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Walking in the Venetian Hills

from $1,849.00

The wonderfully unspoiled Venetian countryside is only an hour or so from the great city of Venice, but couldn’t be more different! Here is a landscape of rolling hills, shady forests, vineyards and fields ablaze with colorful flowers.

  • Reviews 62 Reviews
    5/5
  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Self-guided
  • Activity Level Easy plus
    4/8
All about the Walking in the Venetian Hills.

This walking holiday is based in the wonderfully unspoilt Euganean Hills, tucked in a quiet corner below the beautiful mediaeval city of Padua, west across the plain from Venice. Once volcanic islands, these hills have a striking conical appearance; they are cloaked in an astonishing variety of plant life including holm oak, maple, orchids, heather and poppies and have been recognised as a National Park. The lower slopes give way to colourful meadows and immaculately groomed vineyards so it’s little wonder the region produces such a fine variety of wines!
Starting in the tiny hamlet of Cortela, nestled amongst vines, you head across poppy fields and through forests to Valnogaredo. You discover the jumbled cobbled streets of mediaeval Arqua Petrarca, where the famous C14 Italian poet, Petrarch, made his home, before continuing through fertile fruit orchards to Galzignano. A convenient stone’s throw from the Italian Baroque gardens of Valsanzibio, there’s time to explore its magnificent maze before a series of outstanding views leads you to panoramically perched Teolo.
The hotels we’ve selected for you are full of character and are all family run, with warm welcomes throughout. They range from a hillside villa just outside mediaeval Arqua Petrarca and Gabriella and Alessandro’s rustic, yet cosy agriturismo, to the exquisite Liberty Villa Lussana with its stunning position overlooking the dramatic Euganean Hills.

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.
  • All continental breakfast and evening meals
  • 8 nights accommodation, hotel-to-hotel
  • Managed locally by Headwater employed representative
  • Headwater wine service
  • Route notes and maps
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
What is not included in this tour?
  • Flights
  • Arrival & departure transfers (available on request, inquire for supplement)
  • Room upgrades and extra nights at selected hotels (inquire for prices and details)
  • Single Supplement (available on request – inquire for supplement)

Highlights

  • Untouched verdant walking country: rolling hills, shady forests, vineyards and olive groves
  • Hotels full of character; lovely friendly hosts; genuine Italian hospitality
  • Amazing array of wild flowers: heather, poppies, wild orchids and Mediterranean maquis
  • Venetian architectural treasures: villas, churches and monasteries
  • Venice, Vicenza, Padua and Este – hidden gems in the Venetian crown
  1. Day 1 Day 1 Arrive in Cortela

    Arrive at Gabriella and Alessandro’s farmhouse in time for dinner in their cozy dining room. (Staying at Agriturismo ll Feudo, Half Board)

  2. Day 2 Day 2 Cortela to Arqua Petrarca 14km/8.75mi/5hr

    Head across bright poppy fields, then through mountain ash and oak forests to the hamlet of Valnogaredo. The convent of Beatrice d’Este crowns the next hill, Monte Gemola. Enjoy glorious views over Arqua Petrarca before heading to your hotel. (Staying at Hotel Villa del Poeta, Half Board)

  3. Day 3 Day 3 At Arqua Petrarca

    Explore Arqua Petrarca, still as it was when Petrarch came here in 1370. Visit his well-preserved house and walk up geranium-decked streets to sumptuous C15 villas. (Staying at Hotel Villa del Poeta, Half Board)

  4. Day 4 Day 4 Arqua Petrarca to Galzignano 14km/9mi/4.5hr

    Today’s walk undulates through shady woodland before dropping down to the fabulous Villa Barbarigo at Valsanzibio. (Staying at Belvedere Resort ai Colli, Half Board)

  5. Day 5 Day 5 At Galzignano

    Catch the local bus (35 mins excl Sundays) to Padua, the region’s second art city. View the Cappella degli Scrovegni (Giotto frescoes), admire Donatello’s Gattamelata statue or savour a cappuccino in the largest square in Italy! You may wish to treat yourself to a spa/massage at Montegrotto – great for aching muscles! (Staying at Belvedere Resort ai Colli, Half Board)

  6. Day 6 Day 6 Galzignano to Teolo 13km/8mi/4hr

    Ascending through olive groves you reach Monte Rua hermitage, a popular lunch stop. A woodland path leads towards Rocca Pendice, an imposing volcanic stone massif. You skirt round it to enjoy breathtaking views across the chain of hills as you descend to Teolo, the only ’alpine’ village here. Our hotel, an exquisite Liberty Villa, lies above the square. (Staying at Villa Lussana, Half Board)

  7. Day 7 Day 7 At Teolo

    Supposedly the birthplace of the Roman historian Livy, Teolo is alive with history, and many of the buildings from its Serenissima heyday remain. There are lovely walks available including a circular one up Monte della Madonna with its panoramic views (walking notes provided). For a longer day out, take the bus/train to Venice and see St Mark’s Square, the Doges’ Palace and the Peggy Guggenheim Museum. (Staying at Villa Lussana, Half Board)

  8. Day 8 Day 8 Teolo to Cortela 11km/7mi/3.5hr or 16km/10mi/5hr

    Walking through rows of lush green vines you reach the highest point of the holiday, on the flanks of Monte Venda (601m). The plain is mapped out before you, with views towards the Berici Hills near Vicenza. Then it’s on through oak and chestnut forests, and down through vineyards and olive groves, back to Gabriella and Alessandro’s welcoming farmhouse. (Staying at Agriturismo ll Feudo, Half Board)

  9. Day 9 Day 9 Leave Cortela
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Where you stay
Agriturismo Il Feudo
This lovely agriturismo is a charming, tranquil place in the middle of vineyards. Run by Gabriella and Alessandro – it’s been in their family for over 200 years! – the family make their own olive oil and honey as well as their own wine. Your evening meal is Gabriella’s home-made regional fayre. The agriturismo offers 6 rooms, which are simple but comfortable, with polished pine floorboards, brightly coloured counterpanes and ensuite bathrooms. The dining room also has quite a rustic but homely feel to it, with stone walls, exposed wooden beams and brightly coloured table cloths.
Hotel Villa del Poeta
This tranquil retreat, located just outside the mediaeval village of Arqua Petrarca in the Euganean Hills Natural Park, offers fabulous, panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. The hotel’s restaurant, Il Canzoniere (The Songwriter in English) features two terraces with wonderful views over the estate. The chef combines locally sourced seasonal produce with ancient recipes to create some fabulous dishes, with a special flare for grilled meats, and wines to accompany them. The hotel’s bar and rooftop terrace are great places to relax, the latter with great views over the surrounding olive groves and pine trees. All the rooms are simply furnished and have parquet flooring. They are all air-conditioned, have an ensuite bathroom and a TV, safe and complimentary Wi-Fi. Please note that the restaurant is closed every Monday. For all stays on this day we will arrange evening meals at a local restaurant.
Belvedere Resort ai Colli
The Hotel Belvedere is situated in the outskirts of Galzignano,on the edge of the vines on the way to the nearby wine village of Torreglia. You’ll feel immediately at home here – especially given the warm welcome you receive from the hospitable Ottolitri family. The hotel is cosy throughout, from the welcoming lounge area where you can relax before or after dinner with its pastel coloured, cosy armchairs and open fire, to the bedrooms, all decorated in their own floral pattern.
Villa Lussana
Villa Lussana is a beautifully restored Liberty villa, with an attractive peach and white facade. The hotel is run by Tiziana and Alessio. Being slightly above the main square, the Villa’s large terrace enjoys glorious views over the picturesque collection of houses of Teolo and the surrounding, imposing Euganean Hills. The rooms are elegantly furnished to match the Liberty decor, which has been maintained throughout. They have all the modern comforts too, which are cunningly concealed behind the grandiose decor.
Eating and Drinking

All continental breakfast and evening meals.

The Veneto ranks as one of the most fertile agricultural regions in the country. You will see fields of maize and barley everywhere. It is also a big area for fruit; expect to eat cherries, peaches, melons, plums, pears, strawberries and apples. The cuisine varies from the coast up into the mountains and reflects the region’s mixed cultural past. Nearer to Austria in the mountains, you get a more Tyrolean cuisine with dishes such as apple strudel creeping onto the menu, whereas towards the coast, you will find a lighter cuisine with lots of fish dishes.

Three typical dishes you are likely to find throughout the region are baccalà (air-dried salted cod soaked and cooked to a creamy consistency in garlic, parsley and olive oil), carpaccio (now seen on menus throughout Italy and even internationally, this is thin slices of very rare beef sprinkled with lemon juice and garnished with parmesan cheese, mushrooms or even white truffles according to the season and the restaurant) and polenta (made from maize, this is served as an accompaniment to meat or fish).

Starting in the tiny hamlet of Cortela, nestled amongst vines, you head across poppy fields and through forests to Valnogaredo. You discover the jumbled cobbled streets of mediaeval Arqua Petrarca, where the famous C14 Italian poet, Petrarch, made his home, before continuing through fertile fruit orchards to Galzignano. A convenient stone’s throw from the Italian Baroque gardens of Valsanzibio, there’s time to explore its magnificent maze before a series of outstanding views leads you to panoramically perched Teolo.

Overall Rating
5/5
Reviewed On 26/09/2019
5/5

Mr Perry

We thoroughly enjoyed the hills. What a relaxing place to go. Everyone we met were very friendly. The hotel staff couldn’t do enough to please us. James the Headwater rep went out of his way to ensure everything went smoothly. The only downside for us was American Express was not accepted at any of the hotels. This was our fourth Headwater walk and I am sure there will be many more.

Reviewed On 26/09/2019
5/5

Mr Wood

Our first trip with Headwater, and we were very impressed. We liked being in charge of our day (unlike when walking with a group) - we can leave when we like, and walk at our own pace. Walk instructions were (mostly!) very clear, accommodation very comfortable and well-located, with plenty to do on the 'rest' days. Overall organisation good, and all involved very helpful.

Reviewed On 07/10/2019
5/5

Mr James

A joy to walk in vineyards, olive groves and wooded areas in anunspoilt untouristified area.

Reviewed On 29/08/2019
5/5

Mr Goscomb

We just wanted to thank Headwater for another fantastic holiday experience. We are very grateful to the helpful Headwater team for helping us to put together a 14 day holiday in Venice and the Venetian Hills that combined a 3 night city break in Venice, the 8 day ‘Walking in the Venetian Hills’ walking holiday, followed by 3 days to relax at a nearby Agriturismo with a pool.

All the arrangements went well and we had good support from James, the local Headwater Rep who was helpful and knowledgeable. We travelled during the first two weeks of August and enjoyed excellent weather throughout our stay with daytime temperatures around 28 to 32 degrees.

Venice is such a beautiful and extraordinary city to visit and we had sufficient time to explore the city and visit several of the islands. The beautiful little islands of Torcello and Burano were particularly memorable. Our hotel in Venice, the Hotel Kette, was ideally placed to explore the city, less than 5 minutes walk from San Marco.

The walking tour in the Euganean Hills completely lived up to our expectations. We found the walking notes straightforward and the 1+ activity level for the walks was about right. Often we were walking through wooded hills but we also enjoyed wonderful views of the surrounding Venetian countryside and saw some interesting wild flowers. Please note that carrying plenty of water on the walks is essential.

The accommodation at Cortela was simple, but comfortable and Gabriella made us feel very welcome. The Prosecco produced on their vineyard was delicious! We particularly enjoyed the beautiful little village of Arqua Petrarca and the food and accommodation at hotel Villa del Poeta were excellent. On our rest day there we took the opportunity to walk to the pretty nearby town of Monselice.

The hotel at Galzignano (Belvedere Resort Ai Colli) was very comfortable and our room enjoyed a lovely outside garden area. The food and wine there were excellent. At Teleo we stayed in the B & B Tito Livio in accommodation that was to a very high standard and there are plenty of opportunities to eat at local restaurants in the evening.

For the final part of our holiday, we transferred to a nearby agriturismo, the l’Albara, Villaganzerla. This was a great opportunity to relax and unwind after our walking holiday before returning home. Our room at l’Albara was very comfortable and the pool was lovely set in a pleasant large garden area … a perfect place to read and relax. Everybody was so welcoming there and the food and wine were both excellent. Dinner is served in one sitting on trestle tables (with choices and the offer of second helpings!). The wine produced on their own vineyard is superb, reasonably priced and highly recommended.

We are looking forward to choosing our next Headwater holiday next year!

Reviewed On 19/08/2019
5/5

Mr Lloyd

As usual, very well organised and with first class assistance from the Rep on the ground. The walks were rather more challenging than the rating suggested under 37 degree temperatures. An unusual and interesting location but not one to be recommended for walking at the height of the summer season. This would probably explain why I saw not one other walker on the entire time (though many on bikes). But excellent overall.

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