In the Padua area Christianity and the enormous devotion of Paduans is testified to by an invaluable religious architecture.
A spiritual itinerary must include a visit to Prato della Valle to admire the Abbey of Santa Giustina (a religious complex made up of a basilica and three cloisters). This abbey is one of the most ancient vestiges of the Christian faith and architecture, and it is associated with the name of Giustina, a Roman aristocrat who was martyred here in the year 304. Not far away stands the splendid Basilica of San Antonio, which every year is the destination of millions of worshipers. The grandiose shrine housing the remains of the saint started to be built in the year 1232 and was completed in 1310. Of rare beauty is also the 16th century Duomo Cathedral. The annexed baptistery conserves a splendid cycle of frescoes painted by Giusto de' Menabuoi.
In addition to great basilicas, Padua also has numerous churches, chapels and oratories, often situated off the beaten track but abounding in history and art, as the Church of the Eremitani, which contains works by Andrea Mantegna, and the Church of S. Maria del Carmine, houses a precious cycle of 16th-century frescoes. Very evocative are also the small Romanesque Church of San Nicolò and the austere Church of Santa Sofia.
The itinerary continues amidst the green of Colli Euganei, where of great awesomeness are the visits to the Abbey of Santa Maria di Praglia and its monastery, and to the cloistered Camaldolese Hermitage perched at the top of Monte Rua. There are also many buildings related to the Marian cult: in Monteortone di Abano Terme stands the shrine of S. Maria di Monteortone; in Teolo, on the Monte della Madonna, you will find the 16th century Shrine of the Madonna del Monte; a Madonna delle Grazie is venerated in the Basilica d'Este, and again it is Mary who is worshiped in the Shrine of Tresto, in the resort of Ospedaletto Euganeo.
Amidst the Euganean Hills
Visit the Abbey of S. Maria di Praglia and its monastery and to the Camaldoli hermitage of seclusion located on the top of Monte Rua for a truly fascinating experience. Don’t forget Monteortone di Abano Terme, where the Sanctuary of Santa Maria di Monteortone and Teolo stands on Monte della Madonna, home of the 16th century Sanctuary of the Madonna del Monte