The medieval town of Monselice is perfect for a day trip if you are visiting the Province of Padua, cuddled at the bottom of the Euganean Hills between hill Della Rocca and Mount Ricco. The county of Padua is known for showcasing many examples of medieval towns with fortified structures that have survived all these years. Monselice is one of those historical treats you definitely must see.
Different styles throughout the years
The citadel in Monselice was built under Emperor Frederic II and was an important area during the Middle Ages. The first constructions were by the Byzantines in the 5th century. In the 1300s it became part of the Venice territory and it was a place chosen by noble Venetian families as a holiday destination. That is why Monselice is such a charming place, because it features a variety of construction techniques and styles from different periods, depending on who was in possession of the territory.
What to see
The first thing you must visit is the Castle complex, divided into four sections. The Romanesque House features a beautiful example of a medieval kitchen and ceramic from northern Italy. The Little Castle is the most ancient, dating back to the 11th century. The Sala del Castelletto is on the second floor displaying paintings from the 15th century that evoke a medieval feeling. The Ezelino's tower featuring the biggest collection of medieval weapons, armors, swords, and rifles, and a typical fireplace from the 14th-century. Lastly, the Palace Marcello overlooking the charming Venetian courtyard which transports you straight to Venice. Once you have seen the castle interiors walk up the hill and take in the views of Villa Nani with a graceful stone staircase. Up in the hill, you will find the Seven Churches Sanctuary with Venetian paintings and a papa bull placed in 1606. Elsewhere, visit Villa Duodo designed by architect Vincenzo Scamozzi and the 12th-century Church of St. Justine featuring a large parvis where you will admire the beauty of the Euganean Hills and
What to eat
In the pedestrian street, you will find several bars to grab a quick sandwich, but the best Panini is the one from Da Massimo – a food truck making the best homemade food you will try in Monselice. There are also several Venetian restaurants if you are looking to sit down and try traditional Italian food or if you are feeling like indulging yourself to Asian cuisine there are a couple of Chinese and Japanese options. For a nice aperitif or wine, travelers suggest Kairos.
Note that the best months to visit are from March to November, as you will get to experience all the shops opened. In the winter season it slows down, but you can still admire the sights. If you happen to be in September, visit on the third Sunday for the fantastic festival Giostra Della Rocca, which commemorates the days of the emperor with games and celebrations that attract locals and tourists.