From my creative hideaway along Viale Giuseppe Verdi, overlooking Campo Marzo, Vicenza’s main park, The Palladian Traveler, my nom de plume, came alive with countless articles and photos along the cobblestone of the City of Palladio and beyond.
But, that’s all changing now as I pull up stakes, bid arrivederci to Vicenza and my time there as a scribbling city slicker and head in a southeasterly direction — 39.4 km (24 mi.) to be exact — to the Parco Regionale dei Colli Euganei (Regional Park of the Euganean Hills), in the nearby province of Padova (Padua), to turn the page and begin the latest chapter in my life as a quill and camera-toting — AHEM — country bumpkin.
In clear view of Monte Fasolo — one of the 81 signature conical peaks that dot the postcard-perfect, lush-green landscape inside this sprawling park, the first regional park in the Veneto region — I hope to revitalize my creative juices as I settle in along Via dei Faggi, in the tiny hamlet of Faedo, under the jurisdiction of Cinto Euganeo, from where this dispatch, the first of many I hope, emanates.
No stranger to the Colli, I’ve already spent many a Sunday afternoon seated around la tavola — with knife, fork and wine glass at the ready — at various agri-ristoranti (farm-to-table restaurants) enjoying the bounty cultivated from the lava-rich soil, like superlative wines and extra virgin olive oil.
I’ve been challenged with invigorating climbs on my frequent early morning treks along an intricate network of hiking and cycling paths.
I’ve gotten to know my new neighbors, shopkeepers, restaurateurs, chefs and vintners — each and every one openly warm and friendly.
And, I’ve ocassionally ventured inside city limit signs to explore some of the nearby urban areas, like Abano and its famous therapeutic mineral baths and fango (mud) treatments; Este, once home to the eponymous family and its castle; and, tiny Arqua’ Petrarca, an intimate medieval village where Petrarch, the father of Humanism and the Renaissance, wrote his final chapter and verse.
Like Percy Bysshe Shelley, the 19th century English Romantic poet who stayed a spell and penned Lines Written among the Eugaean Hills, I, too, hope to drain an inkwell or three in my descriptions of my new-found surroundings as I begin to document my new life as a “country bumpkin,” here among the peace and quiet of the Colli Euganei.
©The Palladian Traveler