles, which are real fortresses that still preserve unparalleled charm today. One such example is the Castello del Catajo in Battaglia Terme. It was built between 1570 and 1573 at the foot of Montenuovo as the private residence of a noble woman, and is a magical world of art, colours, history and mysteries. In Battaglia Terme, you can also visit the Castello di Monselice. Originally a noble mansion, over the years, it became a defence tower and then a Venetian Villa thanks to its well-equipped armoury and extensive collection of furnishing objects. Another work of art worth a visit is the Castello di San Martino della Vaneza in Cervarese Santa Croce, once an important strategic centre for military defence. Over the years, it became the property of the province of Padua, which transformed it into a very educational archaeological museum, where visitors can learn about the history of the peoples that lived on the floodplain.
The string of castles in Veneto ends with the Castello di San Pelagio in Due Carrare. Today, the only part remaining intact is the characteristic crenellated tower, whereas the residential part was converted into a villa around 1775 by the Conti Zaborra, the counts that still own the castle today. Since 1980, the Castle has been opening its spaces and facilities to events. It houses a museum surrounded by a beautiful park embellished with magnificent English roses and a charming spa bath that dates back to Roman times. Museums and monasteries in the Euganean Hills: advice on which to visit.
Museums and monasteries deserve a separate chapter. They are dotted throughout our territory and rich in history and culture. One example is the Monastero di San Daniele in Abano Terme, built from 1076-78 by the Lords of Montagnone in honour of St. Daniel, the deacon and martyr. It was later entrusted to the Benedictine Monks. The building complex also includes an annexed church and museum, which are very beautiful places to visit due to their many frescoes and white stone statues depicting the 4 evangelists.
If you prefer to rediscover the peasant customs of ancient times, you must visit the Abbey of Santa Maria delle Carceri. From the loggia you can enter the Museo della Civiltà Contadina (Museum of Rural Life), which keeps the memory alive of the farming community life of our areas in the early 1900s. Then, you can visit the Museo di Cava Bomba, a former 19th century lime kiln and the Museo Geopaleontologico (Geopalaeontological Museum), which shows evidence of the thriving productive activities typical of the Euganean Hills area.
Finally, you can explore the area surrounding the province of Padua, which hosts the Abbazia di Praglia (Praglia Abbey) and the Museo Nazionale Atestino, (Atestino National Museum) originally established to acquire and preserve the pre-Roman and Roman artefacts of Este and its surrounding area. The Museum also aims to spread knowledge of the civilization of the ancient Veneti.