The surroundings of Padua include the world-famous thermal resort of Albano Terme and the little town of Este.
Albano Terme, Italy
A rewarding trip can be made southwest through the Euganean Hills (Colli Euganei), a volcanic range rising abruptly out of the plain and reaching a height of 603m/1,990ft in Monte Venta. There are numerous hot springs and a number of popular spas in the hills, among them the world-famous thermal resort of Albano Terme (14m/46ft; pop. 17,000), the Roman Aquae Patavinae or Fons Aponi, where hot radioactive springs (87 °C/189 °F) deposit mud of volcanic origin, which, when pulverised and mixed into a paste with hot water, is known as "fango" and is used in the treatment of gout and rheumatism.
Abbazia di Praglia
4km/2.5mi west of Albano Terme is the Abbazia di Praglia (alt. 21m/69ft), a Benedictine abbey founded in 1080 and restored in the 15th-16th centuries, with a Renaissance church.
Address: Via Abbazia di Praglia 7, Bresseo di Teòlo, I-35037 Teolo, Italy
Opening hours: Closed: Mon
Always closed on: Epiphany (3 Kings' Day ) - Christian (Jan 6), New Year's Day (Jan 1), All Saints' Day - Christian (Nov 1), Christmas Eve - Christian (Dec 24), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25), Easter - Christian, Pentecost Sunday (Whit Sunday) - Christian
Useful tips: Weekdays: 2:30, 3:10, 3:50, 4:30 p.m Sunday: 2:30, 3:00, 3:30, 4:00, 4:30 p.m.
A popular spa with hot springs is Montegrotto Terme (10m/33ft), where the remains of Roman baths and a theater have been brought to light.
6km/4mi south of Montegrotto Terme, on the A 13, is Battaglia Terme, another spa in the surroundings of Padua.
Southwest of Padua, under Monte Calaone (415m/1,370ft), is the little town of Este (15m/50ft; pop. 18,000), the Roman Ateste, which was held from c. 1050 to 1275 by the princely family of Este. The Museo Nazionale Ateastino, in the former Palazzo del Castello or Palazzo Mocenigo (16th century), has rich prehistoric and Roman collections. Adjacent is the 14th century Castello Carrarese, surrounded, particularly on the east side, by massive walls. Also of interest is the 18th century Cathedral of Santa Tecla, which has a picture of the saint by Tiepolo in the choir; it shows St Tecla praying for the town to be saved from the plague (1630).
Atestino National Museum
The collections at Atestino National Museum in Este portray an elaborate history of the area from prehistoric to Roman times.
Address: Via Negri 2, I-35042 Este, Italy
Opening hours: to Dec 31: 9am-8pm; Closed: Mon
Always closed on: New Year's Day (Jan 1), May Day / Labor Day (May 1), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25)
Entrance fee: FREE, Child 17 & under FREE, Senior over 60 FREE
Disability Access: Full facilities for persons with disabilities.
15km/9 mi farther west is Montagnana (16m/53ft; pop. 10,000), with medieval town walls and 24 battlemented towers, best seen from the ring road which makes a circuit of the town. Outside the Porta Padova, on the east side of the town, is the Villa Pisani (by Palladio, 1560). In the town center are the Gothic Romanesque cathedral (15th century) and the Palazzo Pretorio (16th century), now the Town Hall.
Arqua Petrarca, Italy
About 8km/5mi northeast of Montagnana is the medieval village of Arquà Petrarca (80m/264ft) where Francesco Petrarca (Petrarch) (1304-74) died. His tomb (1380) and the 14th century house in which he lived are open to the public.
Padua to Venice (30km,19 miles)
There is a very attractive excursion from Padua along the canalised River Brenta (boat services in summer). The road first reaches Stra (8m/26ft), a favorite resort of the Venetians in summer. At the far end of the village, in a park to the left of the road between the Brenta canal and its tributary the Veraro, stands the 18th century Villa Pisani or Villa Nazionale. Composed of five wings grouped around two inner courtyards, there are over 100 rooms with beautiful Empire furniture, paintings, wall and ceiling paintings, with a splendid ballroom containing a large ceiling painting by Tiepolo (1762). The road then continues east alongside the navigable Brenta canal (Naviglio di Brenta), past a series of country houses and villas surrounded by parks.
Villa Widmann-Foscari-Rezzonico, Mira
Beyond Stra, at the straggling village of Mira (6m/20ft), the road crosses a broad lateral canal, the Taglio Nuovissimo di Brenta, and in another 15km/9mi reaches the Piazzale Roma in Venice.Villa Widmann-Foscari-Rezzonico is worth a visit when passing through Mira.
Map of Padua Attractions