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Padua, culture in the nature

Veneto is a region of art mixed with nature and culture: an invaluable treasure that features Venice and Verona as its symbols. But Veneto isn’t “only” Venice, Verona or Lake Garda that are always in the foreground but other amazing destinations as well that deserve to be seen, discovered and slowly praised. Padua, for instance: its vocation is giving its best as the crossroads of culture. And it is successful at doing that, thanks to its own traditions and famous monuments and institutions starting with its University that dates back to the XIIIth century where Galileo Galilei taught between the end of the XVth century and the beginning of the XVIth -, the Chapel of Scrovegni – that keeps one of the greatest works by Giotto -, S. Antonio cathedral, the destination for thousands of pilgrims each year and the Botanic Garden that dates back to the XVIth century and the Garden of Biodiversities and, why not, even the Treves De’ Bonfili’s Park as well.

And what can we say about Prato della Valle? It is the most beautiful square of the town, among the biggest squares of Italy and even of Europe, 88.000 charming square metres. It is the unforgettable witness of an amazing cultural and economic life of this ancient bishop’s seat whose historical centre is overlooked by the Palazzo della Ragione – dating back to 1218 –and the urban area is softened by the Bacchiglione river, connected to the Brenta’s coastline and its amazing historical villas. It is a perfect hydraulic work that offers a lot of emotions to be experienced on board of the ships along the water routes surrounded by the ancient walls – around ten kilometres -, the Hydraulic Basin of Contarine and the Portello Harbour. The area that surrounds Padua has a rich artistic heritage, from the Euganei Hills – famous wines to the baths, from the monasteries built by the monastic orders to the walled towns like Monselice, Este, Montagnana and Cittadella. Abano Terme is surrounded by the Euganei Hills, ancient sources of hot water that still come out of the soil. From the prehistoric worship of Aponus to the present fame, Abano Terme has been a compelling attraction for the water lovers. It charmed Francesco Petrarca, Ugo Foscolo, George Byron and Percy Shelley.

The whole park of the Euganei Hills and its green and lush nature have always attracted the most famous writers and poets. Its history is important as well, it is spread with retreats, castles, old villages and abbeys. Montegrotto Terme is complementary to Abano Terme, it is famous for its thermal water as well as Arquà Petrarca, one of the most popular places in the XIVth century because of the psycho-physical health benefits that come from it. The peculiar name, Arquà, was changed into Arquà Petrarca in 1868 as a tribute to the Poet who chose this place to spend the last years of his life. The medieval village turns around piazza Roma where a number of lavish buildings dating back tot the XVth century look out and where the church of Saint Mary is located, it contains a coffer of red marble from Verona, built in 1370 to keep the remains of Francesco Petrarca.

Luciana Francesca Rebonato

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