By virtue of its proximity to the Regional Park of the Euganean Hills, with its rich wildlife, vast naturalistic proposal that includes hiking, gastronomy and art, Este represents a unique opportunity for an experience that combines nature, culture and good living.
Este is located on the southern slopes of the Euganean Hills, a naturalistic area whose peculiar hydrogeological structure of volcanic origin has made possible the formation of an extraordinary botanical and faunistic biodiversity.
A natural heritage that stretches over 18,000 hectares and that since 1989 has been safeguarded by the decision to establish the first Regional Park in Veneto.
The Park encompasses 15 Municipalities and extends for 18,694 hectares. The highest hills of the Po Valley are located here, sharply isolated and rising south-west of Padua (the maximum elevation, Monte Venda, has an altitude of 601 m). The particular location and volcanic origin, the various climatic horizons, the active presence of mankind since the most remote times, make this Park unique for its natural, landscape, environmental, cultural and artistic wealth. The area of the Park is covered by a dense network of trails, ideal for walks, trekking and cycling in nature.
The area of the Park is covered by a dense network of trails that allow walks and excursions to suit all tastes and for every type of walker: families, trekking fanatics, nature lovers in general. From historical-naturalistic trails to those of religious inspiration, from the most mountainous areas to more relaxed ones that let you admire villas and landscapes: the Park is an infinite surprise for the eyes and a continuous pleasure for the body, thanks to the healthiness of the environment and the amenities of the trails.
This trail, enchanting and very enjoyable, much-loved by the locals, constitutes the ideal link joining the literary sites included in the “Literary Park of the Estense Hills”: from the Castle of the Troubadours who sang to Beatrice, to the Arch of Falconetto of Cornaro; from the Kunkler Villa, where Shelley had written some of his most important works, until Calaone, with a possible deviation at the former Convent of Salarola. Along the path you will see some of Este’s most interesting architectural monuments, such as the villa Vigna Contarena and the Palace of the Prince; all of it surrounded by extremely important naturalistic beauty, including the historic pine forest and the autochthonous flora. To follow the trail you can start from Via dei Cappuccini and continue beyond the Arch of Falconetto, or follow the castle walls from the side of the road for Calaone.
Inside the Park there are numerous parking areas equipped for public use. Some of them (only those in which there is the symbol of the brazier) allow you to light fires for picnics, using the specific barbecues already available on site.
Discover all the equipped areas:
The Oasis of the Restara, once the seat of an ancient canal (Restara), enriched by the vegetation planted there in the 1990s, has been restored and has become with the passing of time a veritable oasis just steps from the city centre. Thanks to the intervention of the GAL Bassa Padovana, it has been possible to carry out the environmental renovation of the entire area, offering the possibility of following a circuit of seven kilometres thanks to a gangway that, crossing the Restara canal, connects the two pre-existing bike trails.
After the entrance to the Oasis you can continue along a circuit of seven kilometres that, at the middle point, deviates for Pra’ d’Este. To complete the circuit you can use the gangway in iron that allows you to cross the canal to return to the rest area.
The path is equipped with benches, information boards and litter baskets and the course of water is protected by wooden fences. The Oasis of Restara is today a fully accessible green area, but also a bike connection between the historical centre and the outskirts and between the ‘Ring of the Euganean Hills’ and the ‘Tour of the Walled Cities’.
The entire Euganean Hills system, which numbers a hundred individual hills, today is comprised within the Regional Park of the Euganean Hills. This itinerary, a favourite of bicycle enthusiasts, develops in a ring around the perimeter of the Park and has a wealth of tourist destinations that are disseminated through a route of 63 kilometres. The ring embraces the municipalities of Padua, Este, Abano and Montegrotto Terme and allows you to admire countless artistic treasures, enchanting landscapes and atmospheres of bygone times.
The profound cultural roots of Este reverberate in the strong attraction that this city has always exerted on poets, writers and intellectuals. From the troubadours whose songs were heard at the court of Azzo VI d’Este in the 1200s, to the artists and intellectuals who gathered at the estate of the nobleman of refined culture, Alvise Cornaro, among them the playwright Ruzante, to the great Romantic period writers Lord Byron and Shelley who were guests at Villa Kunkler in the 1800s, to the numerous English painters and writers, among them Bruce Chatwin, who in the mid 1900s enlivened the halls of Villa Albrizzi, Este conserves infinite traces of an intense cultural life.
The “Literary Park® Francesco Petrarca e dei Colli Euganei” was officially established in 2012: in a succession of environmental oases, ancient abbeys, castles, villas, country retreats and other excellent stops such as the home of Francesco Petrarca (1304-1374) in Arquà, final, beloved, residence of the poet, the thermal spas already exalted by Claudiano in the 1300s and the Villa dei Vescovi admired by Dino Buzzati, the visitor can make an experience in which literature merges with colours, sensations and unique fragrances.
The Euganean Hills show up with a strong volcanic identity at first glance: pinnacles of trachyte lie on strong, calcareous basis.
Once you are in the territory, what is striking is the multifarious geometries hills' embrace and the elegant landscape, originated by humans and nature.
Traces of emotional beauty come from the past civilizations: archeological sites, villas, walled towns, artworks, true masterpieces.
At the foot of the Euganean Hills, water and scientifically effective mud go to the surface. Thus, in the communes of Abano, Montegrotto, Battaglia, Galzignano e Teolo they enabled the establishment of the Europe's largest thermal station. From the Paleovenetians, whose cradle is Este, to our own day water and mud attract people looking for health and lifestyle.
Our territory offers the chance of regenerating the body with the thermae and refreshes the mind through arts and the natural environement. That's why holidays here are REVITALIZING!
Waters, mud and euganean country products, first and foremost wine and oil, share the same natural and biological nature: our collective treasure that makes our territory the first preventive health care area in Europe.