Abano Terme. Orchards, parks and gardens : easy bike ride.

This easy bike ride start in the heart of the spa town and forms a ring around itself, in this way allowing admire the elements of rural scenery : from the agrarian arrangements to traditional cultivations, from the houses of hired hands to the gentlemanly Veneto villas. The route follows cycle paths, secondary roads and countryside lanes.


In the Abano Terme we leave from the Piazza della Repubblica and skirt round Villa Piave, a rare and beautiful example of Liberty architecture with an early 1900s garden. This asymmetric building with exuberant plasterwork is surrounded by thivk vegetation composed of evergreen and exotic plants.
Travelling along Via Mazzini one reaches the entrance to Villa Bassi Rathgeb, home of the Civic Museum : the internal rooms host cultural exhibitions and demonstrations while the park is the site of an important horse-riding competition.
Turning into Via Appia Monterosso one reaches the Duomo with a Romanesque bell-tower named after San Lorenzo Martire.
A few hundred metres further on one can admire the sixteenth century Villa Malipiero Rigoni with its attached oratory and magnificient pigeon loft.
Resuming the route we next reach the Villa Trevisan-Savioli, now the seat of the Sartori Mask Museum.



Opposite us we find a beautiful farmhouse from the end of the 1700s with the habitable part juxtaposed with a porticoed stall.
I invite you to carefully observe the building details : the wooden shutters and the faceted chimneypot.
They are examples of traditional Veneto architecture that are becoming rare. The suggestive secondary roads cross cornersof the countryside enclosed by bushes or more rarely by rows of trees and vines as was used in the typical Paduan agrarian system, which used to present the profile of the fields as a curvature of a "mule's back". Soon one returns to the spa centre and crosses it until stopping in front of the entrance gateway to the park situated on the hill of Montirone.
This high ground of travertine (clear and porous rock) used as a public garden is different from the other Euganean hills for its special geological genesis ; it is in fact the only one to have originated from the calcareous sediment produced by the abundant thermal springs that gushed out freely until the middle of the last century. One starts pedalling again on the cycle path in the direction of Monteortone to newly surround oneself in the agrarian landscape of Abano, here enriched by the variety of shapes of the Colli Euganei. Set apart from all the hilly group, the Ortone and Rosso mounts are covered by a wild woodland mantle that contrast with the gentleness of the surrounding countryside.
Having reached the hamlet of Monterosso it is possible to contemplate a relaxing stop in the public park of Villa Monzino, called the Bembiana.
Taking up the bicycle again one proceeds surrounded by the silence of the countryside to the hamlet of Feriole where we find the Villa Foscolo that takes its name from the famous writer that composed here his first masterpiece "the last letters of Jacopo Ortis". Of a special interest there is also the nearby complex of Milan, a rare example of a rural courtyard built in neoclassical style.
At the side of the votive niche dedicated to Saint Anthony one turns to the right into Via Pezzolo at the end of wich there is a convenient cycle path that takes us to Villa Bassi Rathgeb.


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