Teolo lies in a strategic position, deep in the green hills, and it is the perfect place for sports activities and to enjoy beautiful places like the Benedictine Abbey of Praglia or the Sanctuary of Our Lady Mountain.
Lying among the most beautiful of the hills, Teolo has very ancient roots, a rich history and an important historical, artistic and naturalist heritage. Tradition has it that it was the birthplace of the great Latin historian Titus Livius. The ancient Titulo (Latin for boundary) lies in a strategic position between the lands of Padua and Este, the two most important Paleovenetian centres. A boundary stone dated 141 BC found near the church of S. Giustina di Teolo would confirm the existence of this border area, which was already inhabited in pre-Roman times. In the medieval Teolo was one of the largest towns in the Padua area, with a podestà tenure in the Medieval Commune and Carrarese eras, and later a Vicariate of the Republic of Venice with administrative powers over a very large territory. Firstly the Napoleonic reorganisation and later that of the Austrians decreased the administrative importance of Teolo. Today it is one of the most attractive areas of the Euganean hills, and a privileged destination for tourists and day trippers from Padua.
Not to be missed.
S. Giustina church: mentioned in a papal decree dated 1297, the old church of S. Giustina was built between 1290 and 1310, while the bell tower was built in 1400. In the mid 19th century the church was extended, with the addition of side chapels and the baptistery, while the beautiful cuspidate bell tower we can still admire today is the original one. Inside, liberty frescoes by Giacomo Manzoni from 1912, and the great altar is the work of Domenico Campagnola (16th century).
Palazzetto dei Vicari: built in the 14th century but extended in the 16th century to house the vicars and noble Paduans appointed by the Serenissima during Venetian domination to administrative and military functions, today the building is home to the Contemporary Art Museum dedicated to Dino Formaggio, internationally renowned philosopher and art critic.
Rocca Pendice: this is one of the most original rock formations in the hills. It is a wall of volcanic rock, a trachyte seam 130 metres high, frequently used for mountaineering practice. And on the rock summit, half hidden by thick vegetation, are the remains of the most resistant castle of all the Euganean hills. This fort, the only one of all the hilltop castles, was never taken in battle, and nature alone was able to drive it into ruin. To reach the castle remains, also famous for the legend of Speronella, the shortest path starts at the 15th century farms at Schivanoia, or follow the “Altavia n. 1 dei Colli Euganei” path starting near Treponti di Teolo.
S. Maria di Praglia Abbey: founded in the 11th century, in the medieval and renaissance period this was the stronghold of the Benedictine agricultural community of S. Giustina di Padova, founded in 1448, following which the abbey was extended and restored with the construction of an elegant church following the designs of Tullio Lombardo, and the reconstruction of part of the monastery. The church dedicated to the Assumption still conserves numerous frescoes and paintings from the Venetian school and a wooden crucifix attributed to the circle of Giotto. The monastery houses an attractive late 15th century covered cloister, a botanical cloister, a rustic cloister, the precious Capitolo Hall and the monumental refectory and the famous “divine loggia” immortalized by the writer Antonio Fogazzaro in the novel “Piccolo mondo moderno” (1901). The abbey is known throughout the world for its important antique book and illuminated manuscript restoration, carried out by the monks themselves.
Oratorio della Croce di Villa Teolo: the old Crucifix, in poplar wood to the right of the great altar, dates back to the 16th/17th century and is inspired by the school of Donatello.
Chiesa di San Giorgio at Tramonte: of very ancient origins, this church houses frescoes dating back to around the year 1000, roundels with the twelve apostles dating back to the late 15th century and a crucifixion attributed to the Paduan school Squarcione.
Footpaths: from Teolo there are two splendid walks signposted by the Regional Park of the Euganean Hills: the Monte Grande path, with a deviation to the ruins of Rovolon castle, and the Monte della Madonna path, including a visit to two ancient religious sites, the small S. Antonio Abate oratory dating back to the 14th century and the Sanctuary dedicated to the Virgin Mary with its small Benedictine monastery.
The legend of Speronella.
According to the legend, in 1166 Count Pagano della Torre, vicar of Federico Barbarossa, fell in love with Speronella, a sensual beauty from Padua betrothed to Iacopino da Carrara. Having kidnapped her, he locked her away in the Roccapendice Fort and convinced her father to allow him to marry her instead. But the Paduan noblemen, led by Iacopino managed to fight their way into the castle, killing Pagano and freeing Speronella. According to historic fact, however, as told by the judge Manfredino di Ugone, Count Pagano was in fact just one of Speronella’s six husbands, to be exact the second, after she had left her first husband, Iacopino da Carrara, in her conceited determination to marry the imperial vicar.