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Monselice is a town and municipality (comune) located in northeastern Italymarker, in the Veneto region, in the province of Padua.


It is about 20 km southeast of the city of Paduamarker, at the southern edge of the Euganean Hillsmarker (Colli Euganei).
Monselice - Panorama.


History

The town's mythological foundation is attributed to the Trojanmarker hero Opsicella. The area shows evidence of human settlement since the Bronze Age.

In Roman times it was known as Mons Silicis, meaning mountain of flintstone, possibly due to the local quarries of trachyte.

The earliest known documents about Monselice date back to 568 CE and are related to the conquest of the town by the Lombards. The town was under Byzantine rule for a brief period.

During the Comuni period (12th century) the town had its own local self-government. The town was aligned with the Ghibellines against the Guelphs in the political and military fights of the 13th century.

The Ghibelline leader Ezzelino III da Romano improved the town's fortifications and made it one of the main strongholds of the area.

The town was then under the Carraresi (the lords of Padua) rule and in the 15th century it became part of the Republic of Venicemarker.

After a short period of French domination, it was part of the Austrian Empiremarker and, later, of its client Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia.

In 1866 it became part of the Kingdom of Italy.

Main sights

The modern town lays on a wide valley between the Montericco (312 m) and the Rocca (110 m) hills (part of the Euganean Hills).

The oldest part of the town lays around the Rocca hill.

In medieval times the Rocca was heavily fortified with five girdle walls that are partially still visible today.

Important points for tourists can be the central square Piazza Mazzini with the medieval Torre Civica (Civic Tower) and the Palazzo del Monte di Pietà(Public Pawn Palace). This building hosts the local touristic promotion board (Pro Loco), that provides information for visits to the town's historical attractions.

Piazza Mazzini square is also the starting point for the promenade walk along Via del Santuario, that leads to the most interesting sites of the town, including:

  • The Castle (Castello Cini or Ca' Marcello), which houses one of the most important collections of European medieval weapons and armors.
  • Villa Nani.
  • The Romanesque church of Santa Giustina (12th century).
  • The Seven Churches Sanctuary (Santuario delle Sette Chiese or Via Romana) with paintings by Palma il Giovane. Pietro Duodo (1554-1610), a Venetian patrician, committed to architect Vincenzo Scamozzi the project for the Santuario delle Sette Chiese. In 1606, Pope Paul V issued a papal bull that granted to pilgrims visiting the Sanctuary the same Catholic indulgencies granted to pilgrims visiting the seven main churches (basiliche) of Rome, hence the "Romanis Basilicis Pares" inscription on the portal of the sanctuary.
  • Villa Duodo, designed by Scamozzi.
  • The Keep (Mastio or Torrione), still standing on the Rocca hilltop. It is a massive tower built with huge regular trachyte blocks from local quarries.


Monselice is an ideal starting point for excursions to the Euganean Hillsmarker (Colli Euganei).

Culture

A lively market is held every Monday in the town's main streets.

An important fair is traditionally held every year around November 1 (All Saints Day - saint patron day for the town). Attractions include a food and general market, local food stands, fun park, exhibits.

Started in recent years, the "Palio di Monselice" tournament has become a primary attraction. The Palio is held every year in September. It is modeled after medieval horse tournaments and it includes a medieval parade.

Transportation

Monselice is well connected to the major towns of Paduamarker, Venicemarker and Bolognamarker.

Monselice railway station is on the Venice-Padua-Bologna-Florence line, between Padua (North) and Bologna (South). A secondary railway line connects Monselice to the town of Mantuamarker (Mantovamarker), in Lombardy.

The nearest airports are Venicemarker (VCE) (60 km) and Bolognamarker (BLQ) (100 km).

External links





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