On Saturday the 24th and Sunday the 25th of March the National Trust of Italy (FAI) will open many cultural sites that are normally closed to the public. During the so called “FAI Spring Days”, the beauty of the Italian culture and landscape will take center stage. In Padua and its surroundings, nine sites will be opened specifically for the event, which are listed below:
• Saint Lorenzo Bridge – Padova
• Cavalli Palace and the Museum of Geology and Paleontology – Padova
• Monastery of San Giovanni di Verdara – Padova
• Papadopoli Dolfin-Boldù Palace – Padova
• Villa Moro Malpiero, Rigoni Savioli – Abano Terme
• Villa Roberto Bassi Rathgeb – Abano Terme
• Park of Villa Bembiana – Abano Terme
• Villa Bembo Monzino, called “La Bembiana” – Teolo
• Villa dei Vescovi – Luvigliano di Torreglia
As you can see, there is quite an array of choices, so we’ve suggested some highlights that shouldn’t be missed.
There is one place hidden away from the busy city life which few people know, where you can see a precious trace of the ancient fluvial city: Saint Lorenzo Bridge. Located between Antenore square and Canton del Gallo, it is the best preserved bridge of ancient Roman Padua, which dates back to 30-40 b.C.. Its name hails from the adjacent church of Saint Lorenzo, deconsecrated in 1809 by Napoleon’s will and demolished in 1937. The only remains we can still admire is a niche in front of the building of the prefecture which hosts the so-called Tomb of Antenore, the legendary Trojan hero who founded the city of Padua. Keeping this monument as a reference point, you can access the bridge via a nearby underground passage.
Saint Lorenzo Bridge wasn’t completely discovered until 1938 thanks to the restoration of Bo’ Palace, the seat of the university. It was buried again in 1959 due to the construction of the street called “Riviera Tito Livio” and only in 2012, did it return to light after a long redevelopment project. Today the three-arched bridge is mostly absorbed by the surrounding buildings, but don’t miss the opportunity to visit this unique trace of Padua history.
We all know that spring time also means strolling and taking in the fresh air.
Moving a bit from the centre of Padua, you will find the Euganean Hills where you’ll be able to fulfill your desire for both nature and culture by visiting some enchanting villas. Above all, near Abano Terme, Villa Bembiana rises up on the slopes of Mount Rosso. It will be open this weekend for the FAI Spring Days. Its name after Pietro Bembo, the eminent Italian scholar and poet, who may have lived here.
Villa Bembo-Monzino, called “La Bembiana”, is a seventeenth-century villa which had an important role during the First World War. Take the time to search for the commemorative plaque explaining its role in 1918. It was the siège of the High Command’s Press Office and it was here that the “Bulletin of Victory” was written, announcing the triumph of Italy against Austria.
After diving into Italian history, you can relax in the vast park in front of the villa or follow the natural path through Mount Rosso: an easy 90’ min. hike suitable for everyone.
Photo Copyrights: fondoambiente.it, euganeamente.it, magicoveneto.it
Article by: K. Toniolo