One of the most evocative and enchanting places in Veneto is the Euganean Hills, small mountainous reliefs of volcanic origin formed approximately 40 million years ago.
Located in the heart of the Venetian plain, they conceal treasures of great value both from a historical and naturalistic point of view. Traveling to the Euganean Hills means discovering castles, abbeys, elegant residences and picturesque villages such as Monselice, Else and Arquà Petrarca.
Halfway between Galzignano Terme and Cinto Euganeo there is a small jewel that is perhaps still little known to tourists but nevertheless absolutely enchanting and worth a visit: this is the Venda Amphitheatre, surrounded by the vegetation and vineyards of Ca’ Lustra, a farm owned by the Zanovello family located in Cinto Euganeo.
To arrange a tour of these highly unique areas of the Veneto, as well as through the most famous destinations, you can take advantage of the transport network that connects the main Venetian towns, including Venice and Padua, which is just 20 km away from the Venda Amphitheatre.
The Venda Amphitheatre: the hidden jewel of the Euganean Hills
At 603 metres above sea level, at the highest point of the Euganean Hills and at the edge of the dense woods of Monte Venda, is the Venda Amphitheatre, which dominates the bountiful vineyards of the Ca’ Lustra farm. It consists of a single and essential stage, specifically a platform in larch wood, built with total respect for the unspoiled nature surrounding it.
It takes the shape of the crescent-shaped grassy clearing, which emerged in the location of a landslide front formed over the centuries due to the presence of a spring further upstream, which was subsequently channelled by the owners of the farm.
It is said that the Zavanellos considered these slopes to be excessively steep and therefore unsuitable for growing wine. They then decided to create an alternative space, like a Woodstock in Venetian style, in which they could funnel and draw on positive energies.
The idea of creating an amphitheatre in this remote place in 2013 was also linked to the desire to offer a venue for hosting environmental education lessons while also making the riches of the Euganean Hills and Valle di Faedo better known.
As such, in this natural amphitheatre surrounded by dense vegetation you can take yoga classes, attend performances by niche artists or simply relax in a totally idyllic atmosphere. It’s hard not to be stunned by the beauty of this place, when everything is silent and all you can hear is the chirping of crickets and the sounds of nature coming from the heart of the forest.
The view from the Venda Amphitheatre offers sights that range from the peaks of Orbieso, Gallo and Monte Alto to the Hermitage of Monte Rua, with the possibility of even glimpsing the Venetian Lagoon on clear days.
How to get to the Venda Amphitheatre
When the shows are held at the Venda Amphitheatre, the spectators simply sit on the grass, recreating that primordial contact with Mother Nature. The only building present is a wooden hut dedicated to welcoming and tastings of the wines produced by the Ca’ Lustra company.
There are really a lot of paths that allow you to climb Mount Venda in every season, from summer, when nature is an explosion of life and colours, to autumn, with foliage that turns the branches of the trees red, gold and yellow.
CAI path no. 9 is perhaps the most spectacular route for reaching the Venda Amphitheatre, as it winds through the most luxuriant nature. It starts from Via Sottovendo, in the locality of Galzignano Terme, a stone’s throw from the “Casa Marina” Visitor Center. The presence of wooden barriers and exhaustive CAI signs makes this path suitable for everyone, including those with disabilities.
Those who opt for this path will find themselves walking in an almost unspoiled environment, on a dirt road that runs alongside cherry trees and vineyards until you meet a monumental chestnut tree among the acacias and elders.
The panorama that accompanies hikers is spectacular, with a view of the Lozzo, Rusta, Gemola and Fasolo mountains. You can also see Faedo, the small hamlet of Cinto Euganeo located downstream and the remains of the historic Olivetani Monastery.
The path goes through woods of oak, chestnut, maronari chestnut, ash and hornbeam, in a truly rich plant world that holds the wealth of the Venda Amphitheatre.
When on a trip to the Euganean Hills, you can take advantage of the opportunity to easily reach Galzignano Terme, a village located at the foot of the Gallo and Rua Mountains that is worth a visit for the presence of thermal springs, whose salty-bromine-iodine waters offer an unmissable opportunity for mind and body relaxation.
In Galzignano Terme there is also the wonderful Villa Barbarigo, whose historic gardens were created in the seventeenth century by Luigi Bernini with boxwood labyrinths, fountains and sculptures, and are a real wonder waiting to be discovered.