The Euganean Hills (Italian: Colli Euganei) are a group of hills of volcanic origin that rise to heights of 300 to 600 m from the Padovan-Venetian plain a few km south of Padua. The Colli Euganei form the first regional park established in the Veneto, (1989) enclosing fifteen towns and eighty-one hills. The name memorializes that of the Euganei, an ancient people who inhabited the region upon contact with the Romans.
The Euganean Hills were formed in a sub-marine outwelling of basaltic lava during the Eocene, which was followed in the Oligocene by an episode of activity characterized by viscous magma, which formed deposits of trachyte.
The Euganean Hills, just visible from Venice, have been celebrated for their picturesque beauty and their hot springs. In the Euganean Hills, at Arquà, which now bears his name attached to it, Petrarch found peace and harmony towards the end of his life. He discovered the village in 1369; there, he stated in his letter to posterity, "I have built me a house, small, but pleasant and decent, in the midst of slopes clothed with vines and olives,"—a house that may be seen there today. The Euganean hills, like an archipelago of steep-sided wooded islands rising from the perfectly flat agricultural plain, inspired the setting of Percy Bysshe Shelley's Lines Written Among the Euganean Hills; Shelley likens the hill he has found himself upon, at first to an island in "the deep wide sea of Misery", then he sees that
- Beneath is spread like a green sea
- The waveless plain of Lombardy,
- Bounded by the vaporous air,
- Islanded by cities fair—
which brings his thoughts to Venice "thou hast been/Ocean's child, and then his queen;/Now is come a darker day," and finally to a wish for an idyllic retreat.
The Regional Park of the Euganean Hills
The Parco Regionale dei Colli Euganei was established in 1989 by the Veneto Region. It covers an area of about 18,000 hectares. The park offers a wide choice of recreational, naturalistic, historical and touristic activities.
Communes of the Euganean Hills
- Abano Terme
- Arquà Petrarca
- Battaglia Terme
- Cervarese Santa Croce
- Cinto Euganeo
- Galzignano Terme
- Lozzo Atestino
- Montegrotto Terme
Wines of the Colli Euganei
Thirteen wineries have grouped together under the recently-established Colli Euganei denomination. Wines consist of the White, with its typical straw-yellow colour and jasmine scent, the Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon reds, the Chardonnay, the Fior d’Arancio, the very sweet yellow Moscato, the Merlot, the Novello, the dry Pinello (it), Pinot blanc, Red Wine, the sparkling Serprino (it) and the Tocai Italico (it) ("Italic Tokay").
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Colli Euganei.|
- (Italian) Parco Regionale Colli Euganei, official site
- (Italian) Tourism and territory of the Euganean Hills
- Percy Bysshe Shelley, "Lines written among the Euganean hills, North italy" (e-text)
- "Two poets and the Euganean Hills"