We were on our way back from Venice when we made a last minute decision to offload ourselves at Monselice. Despite Stefano originating from Veneto, he had never ventured into this town. We had no idea what to expect, or where to go; we were not disappointed.
As we headed into town from the station we could see the Rocca Hill, on top of which sits the Mastio Federiciano. A medieval keep, the Mastio was part of the town's fortifications and houses a museum of medieval finds.
|Walls of the medieval castle complex|
Below the hill are the walls of the old town and part of the castle complex. We followed the walls into the Piazza Mazzini with its medieval Torre Civica (Civic Tower).
Due to our visit being unplanned we did not have enough time to visit the inside of the castle, villa and museuems. Instead we wandered around the town, following the cobbled via del Santuario that led us past the towns most important and interesting sites.
|Part of the castle|
The Sacred Way ultimately leads to the Villa Duodo with its geometric gardens, and passes six little churches as you make your way up the hill. At the top is the seventh church, St. George's. The external architecture of the town is fascinating with some strange statues decorating the top of some of the walls. The views from the hill across the town and the Po plains towards the Colli Euganei (Euganean Hills) was worth the climb on a warm day.
|This little chap and others lined the walls of the villa/castle complex|
Monselice is a pretty town, with a lot to see. I will definitely be returning, at a sensible hour(!), so that I can experience the castle and its museums from the inside. If you are on the Bologna/Venice rail line you could do worse than making a stop at Moselice and enjoying its history, architecture and natural beauty.
For more information on Monselice:
http://www.monseliceturismo.it/index.php?locale=en Monselice Tourist Board website. Available in 5 languages.
http://www.castellodimonselice.it/en-US/castle-of-monselice Monselice Castle website. Available in Italiano, English and Deutsch
http://www.comune.monselice.padova.it/ Official site