The way to the sea.
Here, everything seems to be linked or related to water.
Bordered to north and south by two sumptuous princely residences, lying gently between the Hills to the west and meandering canals leading to the sea to the east, Battaglia Terme is a surprising town, totally different from the other towns in the Padua area.
The town stretches along the banks of a wide river, with a footbridge reminiscent of Venice, and houses the only River Navigation Museum in the whole of Italy, as well as being the home to some important hydraulic creations including the Arco di Mezzo (middle arch) and the Conca di Navigazione (lock). Even the toponymy of Battaglia, once known as Baptalea, is tied to the water and could have originally meant “the place of the baths”. Right from the 11th century in fact, the natural spa grotto at S. Elena Hill and the relative bath have characterised and identified this place. From the 13th century on, this toponymy has been mixed with the root of the verb “battere” (to beat), linked to the incessant, rhythmic sound made by the rollers in the Battaglia paper mill, which no longer exists but which was very famous in centuries gone by.
Not to be missed.
Castello del Catajo: stately 16th century fortified residence built on the slopes of Montenovo on the wishes of Pio Enea degli Obizzi, famous Serenissima commander and inventor of the howitzer (siege cannon). The building, which has 350 rooms, lounges decorated with splendid frescoes by G.B. Zelotti, favourite apprentice of Paolo Veronese, corridors, staircases, a vast historical garden, fountains, park with free-roaming deer, is one of the most imposing and complete Patrician villas of the Veneto region, now used to hold prestigious events and congresses. The terrace offers a splendid view over the surrounding hillside amphitheatre.
Villa Selvatico Sartori: beautiful, fairytale residence built at the turn of the 16th century by the Selvatico family on the Sant’Elena hill, also known as “stupa” mountain, where an ancient sweating cave can be found. Surrounded by a large secular park, redesigned by Jappelli in the 19th century, the villa was recently cleverly renovated, conserving its original and unique style, which set a trend for baroque Venetian rules, and inside a series of frescoes representing the mythological stories of the city of Padua, by Luca Ferrari, the decoration of the cupola with the compass rose by Lorenzo Bedogni, and the Glory of the Selvatico family by Alessandro Varotari, known as “il Padovanino” (1588-1648). The villa is often used for theatrical performances, cultural conferences and concerts.
S. Giacomo Church: dating back to 1332, extended to its current shape in 1703. It houses precious altars, an attractive stoup in red Verona marble, many statues and altarpieces dating between the 17th and 18th centuries.
Venetian bridge: also known as the “scaìni” bridge (because of its steps, the only bridge of its kind in the Padua area), it has a brick built Roman arch with a statue of San Giovanni Nepomuceno, the patron saint of the persecuted innocent, invoked against the dangers of the water, the work of a local sculptor dating back to the second half of the 18th century.
Battaglia Canal: this canal crosses the town and is completely navigable, offering interesting tourist potential not only due to the expansion of infrastructure including ports and piers but also for the incomparable natural backdrop offered by the Euganean hills.
Arco di Mezzo: hydraulic artefact located in the town centre on the eastern bank of the Battaglia Canal, to regulate the flow of the water that, with a drop of between four and seven metres, flows into the bed of the Vigenzone Canal. For centuries it supplied energy to all the factories that made Battaglia famous, and is still extremely important today for assuring the optimal management of all the water in Padua.
Conca di Navigazione: an extraordinary, perfectly functioning monument to hydraulic engineering, used to overcome a maximum difference in water level of over seven metres, linking the Battaglia canal, and the Paduan and Euganean territory, with the Rialto-Vigenzone canal, and the sea.
River Navigation Museum: one of its kind in Italy, it celebrates the intense and fervent mercantile activity along the waterways of Battaglia for more than 7 centuries. It contains more than four thousand articles, including river boats and river boat parts, scale models, historical photographs, drawings and documents, navigation maps, objects used by boatmen on board their vessels, specific technical texts, equipment used in boathouses, and tools covering the range of crafts linked to river navigation.
Oratorio di Santa Maria, better known as the “Pigozzo” church (meaning woodpecker, cuckoo), and what remains of an old church dating back to 1736, which was demolished at the end of the 1920s. On 25th March, on the day of a small local festival, “cuchi”, small, brightly coloured terracotta birds that make a sound similar to the cuckoo song, are sold in the church square.
Sentiero Ferro di cavallo (Horseshoe path): runs along the hill tops of Montenuovo, Ceva, Castellone, Spinefrasse and Croce. Thanks to its geological conformation and the natural and environmental peculiarities, this hill top area is considered one of the most important of the Euganean Hills.