The Euganean Spas

The Euganean Spas


The Euganean Spas

A place of culture

and well-being.

The Euganean Spas.

The largest spa centre in Europe.

“All the happiness of the Venetian character

lies in its waters”

Stendhal, 1817

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

the world”.


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

literary sources.


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,


Well-being therapy.

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

spa products.


Abano Terme.

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,

Montirone Hill.

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

Corinthian colonnade

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.

3 4

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.

This multi-disciplinarity

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”

in Padua.


3 Abano Terme, New Town

Spa Gardens.

4 Abano Terme, Villa Savioli,

“Amleto e Donato Sartori”

Mask Museum.

5 Abano Terme, “Amleto

e Donato Sartori”

International Mask


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

first floor.

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

architecture, designed

by one of the most

famous architects and

architecture historians,


Paolo Portoghesi.



1 Abano Terme,

New Town Spa


2 Abano Terme,

S. Lorenzo


3 Abano Terme,

View of the

pedestrian area.

4 Abano Terme,

Via Jappelli.

5 Abano Terme,

Piazza Repubblica.

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

“La Bembiana”.

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,



Abano Terme:

Monument Statue

of Christopher

Columbus, by Paolo

Boldrin (1956)

donated to the town

by Armido Bonato.

Abano Terme.

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

annexed Agostinian

monastery, and other

monks as well as the tomb

of the noblewoman

Maddalena Cardini


Capodivacca (1491).

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.

3 4



Montegrotto Terme.

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

Aponus, “A.A.V.S.L.M.

Aquis Aponi votum

solvit libens merito,”

now displayed

at the Maffeiano

Museum in Verona.

4 5

3 Montegrotto Terme,

Bell tower at the

Oratorio della


4 Montegrotto Terme,

Berta Tower on Mount

Castello, private


5 Montegrotto Terme,

Town hall.

6 Montegrotto Terme,

“Alberi metallici”,

glass sculpture

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,

International Artistic

Glass and Spa Museum.

4 Montegrotto Terme,

Butterfly Arc

and Fairy wood.

Below, Montegrotto

Terme, Butterfly Arc –

Butterfly House.



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

Ceva Pathway”,

departs from outside

the villa. This

is one of the main

hill walks in the

Regional Park of

the Euganean Hills.

Approximately 10

km long, it offers

splendid view of

one of the most

rich and varied

hillside environments,


chestnut, acacia

and oak woods,

vast meadows,



maquis, vineyards,

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

della Madonna.

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.

Montegrotto Terme.

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.


Galzignano Terme.

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

1 5


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,


2 Valsanzibio

di Galzignano

Terme, Villa


Pizzoni Ardemani


Diana’s Portal.

3-4 Valsanzibio

di Galzignano

Terme, Villa


Ardemani, detail

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

and salvation.

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.


Galzignano Terme.

Main events and traditional festivals.

5 Valsanzibio

di Galzignano

Terme, Villa





of the maze.

6 Olive groves

on the

Euganean hills.

7 Galzignano

Terme, view

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.



Battaglia Terme.

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

important hydraulic

creations including

the Arco di Mezzo

(middle arch) and

the Conca di

Navigazione (lock).

Even the toponymy

of Battaglia, once

known as Baptalea,

is tied to the water

and could have originally

meant “the


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,

Catajo Castle.

2 Battaglia Terme,

view of Battaglia


3 Battaglia Terme,

River Nagivation


Below, Battaglia


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

hillside amphitheatre.

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

altarpieces dating

between the 17 th

and 18 th centuries.

Venetian bridge:

also known as the

“scaìni” bridge

(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

Nepomuceno, the

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.

4 5

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

Nagivation Museum


6 Battaglia Terme, view

of Battaglia Terme.

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

mountaineering practice.

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

di Teolo.

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

manuscript restoration,

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

Benedictine monastery.

3 6

Realized with the contribution of

Abano Terme

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)

Montegrotto Terme

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

Battaglia Terme

Via Maggiore, 2

Tel. +39 049 526909 - Fax +39 049 9101328


Seasonal opening


c/o Palazzetto dei Vicari

Tel. +39 049 9925680 - Fax +39 049 9900264


Seasonal opening

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

35137 PADOVA

Tel. +39.049.8767911

Fax +39.049.650794


di Padova

Comune di

Abano Terme

Comune di

Montegrotto Terme

Comune di

Galzignano Terme

Comune di

Battaglia Terme

Parco Regionale

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.



March 2006

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