Vò Euganeo: a place to be discoveredUnknown places & works
Vò Euganeo: a place to be discovered
In the last few months there has been much talking around the small town of Vò, in the province of Padua. It was at the center of everybody’s attention and a source of concern for everyone because it was where one of the first outbreaks of Covid-19 occurred in Italy. However, we believe it is important that this town does not remain etched in our memory as just one of the hotspots, but continues to be considered as an appealing destination. It’s a land of wine and trachyte, with a wide choice of local produce, outdoors activities and cultural itineraries.
In addition to holding a record for its short name, Vò - its peculiar name – also reveals the town’s ancient origins as a center of water trade. Many theories postulate that the name Vò comes from the Latin word “vadum”, which means river crossing, an extremely low point of a river that can be crossed on foot or with some means of transport. The municipality of Vò could even be reached by a branch of the River Adige. But there’s a second theory that traces the origin of its name to the abbreviation of Vicus Euganeus, a Euganean village, referred to as V.o Euganeo in official documents.
Today the municipality of Vò is divided into the villages of Boccon, Cortelà, Vò Vecchio and Zovon. In Vò Vecchio we recommend visiting Villa Contarini Giovanelli Venier. Once the seat of the Municipality (now in Cà Erizzo), it was built in the 16th century by the noble Venetian Contarini family, who followed the call of the Serenissima Republic to move towards the mainland. Initially the original residential area of Vò developed around the villa, but during the 20th century it became a place of detention for Jews residing in the provinces of Padua and Rovigo, before being deported to concentration camps. Today the villa is home to the Shoah and Landscape Museum and outside the building you can see a plaque in memory of the Jews who were imprisoned here.
If you are passionate about architectural buildings, we recommend other villas located within the municipality of Vò, including Villa Paruta, Villa Mariani, Ca’ Morosini and, finally, Villa Lando Mantovani and Villa Sceriman, which houses a wine shop where the stables originally stood.
A few steps from Villa Contarini Venier the church and oratory of San Lorenzo is also worth a short visit. Once the oratory of Sant'Anna, it was also built by the Contarinis Family and subsequently enlarged to cope with the increase in population and the need for larger religious spaces.
If, after weeks of quarantine, you rightly have a great desire to take long outdoor walks, keep in mind that Vò is one of the municipalities included in the Euganean Hills regional nature park, which has a multitude of paths that can be followed on foot or by mountain bike, covering varying distances. Bicycle lovers can also ride the Euganean Hills Cycle Ring, a route that passes through Vò Vecchio. The nature park includes Monte Venda, the highest peak of the whole area.
It is definitely worth climbing to the top to admire the ruins of the Olivetani Monastery, amongst which you will be able to see parts of the church, the bell tower and the crypt.
Furthermore, on one of Monte Venda’s hillsides, there is another beautiful place not to be missed, the eponymous amphitheater, a natural theater located within the Ca 'Lustra - Zanovello winery, which has been trading for more than forty years, from which you will be blessed with a wonderful panoramic view of the nature park.
Keep in mind that some of the places we mentioned above can only be visited by appointment or are temporarily closed due to COVID-19. We therefore advise you to check opening hours and how you can visit them by contacting directly the places you plan to see!
Venice, 3rd June 2020
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