Stage 12 | 16 October 2020 | 75.3 km
Rovigo is an Italian town with about 51,000 citizens. The first reliable historical document about the town is dated 24 April 838, where Rovigo is defined in Latin as villa que nuncupatur Rodigo, or “village called Rodigo”. As a land between two rivers, Adige and Po, it is home to the Grandi Fiumi Museum. Settled in a former Olivetan monastery, the museum is characterized by an innovative exhibition itinerary. Home to prestigious squares and precious palaces, the city boasts the Teatro Sociale (Social Theatre), built between 1817 and 1819 and included in the limited number of Italian “traditional opera houses”.
Rovigo’s countryside, known as Polesine, is a lush land with a dense network of canals and rivers, capable of producing a high range of fruits, vegetables and mussels, well-known in Italy and abroad as a delicacy.
Among the symbols of the town are the temple called “La Rotonda”, a great example of 17th century Venetian art, and the two Towers, that represent the rest of a medieval castle. The soul of Rovigo can be appreciated by walking through Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II, overlooked by marvelous historical buildings like Palazzo Roverella, Palazzo Roncale, Loggia dei Nodari (home of the Town Hall) and Accademia dei Concordi, the city’s main cultural institution.
Monselice is a fortified town of ancient origin, surrounded by the enchanting scenery of the Euganean Hills. Located amid the green of the Po Valley a few kilometers south of Padua, it is nestled between two hills, Monte Ricco and Colle della Rocca. In its historic center it still retains the typical atmosphere of the past. The fortress of Frederick II, a mighty thirteenth-century fortress that dominates the Rocca (keep) Hill, has always been the historical symbol of the city which is in fact also called ‘La Città della Rocca’ (The town of the keep). One of the most suggestive places of the town is the Via del Santuario, along which stand beautiful monuments, such as the ancient medieval Castle and the Jubilee Sanctuary of the Seven Churches from where a panoramic path leads to the top of the hill.
The typical cuisine of Monselice is based on the great variety of seasonal products that grow on the Euganean Hills and combines the high quality of the local ingredients with a traditional genuine and simple cuisine. Here nature offers a great variety of wild herbs with cheerful names: Carletti, Bruscandoli (wild hops), Pissacani (dandelions), Rampussoi (rampion bellflower). Typical products include peas, the basic ingredient of the famous “risi e bisi” (rice and peas), asparagus and radicchio, a symbol of the Veneto region.
Specialties include bigoli al torchio, gnocchi al ragù, omelettes with wild herbs, musso in tocio with polenta (stewed donkey with white polenta). Among the cold cuts stand out the sopressa euganea and the Prosciutto Veneto Berico Euganeo DOP Ham, a fine artisan specialty with fragrant notes. The Berico Euganeo DOP Olive Oil, a fine artisan specialty with fragrant fragrances, accompanies all specialties.
Another strong point of the area is the production of wines: there are great elegant and complex red wines such as Cabernet, Merlot, Colli Euganei Rosso and white wines, Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco, Serprino, Moscato and the Fior d’Arancio.
A Monselice curiosity is the big amount of capers that grow spontaneously along the path of the Seven Churches.
The visit of Monselice starts from Piazza Mazzini, in the heart of the town, which is surrounded by interesting monuments such as the San Paolo Museum complex, the Palazzo della Loggetta and the Civic Tower, also known as the Clock Tower.
From here starts the via del Santuario street, which winding along the slopes of the Rocca Hill, allows you to admire the main town monuments.
The magnificent Castle, an early medieval fortress, renovated and enlarged between the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries, is fully furnished and boasts one of the best-stocked armories in Italy. Villa Nani with the scenic staircase. The ancient Pieve di Santa Giustina, one of the oldest religious buildings in town. Beyond the Porta Romana or Porta Santa is the Sanctuary of the Seven Churches, composed of small chapels named after the seven major Roman basilicas. The arrival point of the Via Sacra is the oratory of Saint George, the seventh and last church. The climb ends in the elegant Villa Duodo completed by the scenic exedra of San Francesco. Do not miss a visit to Villa Pisani, Villa Emo and Lispida Castle.