Useful advice Travelling on foot
Along the wine route that winds through the Colli Euganei, between curves and gentle slopes, we come across the Eremo Camaldolese di Monte Rua. We are in the town of Torreglia, about twenty kilometres from Padua, among beech, birch and oak forests and orderly terraced vineyards.
Surrounded by an imposing wall built in the sixteenth century, the Hermitage has been home to a monastic community for around a thousand years and its members live in cloistered silence respecting the Benedictine rule of ora et labora.
The monastic complex occupies the summit of Monte Rua and is split into a number of separate buildings. Along the walls are 14 small independent cells, which all have a rest room, a study, a chapel, a woodshed and a small garden outside. At the centre of the complex stands a very simple church, a single nave, with a wooden choir.
A wrought iron gate dating back to the sixteenth century separates the hermitage from the guest quarters, where those who wish can live an experience of spirituality by falling into the rhythm of monastic life, marked by the alarm call just before 4, for a day spent among prayers, agricultural work and study and the rest that follows the compline at 19.00.
The hermitage can be visited on Sunday morning at the same time as mass or during the week from 14.30 to 16.30, and is only open to male worshipers and tourists.
Monastery of the Olivetans
A couple of miles from Monte Rua, you can find the monumental ruins of the Olivetani monastery, on the top of Monte Venda. It is an impervious place to reach, but the landscape is fascinating and still today it evokes a mystical atmosphere.