What it is and where it is
The ruins of the monastery are located on one of the highest and most scenic points of Monte Venda, the only hill truly worthy of the name due to its height of 601 m (601 ft). It takes at least an hour to reach it on foot, up a steep path in several places, or, an hour and a half if you choose a less demanding route. The ensemble of walls, bell tower and crypt still used for masses was one of the most important monastic complexes in the Euganean Hills. Today the remaining ruins welcome wayfarers in search of new perspectives.
Why it is special
The Euganean Hills should be traveled slowly, at the speed that our legs, our breath, and our emotions allow. It so happens that after crossing beech forests, chestnut groves and holm oaks, we find ourselves in an environment elected for about 900 years as a place of peace, meditation, hermitage, which allows us to enjoy that satisfaction of the goal reached after a bit of effort. The love and care of the place can still be felt today thanks to the volunteers who, a few years ago, restored the former monastery and now take care of it. Some of them often tell travelers the most secret details of this place.
Not to be missed
For lovers of winter trekking, climbing this hill on a cold day, with fog on the plain, leaves an incredible thrill. As we approach the top of the hill, we will see that the fog remains below us, while the clear sky above is tinged with such intense colors as to leave us breathless. Arriving at the monastery in these conditions, one must allow oneself some time for meditation to regain harmony. Rest assured that those clouds of fog that isolate the hilltops around us help navigate the most bewitching thoughts.
A bit of history
The first hermits who came here around 1160 were joined in 1207 by some Benedictine monks from the abbey of Santa Giustina in Padua, who elected this place as a spiritual retreat for seeking peace in solitude. In 1380 the Carraresi chose to replace the Benedictines with the more powerful Olivetans. Thereafter began a period of splendor that came to a halt with the suppression of the monastery by the Serenissima Republic in 1771. It was then that the Erizzo family bought these rooms to make them a good refuge for its shepherds, thus decreeing the ruin of the site.
A 14th-century statue depicting St. John the Baptist from the monastery is now in the archpriest's church of Boccon di Vo' Euganeo, a church that once depended on the Olivetan monastery.
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