ITALY: NEXT HEALTHY DESTINATION? ABANO TERME: BEST SPA, BEST HOTELS.

Abano Terme is a spa resort in the Veneto region of north-east Italy, close to Padua, on the eastern slope of the Colli Euganei; it is 10 kilometres (6 mi) southwest by rail from Padua. The town’s hot springs and mud baths are an important economic resource.[3] The waters have a temperature of about 80 °C (176 °F).
Abano  is located on a plain close to a range of low green hills, the Colli Euganei (Euganean Hills). The ‘Terme’ part of the name means ‘spa’ – previously the town was also known as Abano Bagni, which means much the same. Abano is pronounced with the stress on the first syllable; both ‘e’s of Terme are pronounced.
A sign at the entrance to Abano Terme greets visitors: ‘Welcome. Please avoid disturbing noises’. This sums up the atmosphere of the leafy town. Abano is dedicated to rest and relaxation, and does its best to avoid anything which might disturb the languid pottering of its visitors.
The heart of town is a peaceful modern pedestrian zone dotted with shops and cafes, sculptures and plenty of water features to show off the town’s great asset (you may be disappointed if you dip your hand in to test the temperature, though). In this amiable area you’ll find the elegant Grand Hotel Orologio – one of Abano’s few interesting historical buildings, but sadly closed-up when we visited. Opposite is another hotel with historic significance, the Hotel Trieste & Vittoria, which served as headquarters for the Italian military command in 1918.
A short walk along Viale delle Terme is the historic centre of town. Abano’s cathedral, the Duomo di San Lorenzo, was originally founded in the tenth century, and it still retains its fourteenth-century belltower. Alongside is a rather odd modern development (from the 1990s though already tired-looking) of housing and shops, with a giant sundial in the centre. The rest of town is fairly uniform and featureless; mostly composed of avenues lined with hotels.
One interesting sight is the little hilly park of Montirone. The history of this area goes back to the times of those inveterate bathers, the Romans. Later, in the nineteenth century, the park was a showplace for the spa waters. It still has a grand colonnaded entrance (see our photo top right) but the waters have long dried up and the park is rather forlorn. The town’s art gallery, the Pinacoteca, lies just inside the colonnades. It consists of a small collection of mildly interesting works, with free admission.


Many guests are content to enjoy spa sessions and absorb the therapeutic qualities of a lazy afternoon. A short wander through the pedestrian heart of town passes shopfronts and cafes for whiling away more time. In the evenings there are opportunities for old-style dancing. Children may enjoy the little ‘train’ which runs along the road between Abano and its neighbour Montegrotto Terme.
Thermal springs and treatments
The baths were known to the Romans as Aponi fons or Aquae Patavinae. A description of them is given in a letter to Theodoric, the king of the Ostrogoths, from Cassiodorus. Some remains of the ancient baths have been discovered (S. Mandruzzato, Trattato dei Bagni d’Abano, Padua, 1789). An oracle of Geryon lay near, and the so-called sortes Praenestinae (C.I.L. i., Berlin, 1863; 1438–1454), small bronze cylinders inscribed, and used as oracles, were perhaps found here in the 16th century.[3]
The baths were destroyed by the Lombards in the 6th century, but they were rebuilt and enlarged when Abano became an autonomous comune in the 12th century and, again, in the late 14th century. The city was under the Republic of Venice from 1405 to 1797.
Hotels in Abano Terme offer a range of spa and mud treatments, with their own thermal pools. It’s their main attraction for visitors, so when you’re choosing a hotel it’s worth comparing what facilities and treatments they offer, and reading the reviews of past guests. You may pay extra to use the hotels’ facilities.
Abano Terme isn’t really a busy sightseeing town; it’s more a place to wander, to chat, to stop for a drink and watch other holidaymakers stroll by. A good place to start is the town’s central tourist information office, which stocks town plans and information about the surrounding area.See hotels and SPA treatments here
https://www.abano.it/en/

Discovering the wines of the Euganean Hills, Italy

Are you a wine lover? Do you like to discover new tastes while sipping a nice glass of white or red? Do you enjoy to end up a dinner with a sweet touch of dessert wine? Or …do you indulge meditation?
Here several good reasons to visit the Euganean Hills, to get acquainted with the local wines, starting from the typical Fior d’Arancio, a very golden Moscato to a variety of whites with the typical straw-yellow color and jasmine scent, The hills produce Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon reds, the Chardonnay, , the Merlot, to my fav, the sparkling Serprino.
I forgot… most importantly, are you ready to discover a hidden gem in Italy? Breathtaking panoramas, art, culture and good food?

Already excited?
Well, hold your glass (still empty…) and let’s start your journey with some tips…
Where to stay, where to eat, what to visit.

Where to stay
Abano Ritz Hotel
Abano Terme is famous worldwide as the “Thermal Baths of Venice”, thanks to the extraordinary curative qualities of the thermal water and the bio-thermal clay or aged mud: a true medicine without side effects. At AbanoRitz boasts two swimming pools, the SPA, wellness rituals and culinary experiences at our 3 restaurants; immersed in a territory that offers a wealth of culture and folklore, as well as golfing and other sports.

 

 

 

 

Where to eat
Antica Trattoria Taparo in Torreglia, since 1921.
Not to be missed the ‘baccalà itinerary’ stockfish cooked in 3 different ways. 

 

 

 

 

 

Al Sasso in Teolo, celebrated for his one and only fried chicken, which (unfortunately ) I could not try… Instead I had an elaborate pasta dish, tagliolini with morchella mushrooms and snails.

 

 

 
What  to visit
Villa Barberigo, Valsanzibio. A sumptuous residence dated 1600, so spectacular that has been renamed the little Versailles. Get lost in the amazing labyrinth garden.

 

Cini Castle, Sanctuary of the Seven Churches and Villa Duodo in Monselice
At the foot of the Colle della Rocca there rises an imposing architectural complex called Castello Cini, which incorporates several diverse types of building.

From the XI to the XVI centuries the castle has changed from a luxurious residence, to defensive tower to become a Venetian villa. The Council Hall with frescoes and wooden stalls on the walls,

the room Jacopino with bevelled fireplace and kitchen with a rich collection of tools in the medieval and Renaissance Romanesque House;

the Armory, a precious room with frescos walls and the Carrara motif of red and white checkerboard which contains one of the most important collections of arms and armours in Italy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Catajo Castle

Photo Enrico Paggiaro
Located in Battaglia Terme, close to Padua, with 360 rooms, decorated by the amazing GianBattista Zenotti’s frescos, this castle  is considered among the most unusual of the Villas in Veneto, it has served as a mansion, ducal palace and imperial residence. conceived in 1570 by the wealthy Obizzi family as
theatre to receive and amuse their guest.

Glamorous balls, sea battle scenes, huge theatrical productions…in a way hey were one of the greatest party planners of all ages.

                                                                                                         Photo Art New Media

Where to stop
Arquà Petrarca one of the most beautiful Italian burg, included on the prestigious list of Parchi Letterari Italiani (Italian Literary Parks), those locations that where celebrated in the italian and international literature by famous authors. The quiet and enchanting beauty of the Euganean Hills has been an iinspiration for writers, poets and artists,  Bruce Chatwin, Shelley, Byron, and Foscolo, narrates theses inspiring places that vibrate of beauty, passion, and poetry. Unique colors, flavors and scents bring to the attention of environmental oases, ancient abbeys, castles, villas, country retreats and other excellent stages. Visit the village where the iconic poet Francesco Petrarca  Francesco Petrarca (1304-1374) lived and the house that hosted his final days.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Literary Park take you to a journey through an itinerary identified by 11 plaques that portray sentences from different authors who immortalized the landscape and its heritage.

For more info
parco petrarca e dei colli euganei
c.baldin@confpd.it

 

Let’s…finally toast!
On the panoramic outdoor of the Villa Beatrice, a former Convent founded in12th century, on the top of the hill, we tried the Quota 101 wines, I loved the Malterreno an authentic expression of the Euganei  territory.  Authentic and true. The grapes are hand-picked in September, when the sun has made them nice and ripe. Warm yellow color, scent of Summer, in the mouth it is velvety and well-structured.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next stop at Paolo Brunello’s Cantina Vignale di Cecilia,  located in Baone.

My fav was the white Val di Spie, an experimental trip in the world of sparkling wine, blinks its eye to the traditional natural fermentation in the bottle, while maintaining its natural yeasts, followed by the first born at Vignale, the red Passacaglia made with Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Barbera boasting a long maceration as well as the handmade mixing of fermenting grapes.

 

In the evening I met with lovely Elisa Dilavanzo, owner of Maeli Colli Euganei featuring the yellow muscat
from these amazing volcanic hills, where Elisa decided to “work towards the production of a wine that is rich in emotion whilst at the same time a worthy ambassador for this prestigious territory”.
Sparklyn Moscato Giallo IGT
Muscat 85% Chardonnay 15% Destemming and soft pressing, maceration on the skins for three days, pressing, fermentation on natural yeasts without added sulphites. The wine is bottled on its own yeasts with in-the-bottle secondary fermentation using the original must following the time-honoured method.

 

 

 

 

Grand finale with a wide varIety of Zanovello wines, hosted by Mr. Franco Zanovello, President of La Strada del Vino and owner of Cà Lustra wines. I ended my journey with the iconic Passito, born in the year 1200. Only in the Euganean Hills that the 100% Fiori d’Arancio muscat grapes keep that strong Mediterranean character, cheerful and vigorous.
Intense aromas, thick and colorful skin, crunchy pulp,are the hallmarks of this archaic variety that likes bright and dry sites. It’s a farmer’s tradition to harvest the ripest grapes and let them dry on racks in the old barns with the dual aim of producing a strong sweet wine and rustic cakes for the spring-winter festivals. Its intensity and complexity allow it to enter the category of “meditation wine.”

Believe me, no many other places on earth would enrich a meditation time
like being on the top of one of the volcanic Euganean Hills,
specially after sipping a glass of a delicious volcanic wine…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monselice, the Cini Castle,

Villa Duomo and the Seven Churches street

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dinner at Al Sasso in Teolo

Sunday Another castle , in Lispida , hosting the Volcanic Wines event

 

Sunday

Visit Castello Catajo, monumental palazzo hosting the Obizzi family.

Affrescos and room, outodoor , garden