The Euganean Spas
A place of culture
The Euganean Spas.
The largest spa centre in Europe.
“All the happiness of the Venetian character
lies in its waters”
Welcome to the Euganean spas, where the healthy, beneficial
waters have been flowing for more than three thousand
years, bringing life to the largest spa centre in Europe.
The Euganean spa waters belong to the category of deep
underground waters, and their precious uniqueness is assured
during its long journey upwards before reaching the
Euganean lands. Renowned and appreciated since protohistoric
times, today they are still a source of health and well-being.
The meteoric water comes from the Lower Dolomites and
from the Lessini mountains in the pre-Alps, flowing into the
subsoil through the limestone to reach a depth of more than
3000 m. In the subsoil, the water runs for approximately 80
km at high temperatures and under great pressure for
an average of 25/30 years, becoming richer and richer
in mineral salts. Reaching the Euganean spa basin, it
returns to the surface at a temperature of 87°C, rich in
geothermal energy and dissolved substances that make
Abano Terme, monumental entrance to the Montirone.
Montegrotto Terme, Cathedral.
it a unique thermal resource, the only one of its kind in
the world. The beneficial strength of the water, which today
is scientifically classified as hyperthermal bromo-iodine-salt
water, has been used by man for centuries for therapeutic
purposes, and lies at the root of all the most modern
therapies and aesthetic treatments carried out in the many
specialised spa hotels in the Euganean spa area: from
balneotherapy to mud therapy, from hydrokinesitherapy
to inhalation treatments, and the widest range of beauty
and relaxation treatments. Each spa hotel offers indoor
and outdoor spa pools and a whole department dedicated
to well-being and therapies, to ensure that all guests
are followed with the utmost attention and professionalism,
in a comfortable, pleasant atmosphere. All the resorts have
been classified with the “I Super” qualification issued by the
Italian Ministry of Health, which demonstrates the respect
of the natural resources in the basin and the strict discipline
in the use of the water in order to assure the conservation
of this incomparable natural resource. And on top of this, the
constant commitment of the “Pietro d’Abano” Spa Study Centre,
which carefully studies the main components of the spa waters
and carries out systematic research into spa medicine and
the effects of mud therapy, to guarantee total quality in the
therapies carried out and their scientific and therapeutic values.
The Euganean Spas in ancient times.
“…The soft soil sighs, and closed beneath
the boiling pumice the wave digs flaky roads.
[…] In its midst, like a widespread boiling sea,
a blue lake extends, spinning greatly, covering
an enormous area …”
Claudian, Aponus, IV century AD
With this troubling, supernatural vision, the poet Claudius
Claudian describes the sacred lake that covered the area
where the Euganean Spas now lie. In this territory,
which at the time was mainly marshland and forest, boiling
sulfureous spa waters sprang spontaneous in bubbling
springs. An extraordinary phenomenon, considered divine
in origin by the ancient Venetian people, so much so that
as early as the VIII century BC religious ceremonies were
held in the sacred lake, with sacrifices to the gods
and baths offering benefits and good health.
Above, Abano Terme, The building housing
the “Therapy, holiday and tourism board”,
decorative bas-reliefs (detail).
Archaeological dig carried out at the turn
of the 20 th century that led to the discovery
of thousands of ex voto, including chalices,
cups, vases and bronze objects, all from
the Paleovenetian era. Today most of these
are displayed in the beautiful rooms
of the National Atestino Museum in Este
the Eremitani Civic Museum in Padua
and the International Artistic Glass
and Spa Museum in Montegrotto Terme.
fountains, libraries, conference and exhibition rooms,
theatres and beautiful patrician villas were built, all well
documented in archaeological findings. Many ancient
literary sources also confirm the fame of the ‘fons Aponi’
during imperial times: the most important known to date
is the poem “Aponus”, composed by the Alexandrian poet
Claudius Claudian, following his visit to the area between
396 and 399 AD. Following the fall of the Roman Empire,
also Theodoric, king of the Ostrogoths, was to enjoy the
spa, as witnessed in his famous letter, in which he proclaims
Abano as the “ornament of my realm, famous throughout
But at the end of the VI century, the Longobard hordes of
king Agilulfo stormed the town, sowing destruction and
ruin, and so the Euganean spas fell into oblivion for many
centuries. Many archaeological testimonials remain of the
opulence of the ancient Roman spa, including the large
archaeological area at Montegrotto Terme, the many
findings on show at the Atestino National Museum at Este,
the Eremitani Civic Museum in Padua and many ancient
1 Montegrotto Terme, columns from Roman period in the gardens
of the Hotel Terme Neroniane.
2 Montegrotto Terme, Hotel Terme Neroniane, hydropinic fountain
decorated with ancient artefacts discovered during the digs prior
to the construction of the spa hall.
3 Montegrotto Terme, Hotel Terme Neroniane,
detail of archaeological digs.
The first water-divining activities became the cult of Aponus,
guardian god of springs, and added to this was the oracle
of Gerion, who was consulted in order to know the future.
According to the legend, when passing through Aponus’
land, Hercules founded the cult of Gerion, a mysterious god
imprisoned in the bowels of the earth who prophesised the
future through a priest or priestess, guardians of the temple,
who were able to interpret the prophesies of the god through
the spa waters. Svetonius recounts that also young Tiberius
invoked the sacred spa spring and, at the request of the oracle,
threw in golden dice to find out whether his destiny would
be favourable in the battle with the Pannonians, an obligatory
step to his accession to the Emperor’s throne. The dice were
thrown, and both landed with the highest score upwards.
Tiberius conquered the Pannonians and became Emperor
(1 st century AD).
From 49 BC, when Patavium and the neighbouring lands,
including the Euganean Spas, became municipium, an upper
class of Romanised “Patavini” was formed, and wishing
to emulate the upper classes of Rome they paid great
importance to the spa waters, creating public baths and spa
stations. The ancient lakeside sanctuary became a rich,
multipurpose spa location, visited to revive both body
and spirit. Around the spa baths, wide avenues, gardens,
The extraordinary therapeutic properties of the spa waters
are applied to a wide range of restorative and well-being
treatments and programmes.
Balneotherapy: involves the immersion
of the body in a single tub filled with hot, ozone-enriched
spa water. It facilitates the activities of the joints, makes
movements smoother, relaxes the muscles, reduces pain.
The intense vasodilating action stimulates the blood.
Indicated above all for painful conditions and muscular
atrophy, post-traumatic rehabilitation following traumas,
fractures and surgery, chronic inflammation and skin
Hydrokinesitherapy: uses the physical and
chemical properties of the water in an ideal treatment for
muscle deficit, to regain physical strength following surgery,
and for those suffering from arthrosis. In addition to being
natural and effective, it is also a fun, relaxing therapy that
is done in the swimming pool.
Mud therapy: spa mud is a clever combination
of a solid component (clay), a liquid one (bromo-iodine
salt water) and a biological one (micro organisms and
biomaterials). The mature mud lies at the basis of mud
therapy, which has four steps: application, spa water
bath, sweat reaction and tonifying massage.
It is an incomparable natural treatment that helps those
suffering from osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.
Inhalation therapy: nebulized spa water helps
all kinds of upper and lower respiratory conditions, and is
effective in the prevention and curing of chronic illnesses.
“Remise en forme”
and beauty treatments: each resort is able
to offer targeted remise en forme and beauty treatments.
Expert and qualified staff will help you to recover lost
energy, beauty and all-round well-being through massage,
innovative treatments, a balanced diet and treatments using
Today Abano Terme is one of the most famous spa resorts
in Europe. Its large scale accommodation capacity, spread
across many hotels all equipped to offer special spa
treatment services, holds the record of being the largest spa
town in the world. The city centre has a large pedestrian
precinct, filled with old and modern buildings, large hotels
with well-tended gardens, shops, bars and restaurants, and
the historical and monumental sights also include
one of the most important testimonials of the Aponus spa,
Not to be missed.
Montirone Hill: this small hill, once rich in naturally flowing
spa springs, was particularly dear to the ancient Patavini, who
in Roman times surrounded it with villas and spa stations.
The entrance to the
old spring, where
until the second half
of the 1800s the
water still flowed
spontaneously at a
temperature of 80°C,
is marked by an early
19 th century
and a mighty Doric
column crowned by a
chalice wrapped in
the coils of a snake,
designed by Giuseppe
Jappelli in 1825 for
the visit of Emperor
Franz I of Austria.
The two buildings
either side of the entrance house the civic Montirone Art
Gallery, with its collection of 15 th - 20 th century paintings,
drawings and engravings, and the municipal Modern Art
Gallery, which hosts temporary exhibitions. Opposite
Montirone there is a small oratory designed by Domenico
Cerato in 1780, which today is used as an exhibition centre.
Abano Terme, Montirone, column erected in honour of Franz I of Austria.
2 View of the spa basin and the Euganean hills.
Below, Abano Terme, monumental entrance to the Montirone.
Chiesa del Sacro Cuore: with its modern architectural
design, this is one of the most important churches
in the town. Built during the second half of the 1950s
to the design of the architect Giulio Brunetta, it houses
a beautiful crucifix, by the artist Mario Pinton, a frontal
by Carlo Mandelli, and works by Paolo De Poli.
Kursaal public gardens: amongst the greenery of the
gardens, right in the middle of the pedestrian area, we
can find the statue of Pietro D’Abano, one of the most
famous sons of Aponus. Another decorative element
of this garden is the Harlequin fountain, by Amleto Sartori,
artist of international fame, to whom also the Mask
Museum, located in Villa Savioli, is dedicated.
Pietro d’Abano: born in 1257,
Pietro, son of the notary
Costanzo, spent much time
in Constantinople, and
completed his studies
at the University of Padua
before going on to become
the greatest Italian scientist
of the 14 th century.
He taught medicine,
philosophy and astrology
at the University of Paris,
and from 1306 at the
University of Padua.
Expert in Greek Byzantine
and Arabic arts, he believed
that a good doctor should
also be a good astrologer
and an expert alchemist.
attracted the attention
of the Court of the Inquisition,
and he was accused of
necromancy and heresy,
and in 1316 his body was
burned at the stake.
Pietro believed that human
matters were influenced
by the stars. His theories
inspired the splendid
astrological cycle, frescoed
in the “Palazzo della Ragione”
3 Abano Terme, New Town
4 Abano Terme, Villa Savioli,
“Amleto e Donato Sartori”
5 Abano Terme, “Amleto
e Donato Sartori”
6 Abano Terme, Kursaal
Gardens, Statue in honour
of Pietro d’Abano.
Grand Hotel Orologio, one of the emblems of the history
of Abano, this beautiful building was constructed in the
17 th century by the noble family Dondi dall’Orologio,
and was extended in the 19 th century with the addition
of its neoclassical façade (1825), by Giuseppe Jappelli,
who also restored the large gardens surrounding the hotel.
Opposite the Grand Hotel Orologio is the Hotel Trieste
& Victoria, another building of particular historical value.
This was in fact the headquarters of the Italian Supreme
Command during the First World War (1918), and General
Armando Diaz often stayed here in an apartment on the
Viale delle Terme: wide, tree-lined avenue, the real
dynamic heart of the town, with its shops, hotels,
bars and restaurants.
This large complex, which blends harmoniously in with
the buildings and architecture of the spa town, has been
conceived as a single, enormous, continuous lawn,
criss-crossed by paved walkways and cycle paths and
rich in plants and trees along the main avenue.
Buildings line up along its sides, all prestigious residences,
shops and offices.
“Amleto e Donato Sartori” International Mask Museum:
the only one of its kind in the world, housing
the prestigious works of Amleto Sartori and his son Donato,
internationally renowned artists, creators of masks for the
“Commedia dell’Arte” and theatre generally.
Villa Mocenigo Mainardi: this complex, where Giacomo
Casanova also resided in 1779, includes a small oratory
facing over the road. Other villas of particular architectural
interest are: Villa Sette (late 17 th century with some early
19 th century modifications), Villa Erizzo Zanin
(19 th century, with large gardens and private oratory),
Villa Foscolo (also known as the “Cittadella Vigodarzere”),
at Feriole, known to have hosted Ugo Foscolo when he was
writing “The last letters of Jacopo Ortis” (1796), and finally
Villa Selvatico Treves, built in the 16th century but
completely renovated in the 19 th century in line with
the rules of architectural Eclecticism.
It includes two sites of great interest: the recent Piazza
del Sole e della Pace, also known as Piazza della Meridiana,
and the S. Lorenzo Cathedral. The polychrome marble
sundial is one of the largest of its kind in Europe (3000 m 2 )
and is certainly unique. Designed by Salvador Condè
and with the support of the architect Giulio Genta and
the gnomonist Giovanni Paltrinieri, it was completed in late
1996, and constitutes a work of the highest scientific,
astronomic and educational value. The S. Lorenzo
Cathedral is the main religious building in the town centre.
It was founded in the second half of the 10 th century,
but its current condition dates back to the 18 th century,
and is the work of the architect Domenico Cerato. Inside we
can find 16 th century sculptures by Tommaso Allio, the
Flagellation on the upper altar by Bartolomeo Litterini
(1712) and a Via Crucis
attributed to Carlo
Henrici. The lovely bell
tower dates back to
1314, with its base
from the 10 th century.
Parco Urbano Termale:
a jewel of modern
by one of the most
famous architects and
1 Abano Terme,
New Town Spa
2 Abano Terme,
3 Abano Terme,
View of the
4 Abano Terme,
5 Abano Terme,
and Viceroy to the Kingdom of Italy. Since 1979 the villa
and annexed gardens have belonged to the Municipality
of Abano Terme, and have been transformed into
a prestigious centre for cultural and sporting events.
Villa Rigoni Savioli (ex Malipiero) is a beautiful Palladian
villa built in the 16 th century. The façade has four
semi-columns surmounted by a triangular tympanum.
A staircase decorated with statues leads directly to the first
floor. Inside (not open to the public) the lounge is decorated
with precious frescoes by GiovanBattista Zelotti, friend
and apprentice of Paolo Veronese.
6 Abano Terme, Pedestrian area, “Therapy, Holiday
and Tourism Board” building.
7 Abano Terme, loc. Monterosso, Villa Monzino “La Bembiana”.
8 Abano Terme, Piazza del Sole e della Pace.
Sotto, Abano Terme, loc. Monterosso, Gardens at Villa Monzino
Villas and Parks.
Beautiful noble villas, built mainly between the 16 th and 18 th
centuries, enrich both the town centre and the surrounding
green hills. Villa Savioli, built in the 17 th century
and extended in the following centuries, houses the
extraordinary Amleto e Donato Sartori International Mask
Museum. Villa Bassi Rathgeb, built in the 16 th century and
restored in the 1700s, belonged to the noble family Dondi
dell’Orologio. Inside the frescoes are by Antonio Buttafuoco.
In the 19 th century many famous people stayed here,
including Eugenio Beauharnais, Napoleon’s stepson,
Columbus, by Paolo
donated to the town
by Armido Bonato.
Main events and traditional festivals.
• Late April - early May: International Youth Football Tournament.
• 2nd Sunday in May (in 2006 in September): “Maschera d’argento”,
national mask contest with masked procession and masked groups
from the most important Italian carnivals.
• July/August: AbanoDanza, International Dance Festival.
• Late August: International Show Jumping.
• From 20 th December to 6 th January: Christmas Decorations Fair.
• Weekly market: Wednesday.
Among the parks we may mention the historical gardens at
Villa Bembiana, in Monterosso. Lying at the foot of the hill,
its rich vegetation includes many species of the
Mediterranean Maquis, and specimens of holm oak. The
villa, which is not open to the public, was home to the poet,
historian and philologist Pietro Bembo (15 th - 16 th century).
At the end of the First World War the Italian Victory
Bulletin was drawn up here.
Sanctuaries and monasteries.
At Monteortone, just outside Abano Terme, we can find
the lovely sanctuary dedicated to the “Madonna della
Salute” (Madonna of Health). The church was built
in the 15 th century at the place where, in 1428, a soldier
named Pietro Falco was miraculously cured of the plague
when he found a wooden image of the Virgin in a small
cave and then bathed in the waters of a fountain that
flowed at the foot of Monteortone Hill. The church,
in the form of a Latin cross with an apsidal nave and two
aisles and a bell tower dating back to the 15 th century still
houses the miraculous image of the Madonna, and each
year is visited by many pilgrims. Inside, the church
is decorated with many paintings from the 15 th century,
including frescoes of saints, prophets and kings in the
leftnave, and some frescoes by Jacopo da Montagnana
1 Abano Terme, Sanctuary of the Madonna della Salute at
Monteortone, detail of the old monastery.
2 Horse riding on the hills around the Euganean Spa.
3/4 Abano Terme, S. Daniele monastery.
5 Abano Terme, Municipal Art Gallery at Montirone, Pitocchetto,
6 Abano Terme, Cloisters in the old monastery annexed
to the Sanctuary of the Madonna della Salute at Monteortone.
Below, Abano Terme, detail of the pedestrian area with
the Grand Hotel Orologio.
in the Chapel of the
Crucifix and on the walls
of both aisles, beautiful
marble bas-reliefs in the
presbytery and the tombs
of the monk Simone da
Camerino, founder of the
monastery, and other
monks as well as the tomb
of the noblewoman
The entrance portal in
Istrian stone is also noteworthy, the work of Matteo
and Tommaso Allio (1667). Next to the church is the old
Agostinian convent, which is now a Salesian institute,
with its large Renaissance cloisters. Another important
religious centre is the Benedictine Monastery of S. Daniele,
nestling on the mountain of the same name. This construction
dates back to 1075, built by the noble da Montagnon family
in honour of the Paduan martyr Daniele. In 1461 it was
home to the canons of S. Salvatore, and from 1772 until
the mid 1900s it was the private residence of the Bonomi-
Todeschini family. Today it is home to the enclosed order
of Benedictine nuns, whose original nucleus came from
Rijeka in 1948. Within the complex, the church, built
in 1711 by Francesco Muttoni, a panoramic loggia and some
rooms on the ground floor are open to the public.
Together with Abano, Montegrotto Terme constitutes
the main centre of the Euganean Spa. According
to archaeological sources, the ancient lakeside sanctuary,
frequented by the people of Veneto between the 8 th
and 3 rd centuries BC stood exactly here, in the area between
Monte Castello and Colle Montagnone. The lake covered
around 2 square kilometres and was round in shape,
originating from a spa water spring. The sulphurous
exhalations, considered to be divine, came naturally and
powerfully from the centre of the earth and were revered with
votive offerings, including vases, chalices, cups and glasses.
From the 2 nd century BC onwards, in Roman times, the lake
lost its sacred function and Montegrotto became a large,
famous spa location. The current name of this place is in
fact Roman, Mons Aegrotorum, meaning the mountain of
the sick. Ancient Latin authors described the Euganean spa
waters as prodigious and, as Claudian writes, “without
damage, they renew lost vigour and calm the sicknesses of
the suffering, who return to good health”. The origin of
these therapeutic properties was attributed to the presence
of Aponus, the god protector of the springs. Still in Roman
times, in addition to their curative properties the waters
were also attributed with special oracular powers. According
to literary sources, oracle of Gerion was consulted in the
ancient S. Pietro Montagnon, today known as Montegrotto.
In the archaeological area in the centre of Montegrotto
Terme the foundations of some buildings dating back to the
Julius-Claudius period can be seen, and these represent just
1 Montegrotto Terme, detail of the archaeological digs
at the Hotel Terme Neroniane.
2 Montegrotto Terme, Roman columns in the gardens
of the Hotel Terme Neroniane.
Below, Montegrotto Terme, Villa Draghi.
Marble slab with
inscription from the
1st century AD
attesting the cult
of the waters of
Aquis Aponi votum
solvit libens merito,”
at the Maffeiano
Museum in Verona.
3 Montegrotto Terme,
Bell tower at the
4 Montegrotto Terme,
Berta Tower on Mount
5 Montegrotto Terme,
6 Montegrotto Terme,
by Del Negro.
The legend of Berta.
Legend has it that in 1084 Henry IV of Germany and his wife
Bertha of Savoy were guests of the noble Da Montagnon family
(from Montagnon, the ancient medieval Montegrotto). During
their stay, a poor spinner came before the queen. She had the
same name as the queen, and was as beautiful as she was
poor, and she begged for clemency for her imprisoned husband,
bringing a gift of a reel of thread. Taking pity upon her,
the queen granted the pardon of the prisoner, and as much
land as could be cordoned off with the reel of thread that the
poor spinner had presented to her. Word of the queen’s
compassionate gesture spread quickly, and many other women
hurried to the castle to try to obtain the same treatment, but
the queen replied with the famous phrase, “Berta’s spinning
time has long since passed”. Each year the municipality
of Montegrotto Terme organises the re-evocation of this
ancient legend, an entertaining display in medieval costume.
a small amount of the rich imperial spa town, which was
certainly one of the most representative of the “X Regio
Venetia et Istria”. Among the findings, some baths, one
of which has marble flooring, spa water pipes, the remains
of an aqueduct and the foundations of a range of buildings.
Not to be missed.
1 Montegrotto Terme,
2 Montegrotto Terme,
Villa Callas, detail
of the entrance portal.
3 Montegrotto Terme,
Glass and Spa Museum.
4 Montegrotto Terme,
and Fairy wood.
Terme, Butterfly Arc –
With the fall of the Western Roman Empire, a long period
of darkness and silence reigned, and the Spas suffered from
an economic and urban slump.
In medieval times the Spas were still in use, but it was only
from the 15 th century, with the arrival of the nobility
of the Serenissima that they were restored to their ancient
splendour, frequented for both therapy and pastime.
In the 18 th century the first organic scientific studies were
carried out on the composition and provenance of the
waters, and in modern times the use of the waters and
spa mud for therapeutic purposes led to the development
of the Euganean Spas, which are now among the most
famous and loved destinations of spa tourism in Europe.
Villa Draghi: set against the splendid backdrop of a park
measuring 316,000 m 2 , this beautiful 19 th century villa lies
on a small hill half way up Mount Alto. It is a unique
example of eclectic architecture, close to the Venetian and
oriental styles with typical medieval elements, and this building,
which has been uninhabited for a long time and is in
a poor state of abandon, has unfortunately been stripped of
its most important architectural furnishings, of which today
only some rare photos remain. The villa still conserves
its crowning Ghibelline battlements, which give it the
appearance of a castle. A nature trail, called the “Villa
Draghi and Mount
departs from outside
the villa. This
is one of the main
hill walks in the
Regional Park of
the Euganean Hills.
km long, it offers
splendid view of
one of the most
rich and varied
and oak woods,
and rocky sections
with their typical rocky vegetation.
The International Artistic Glass and Spa Museum has been
housed inside the Villa Draghi farmhouse, since December
2005, displaying more than 500 works by Giordano Guarnieri,
historical master glassmaker from Murano, Umberto del Negro
and other master glassmakers from Murano including Venini
and the Toso brothers. A section displays precious
archaeological findings from the Roman period, which
were discovered in Montegrotto Terme.
Oratorio della Madonna: the current building of the old
parochial quarters of Montegrotto dates back to 1724,
with the bell tower from the 18 th century, probably
built from a castle tower.
Cathedral: built in the mid-18 th century on the flattened
summit of Prebenda hill, this new church houses modern
frescoes by Armando Migliolaro and sculptures
by Luigi Strazzabosco.
Butterfly Arc-the butterfly
house: thousands of tropical
butterflies fly freely around
this extraordinary place
open to all, scientists,
students, butterfly lovers
and other visitors; walking
through the tropical gardens
it is possible to observe
the life of these splendid
creatures, and watch their
evolution from egg to adult
butterfly, their splendid
colours and infinite forms.
The complex also includes
the Fairy Wood and a large
5 Montegrotto Terme,
“Therapy, Holiday and
Tourism Board” building,
fresco by Fulvio Pendini
depicting the legend of Berta.
6 Montegrotto Terme, Oratorio
Below, Montegrotto Terme,
archaeological digs, detail
of the theatre cavea.
P.G. Omesti permanent exhibition of fossils, minerals
and rocks: rich collection of materials from all over
the world, with an important and large variety of rocks
and minerals that form the earth’s crust and the particularity
of the forms of life that have populated the earth in the
various geological eras. It is a reference point for lovers
and students of mineralogy and palaeontology.
Villa Meneghini: also known as Villa Callas,
as GiovanBattista Meneghini, the owner in the mid 1900s,
was also married to Maria Callas. The building in Caposeda
dates back to 1559. Following careful restoration, it is now
the headquarters of the International Atelier of the Plastic
Arts, run by Master del Negro.
Torre al Lago: the suggestive ruins of this late medieval
tower, which was once the fortified residence of the Dell’Arena
family, provide refuge for a group of bandits led by
the infamous brigand Giovanni Stella in the 19 th century.
Main events and traditional festivals.
• Early May: Flower Festival, exhibition and market.
• Early June: Beer Festival.
• Late June: Traditional Saint Peter’s Fair.
• September: “Il tempo di Berta”, historical display
with medieval costumes.
• 2 nd Sunday of the month: Antiques market.
• Weekly market: Thursday.
Ancient settlement on the south-eastern slopes of Mount Rua,
where the valleys Pavaglione and Cingolina meet, Galzignano
Terme conserves a natural and practically uncontaminated
environment with mainly rural settlements, making it the
ideal destination for those wishing to spend a relaxing holiday
close to nature. The territory is still scattered with noble villas
built by rich families from Padua and Venice who loved the
pleasant and fertile Galzignano valleys.
One outstanding example is Villa Barbarigo Pizzoni Ardemani,
at Valsanzibio, with its historical gardens that are among the
most important gardens in Europe. The green, variable
natural countryside has earned the attention and development
of two splendid golf courses: Golf Club Padova -27 holes -,
founded in 1962 is the historical provincial club of Padua,
and the Golf Club Terme at Galzignano with 9 holes,
opened in 1999 with a wealth of water features and lakes.
Not to be missed.
Villa Barbarigo Pizzoni Ardemani gardens:
the historical garden of Valsanzibio is one of the historic
natural features of excellence in Italy. Surrounded
by a splendid hillside amphitheatre, it was created
in the second half of the 17 th century by the Venetian
noble Zuane Francesco Barbarigo, helped by his son
Antonio, and is still today one of the most important
and intact historical gardens in Europe. The high symbolism
of the park was inspired by Gregorio Barbarigo, cardinal
and later saint, while the design is attributed to the most
important papal architect and fountain maker
of the 17 th century, Luigi Bernini. In this historical
garden, water animates an extraordinary world
of fountains, streams and fishponds. Between high box
hedges and secular trees, seventy works of art, mostly
by Merengo, and as many again by lesser artists, blend
in with architectural elements, streams, waterfalls,
fountains, lakes, water features and fishponds arranged
among trees and shrubs covering an area of fifteen hectares.
It includes significant features including the great Maze,
1 Euganean hills,
of the gardens.
Rabbit Island, the Monument of Time and the Water effects,
Diana’s bath (the old monumental entrance) and three large
fishponds broken with fountains was designed and built
to symbolise the path of man towards his own perfectibility
S. Maria Assunta: in a splendid position on a green hill
shaded by cypress trees, this ancient and disused church still
conserves traces of some 17 th century frescoes.
Pieve di S. Lorenzo: immersed in a tranquil atmosphere
reminiscent of days gone by, the hamlet of S. Lorenzo runs
along the crest of Mount Staffolo through farmyards,
vegetable patches, gardens and vineyards as far at the
Church of S. Lorenzo, dating back to the 11 th century
but extended to its current size in the mid 17 th century.
Footpaths: from Galzignano Terme some of the most
pleasant and interesting trails in the Regional Park of the
Euganean hills can be followed. The Mount Venda trail starts
at Casa Marina in Sottovenda: this hill (601 m.) is the highest
in the Euganean hill range, and is rich in landscape, nature
and historical-monumental features, including the suggestive
ruins of the Olivetani Monastery. The Monte Gallo, Monte
delle Grotte and Monte delle Basse trail starts at Case
Steogarda, offering splendid views of the Monte Rua hermitage,
the villages of Galzignano and Valsanzibio and many hills
including Monselice hill with the Federiciano Dungeon.
Main events and traditional festivals.
of the maze.
6 Olive groves
of the spa halls.
• 1 st Sunday in May: Spring Festival, olive oil fair at Valsanzibio.
• 1 st Sunday in October: Galzignano Terme: Rosario Fair
and “Palio dei mussi” (mule race).
• Weekly Market: Wednesday.
Bordered to north and south by two sumptuous princely
residences, lying gently between the Hills to the west and
meandering canals leading to the sea to the east, Battaglia
Terme is a surprising town, totally different from the other
towns in the Padua area. Here, everything seems to be
linked or related to water. The town stretches along the
banks of a wide river, with a footbridge reminiscent of
Venice, and houses the only River Navigation Museum in
the whole of Italy, as well as being the home to some
the Arco di Mezzo
(middle arch) and
the Conca di
Even the toponymy
of Battaglia, once
known as Baptalea,
is tied to the water
and could have originally
place of the baths”.
Right from the 11 th
century in fact, the
natural spa grotto
at S. Elena Hill and
the relative baths
1 Battaglia Terme,
2 Battaglia Terme,
view of Battaglia
3 Battaglia Terme,
Arco di Mezzo.
have characterised and identified this place. From the 13 th
century on, this toponymy has been mixed with the root
of the verb “battere” (to beat), linked to the incessant,
rhythmic sound made by the rollers in the Battaglia paper
mill, which no longer exists but which was very famous
in centuries gone by.
Not to be missed.
Castello del Catajo: stately 16 th
century fortified residence built
on the slopes of Montenovo on the
wishes of Pio Enea degli Obizzi,
famous Serenissima commander
and inventor of the howitzer (siege
cannon). The building, which has
350 rooms, lounges decorated with
splendid frescoes by G.B. Zelotti,
favourite apprentice of Paolo
Veronese, corridors, staircases, a vast
historical garden, fountains, park
with free-roaming deer, is one of the
most imposing and complete
Patrician villas of the Veneto region,
now used to hold prestigious events
and congresses. The terrace offers a
splendid view over the surrounding
Villa Selvatico Sartori: beautiful, fairytale residence built
at the turn of the 16th century by the Selvatico family on
the Sant’Elena hill, also known as “stupa” mountain, where
an ancient sweating cave can be found. Surrounded by
a large secular park, redesigned by Jappelli in the 19 th century,
the villa was recently cleverly renovated, conserving its
original and unique style, which set a trend for baroque
Venetian rules, and inside a series of frescoes representing
the mythological stories of the city of Padua, by Luca
Ferrari, the decoration of the cupola with the compass rose
by Lorenzo Bedogni, and the Glory of the Selvatico family
by Alessandro Varotari, known as “il Padovanino”
(1588-1648). The villa is often used for theatrical
performances, cultural conferences and concerts.
S. Giacomo Church: dating back to 1332, extended
to its current shape
in 1703. It houses
precious altars, an
attractive stoup in
red Verona marble,
many statues and
between the 17 th
and 18 th centuries.
also known as the
(because of its steps,
the only bridge of
its kind in the
Padua area), it has a
brick built Roman
arch with a statue
of San Giovanni
patron saint of the
persecuted innocent, invoked against the dangers of the
water, the work of a local sculptor dating back to the
second half of the 18 th century.
Battaglia Canal: this canal crosses the town and
is completely navigable, offering interesting tourist potential
not only due to the expansion of infrastructure including
ports and piers but also for the incomparable natural
backdrop offered by the Euganean hills.
Arco di Mezzo: hydraulic artefact located in the town
centre on the eastern bank of the Battaglia Canal,
to regulate the flow of the water that, with a drop
of between four and seven metres, flows into the bed
of the Vigenzone Canal. For centuries it supplied energy
to all the factories that made Battaglia famous, and is still
extremely important today for assuring the optimal
management of all the water in Padua.
Conca di Navigazione: an extraordinary, perfectly
functioning monument to hydraulic engineering, used
to overcome a maximum difference in water level of over
seven metres, linking the Battaglia canal, and the Paduan
and Euganean territory, with the Rialto-Vigenzone canal,
and the sea.
River Navigation Museum: one of its kind in Italy,
it celebrates the intense and fervent mercantile activity
along the waterways of Battaglia for more than 7 centuries.
It contains more than four thousand articles, including
river boats and river boat parts, scale models, historical
photographs, drawings and documents, navigation maps,
objects used by boatmen on board their vessels, specific
technical texts, equipment used in boathouses, and tools
covering the range of crafts linked to river navigation.
Oratorio di Santa Maria, better known as the “Pigozzo”
church (meaning woodpecker, cuckoo), and what remains
of an old church dating back to 1736, which was
demolished at the end of the 1920s.
On 25 th March, on the day of a small local festival, “cuchi”,
small, brightly coloured terracotta birds that make a sound
similar to the cuckoo song, are sold in the church square.
Sentiero Ferro di cavallo (Horseshoe path): runs along
the hill tops of Montenuovo, Ceva, Castellone, Spinefrasse
and Croce. Thanks to its geological conformation
and the natural and environmental peculiarities, this hill
top area is considered one of the most important
of the Euganean Hills.
4 Battaglia Terme,
Villa Selvatico Sartori.
5 Battaglia Terme, River
6 Battaglia Terme, view
of Battaglia Terme.
Main events and traditional festivals.
• 25 th March: Pigozzo Fair, selling the typical “cuchi”.
• 1 st Sunday in May: Flowered Canal Festival.
• Last Sunday in May: Remada a seconda. Rowing event with
all kinds of boats including fun and grotesque craft.
• July: Water festival. Election of “Miss Onda”, historical procession
and dressed boats to celebrate the wedding of Battaglia and its canal.
• End of August: San Bartolomeo Fair, large open-air market and fun fair.
• 11 th November: Battaglia Terme - San Martino fair with chestnut feast.
• From 22 December to 15 January: Nativity scene on the water.
• Weekly market: Saturday.
Lying among the most beautiful of the hills, Teolo has very
ancient roots, a rich history and an important historical,
artistic and naturalist heritage. Tradition has it that it was
the birthplace of the great Latin historian Titus Livius.
The ancient Titulo (Latin for boundary) lies in a strategic
position between the lands of Padua and Este, the two most
important Paleovenetian centres. A boundary stone dated
141 BC found near the church of S. Giustina di Teolo would
confirm the existence of this border area, which was already
inhabited in pre-Roman times. In the medieval Teolo was
one of the largest towns in the Padua area, with a podestà
tenure in the Medieval Commune and Carrarese eras,
and later a Vicariate of the Republic of Venice with
administrative powers over a very large territory.
Firstly the Napoleonic reorganisation and later that
of the Austrians decreased the administrative importance
of Teolo. Today it is one of the most attractive areas
of the Euganean hills, and a privileged destination for
tourists and day trippers from Padua.
Not to be missed.
S. Giustina church: mentioned in a papal decree dated
1297, the old church of S. Giustina was built between 1290
and 1310, while the bell tower was built in 1400.
In the mid 19 th century the church was extended, with
the addition of side chapels and the baptistery, while
the beautiful cuspidate bell tower we can still admire today
is the original one. Inside, liberty frescoes by Giacomo
Manzoni from 1912, and the great altar is the work of
Domenico Campagnola (16 th century).
Palazzetto dei Vicari: built in the 14 th century but extended
in the 16 th century to house the vicars and noble Paduans
appointed by the Serenissima during Venetian domination to
administrative and military functions, today the building is
home to the Contemporary Art Museum dedicated to Dino
Formaggio, internationally renowned philosopher and art critic.
Rocca Pendice: this is one of the most original rock
formations in the hills. It is a wall of volcanic rock,
a trachyte seam 130 metres high, frequently used for
And on the rock summit,
half hidden by thick
vegetation, are the
remains of the most
resistant castle of all the
Euganean hills. This fort,
the only one of all the
hilltop castles, was never
taken in battle, and
nature alone was able
to drive it into ruin. To
reach the castle remains,
also famous for the
legend of Speronella,
the shortest path starts
at the 15 th century farms
at Schivanoia, or follow
the “Altavia n. 1 dei
Colli Euganei” path
starting near Treponti
1 Colli Euganei, ruins of the Olivetani
monastery on Mount Venda.
2 Teolo, Palazzetto dei Vicari, housing the Dino Formaggio
Contemporary Art Museum.
3 Teolo, view with Rocca Pendice in the background.
4 Teolo, Benedictine sanctuary on the monte della Madonna.
5 Teolo, church at the sanctuary on the monte della Madonna.
6 Praglia, abbey.
S. Maria di Praglia Abbey: founded in the 11 th century,
in the medieval and renaissance period this was
the stronghold of the Benedictine agricultural community
of S. Giustina di Padova, founded in 1448, following which
the abbey was extended and restored with the construction of
an elegant church following the designs of Tullio Lombardo,
and the reconstruction of part of the monastery. The church
dedicated to the Assumption still conserves numerous frescoes
and paintings from the Venetian school and a wooden crucifix
attributed to the circle of Giotto. The monastery houses an
attractive late 15 th century covered cloister, a botanical cloister,
a rustic cloister, the precious Capitolo Hall and the monumental
refectory and the famous “divine loggia” immortalized
by the writer Antonio Fogazzaro in the novel “Piccolo mondo
moderno” (1901). The abbey is known throughout the world
The legend of Speronella.
According to the legend, in 1166 Count Pagano della Torre,
vicar of Federico Barbarossa, fell in love with Speronella,
a sensual beauty from Padua betrothed to Iacopino da
Carrara. Having kidnapped her, he locked her away in the
Roccapendice Fort and convinced her father to allow him
to marry her instead. But the Paduan noblemen, led by
Iacopino managed to fight their way into the castle, killing
Pagano and freeing Speronella. According to historic fact,
however, as told by the judge Manfredino di Ugone, Count
Pagano was in fact just one of Speronella’s six husbands,
to be exact the second, after she had left her first husband,
Iacopino da Carrara, in her conceited determination
to marry the imperial vicar.
Main events and traditional festivals.
• 4 th Sunday in April: Gnocco fair with tasting events
offering local specialities.
• First half of August: Holidaymakers’ fair.
• 2 nd Sunday in October, Bresseo di Teolo: ancient fair with large
market, food stands and fun fair.
• Antiques market: 1 st Sunday of the month.
• Weekly market: Tuesday, Sunday (from April to September).
for its important antique
book and illuminated
carried out by the monks
Oratorio della Croce
di Villa Teolo:
the old Crucifix,
in poplar wood to the
right of the great altar,
dates back to the 16 th /17 th
century and is inspired
by the school of Donatello.
Chiesa di San Giorgio at Tramonte: of very ancient
origins, this church houses frescoes dating back to around
the year 1000, roundels with the twelve apostles dating
back to the late 15 th century and a crucifixion attributed
to the Paduan school Squarcione.
From Teolo there are two splendid walks signposted by the
Regional Park of the Euganean Hills: the Monte Grande
path, with a deviation to the ruins of Rovolon castle, and
the Monte della Madonna path, including a visit to two
ancient religious sites, the small S. Antonio Abate oratory
dating back to the 14 th century
and the Sanctuary dedicated to
the Virgin Mary with its small
Realized with the contribution of
Via P. d'Abano, 18
Tel. +39 049 8669055 - Fax +39 049 8669053
Mon-Sat 8.30-13.00 / 14.30-19.00
Sun 10.00-13.00 / 15.00-18.00
(sundays opening only during high season)
Viale Stazione, 60
Tel. +39 049 8928311
Fax +39 049 795276
Mon-Sat 8.30-13.00 / 14.30-19.00
2 nd Sun 10.00-13.00 / 15.00-18.00
Via Maggiore, 2
Tel. +39 049 526909 - Fax +39 049 9101328
c/o Palazzetto dei Vicari
Tel. +39 049 9925680 - Fax +39 049 9900264
How to get there:
By Air: Venice, Marco Polo Airport
(approx. 60 km. away).
By Rail: Terme Euganee Train Station.
By Road: Motorway A13 Padua-Bologna:
exit Padua Sud-Terme Euganee.
Motorway A4 Venice-Milano:
exit Padua Ovest, Padua Est.
Riviera dei Mugnai, 8
dei Colli Euganei
© Foto: Archivio Turismo Padova Terme Euganee, Consorzio Terme Euganee Abano-Montegrotto, L. Masarà, Francesco e Matteo Danesin, Alberto Campanile, FotoStudio 23,
Comune di Padova-Gabinetto Fotografico, Museo Nazionale Atestino, Parco Regionale Colli Euganei, Ottica Turlon, Antonio Mazzetti, Butterfly Arc, Soprintendenza
Archeologica per il Veneto, Salvador Condè, Comune di Abano Terme, Villa Barbarigo Pizzoni Ardemani, Museo Civico della Navigazione Fluviale, Comune di Teolo.