Exploring Colli Euganei: Monselice, Arquà and Teolo
The Colli Euganei and their unmistakable conical shapes (the result of old volcanic phenomena) are, undoubtedly, the most beautiful and beloved natural areas in the entire region of Veneto, Italy.
Coming from a land of sea and sun, when I moved to Veneto I did not understand why everyone was talking about these hills and their unparalleled beauty. However, since Veneto is mostly flat, the hilly landscape of Colli Euganei represents a unique attraction. So beloved it is that it was the first Regional Park to have been established in Veneto in 1989.
On this trip, I visited 3 towns, out of 15 that can be found here, and these were: Monselice, Arquà Petrarca and Teolo. An ideal destination for those who love nature and art, and also the final stop for many tours that show visitors the charms of the nearby mountains.
Other towns that can be found in Colli Euganei are: Abano Terme, Arquà Petrarca, Baone, Battaglia Terme, Cervarese Santa Croce, Cinto Euganeo, Este, Galzignano Terme, Lozzo Atestino, Monselice, Montegrotto Terme, Rovolon, Teolo, Torreglia, Vo’ Euganeo.
From a distance, Monselice is – without any doubt – the most recognizable town in the entire Colli Euganei. Perched atop a mountain, its fortress dominates the landscape. A memorable welcome to visitors coming along the long road stretching before the town.
Walking through the streets of Monselice immediately transports the visitor back to medieval times, with its spellbinding atmosphere, which has remained intact over time. Monselice was of one the most important walled towns in Colli Euganei and the magnificent buildings guarded by these walls, remind us once again of the town’s ancient charms.
Villa Pisani (a wonderful 16th-century residence), the Civic Tower, the Loggia, the Archaeological Museum, the Longobard Antiquarium and, of course, this town’s symbol, the Castle of Monselice are not to be missed.
The Castle of Monselice is a must-stop. It is open all year round and staffed with skilled tour guides who’ll lead you through the inner walls of the fortress and show you the splendid external ornaments. For any additional information, I suggest you visit their website or call them directly +39042972931.
Arquà Petrarca is known as one of the most beautiful villages in both the Veneto region and Italy at large.
Have you read anything by the 14th-century Italian poet Francesco Petrarca? If the answer is yes, then you’ll have no problems imagining how it must feel to walk through this town’s streets. The famed poet lived here towards the end of his life and it is in his honor that the town got his name.
The house where he lived is now open to the public.
Where is the house museum located? In via Valleselle, 4.
What are the opening times? March to October, daily from 9 am until 12.30 pm and from 3 pm until 7 pm. November to February, daily from 9 am until 12.30 pm and from 2.30 pm until 5.30 pm. Visits are allowed up to 30 minutes before closing. Closed on Mondays, Christmas day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day and May 1st.
How much does it cost? The standard ticket is €4, concessions €2.
How do I book? Call +390429718294 or send an email to [email protected].
As soon as you arrive in Arquà, there is a large parking lot (pictured here) where you can leave your car (€5/day). You can find clean toilets here too.
And it is exactly from this parking lot that in the month of October (on the first and second Sunday of the month) that the famous Giuggiola festival begins.
No, we are not talking about jujube candies but of a local fruit instead. Brown, the size of an olive, with a white pulp and a sour taste that is very reminiscent of a date, with some apple notes too. This fruit is rich in Vitamin C and famous for its anti-inflammatory properties.
Going to the festival, which sees thousands of visitors in attendance every year, it truly is an unforgettable experience. The fall foliage adds charm to this already beautiful town and all the town’s streets and alleys host tens of market stalls, many selling handicraft items.
Those who – like me – love the art of recycling, as well as the use of common materials for the creation of real furniture, will thoroughly enjoy visiting Arquà during the festival.
Where to park? There are two large parking lots, one in via Fontana, 3 and the other in via Ventolone, 14. I recommend the first one (it’s the same one pictured above) because of the stunning view you get to enjoy as you walk towards the town.
Where to eat? Arquà Petrarca offers plenty of restaurants where to taste local delicacies from Colli Euganei and from the broader Veneto region. But if you love – like me – to immerse yourself fully in the atmosphere of the festival, I suggest street food.
I was there for two years in a row and, in the central square of the town, there was always a large stand that prepared sandwiches with either speck, prosciutto or roast pork. You can probably imagine why I remember it so well!
A small medieval village beneath Monte della Madonna, Teolo offers striking views and many hiking trails worthy of note.
Whether you prefer nature or art, I suggest you take a look at their website.
My favorite thing to do when I visit Teolo is to walk through the town’s picturesque streets then reach the “Monte della Madonna” mountain. Many like to walk the entire way but I don’t recommend it unless you’re fit enough. The route is about 2 km long, very steep and along a busy road.
The view at the top of the mountain is stunning. You can see the hills and the plains, the lush vegetation and the streets that almost seem long snakes slithering amongst the trees.
Here you’ll find plenty of outdoor areas for adults to relax and for children to play, though it gets chilly in winter so they’re best enjoyed in summer. A hiking trail leads you the Madonna’s chapel, which is tiny but cozy.
Those who like to taste the typical food of the area they’re visiting will find many trattorias in Teolo, including one that’s at the top of the mountain. Polenta, sausage and mushrooms for everyone! 🙂
WHERE TO STAY?
I recommend a peaceful sanctuary, just a couple of kilometers from Colli Euganei and conveniently located to reach all the attractions in the area. The B&B Verde Cielo in Tribano (Padua) is comfortable and managed by the owner Silvia, who’s always on hand, ready to help her guests. Read the article: Where to stay in Colli Euganei? B&B Verde Cielo
I’ll tell you a secret: breakfasts here are absolutely delicious!