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Trail on the “Terre bianche”

 

Luvigliano is situated a few kilometres away from Abano, a small village spread around the famous villa dei Vescovi ( XVI cent), one of the architectural jewels of the Euganean Hills, at the foot of mount Pirio. Leave the car in the car park of the parish church dedicated to San Martino [picture 1], at the very front of the Villa entrance. As an alternative you can reach the depature point from Abano by using the bus of the TL line, which arrives at Luvigliano.

Terre Bianche
 

The pathway

The church is slightly raised with regards to the countryside and on the left, looking towards the facade, we pass through the excavated street [picture2] that leads to the Villa Pollini (venue for the DOC wine festival in Autumn); we keep to the left, and after several metres, we turn right as the street begins to go upwards. Soon enough we find ourselves in an environment that alternates between stretches of forest, vineyards and olive groves, while the tiny street clambers up with some hairpin bends allowing us to enjoy the panoramic view which, with a splendid view of the Villa dei Vescovi, opens up onto more distant horizons: the spa centres of Abano and Montegrotto, Padua, and the plains on the east of the Hills, until one can distinguish the Venice lagoon and Chioggia during serene days.

Chiesa di San Martino
panorama

The last point of rising goes out of the forest and crosses through downward slopes of cultivated vineyards, whilst at the end of the road it becomes stony and rocky: at this point we have to be a bit careful so as to avoid falling over on the unstable crushed stone. Given the 360° panoramic view [picture3] which can be easily distracting. The road folds south and near several houses it links with via Fornetto, an excavated road used by some local cars.

The white road now carries on going downhill slightly towards the north (we are at about 220m above sea level), with a view to the plains on our right, and after having come across the small church [picture4] the view also opens up towards the west, towards the sheer cliffs of Rocca Pendice [picture5], the valley underneath it and the inhabited area of Teolo, practically opposite our position. This zone is called “Terre bianche” due to the very properties and nature of the soil, which is composed of Biancone and argillaceous limestone. The road winds across the watershed between the two sides of mount Arrigon, usually with alignments of cypresses along its sides that give a touch of “Tuscany” to it, making it particularly picturesque and peaceful, in this area of the Hills.

Rocca Pendice
cipressi e cigliegi

Near to the farm Il Pirio, we leave the road that now begins to head down towards the location ‘Treponti di Teolo’, by taking a deviation on the right that will take us to Luvigliano. This is a beautiful lane as well, with alignments of cypresses, on both sides, as well as cherry trees and vineyards in between [pictures 6-7]. After a hundred or so metres, the cultivated zone ends, and the road near a wooden Cross curves to the right and, going through a narrow valley, swiftly goes downhill, passing an old, very well salvaged quarry, to come out towards Luvigliano inside the Villa. After a small stretch of asphalt road on the right and we find ourselves once again in the church parking lot.

 
 
 
Characteristics
Departure point: Luvigliano
Trail length: 4,5 km
Altitude: 250 m
Duration: about 2 hours (stop-offs excluded)
Difficulties: none, but in some seasons the steepest points can be slippery, hence take suitable footwear with you.
Check the trail on the map »
 
 

Not to be missed

Villa dei Vescovi:

Built in between 1535 and 1542 on an embankment of the Euganean Hills, the villa’s impotent structure stands on the surrounding rural landscape. Consisting of more than just one villa with agricultural functions, it is known for its architectural framework that imitates the models of Roman times and testifies to a perfect harmony between art and harmony, restated on the inside by the broad cycle of frescoes, and of a Raphaelean matrix, which were carried out between 1542 and 1548 by Lamberto Sustris. Nowadays the Villa dei Vescovi belongs to FAI (Fondo dell’Ambiente Italiano) which has completely restored it. Villa dei Vescovi was re-open on June 2011 and we recommend a visit to this wonderful site.

Villa dei Vescovi Luvigliano
 
 
 
 
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