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Monselice: history and tradtion

The atmosphere is enhanced by the place. The special and beautiful landscape was protected by a decree in 1989 becoming the Regional Euganian Hill Park.

"Mons Silicis" flint-stone Hill

Monselice is a Roman "Mons Silicis", flint-stone hill, that develops in the plain South-East of the Euganian Hills near the cone of rock from which the trachyte twice exploited to pave St.Mark's square at Venice used to be mined. On the hill's top, easily reached on foot and from which a beautiful view can be admired, there's an antique rampart Federico II had built. The hill and the building make up Monselice's Rocca (stronghold)


First of all, the Mastio (rampant) built by Federico II Emperor of Svevia: protected by a series of fortification, which are still visible, it was an impregnable castle. Nowadays it hosts a permanent exhibition of late medieval finds discovered during the restructuring works. Furthermore, thanks to its panoramic terrace, the Mastio offers the visitors a view that sweeps from the Hills to the plain and, if the weather is good, even to Venice.


At the foot of the Colle della Rocca, there is the Cini’s Castle (or Ca’ Marcello), a compound of buildings erected in different ages to respond to different needs. You can visit the inside where a collection of Renaissance weapons and furniture is on show. From the southern side of the Colle della Rocca starts a charming path named Sentiero Giubilare delle Sette Chiese that skirts six chapels and a little octagonal church shaded by cypresses.


The path leads to the XVII century Villa Duodo: constructed by the Duodo Venetian family, it is flanked by the Exedra, a monumental staircase dedicated to S. Francesco Saverio. Villa Nani-Mocenigo is an example of late renaissance villa. Built by another Venetian family, is characterised by a scenographic staircase and enclosed by a peculiar fencing decorated by statues of dwarfs: allusion to the name of the family who constructed the villa, the Nani-Mocenigo.

Further on you can admire the Duomo Vecchio, a beautiful XIII century Romanic-Gothic church built in honour of Santa Giustina.
At last, leaving Monselice and going to Padova, near Rivella you can notice Villa Emo Capodilista built in the late XVI century in Palladian style with a wide Italian garden.


The Palio della Rocca

Many other inhabitants feel the "contrada" spirit: there are 9 districts that engage in various contests. Besides, at Monselice there's a social structure that makes itself responsible for the embodiment of the Middle Ages. There are over a thousand people on 20 thousand living in Monselice who participate to the historical procession of the Giostra della Rocca: one of the most beautiful Italian revivals that takes place in September.
It tells the story of the 1239 emperor Federico II who, headed to Padua, passed by Monselice where he was welcomed by extraordinary celebrations. The Rocca Tournament, one of the most beautiful medieval revivals that can be seen in Italy, recalls that event and therefore a typical great medieval festivity and celebration. The Rocca Tournament reaches its climax every third Sunday of September. The two Sundays before the traditional medieval contests take place.

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