Despite its modern appearance, with neatly landscaped gardens, efficient spa facilities and opulent hotels, Abano Terme and its surroundings dug their roots back to Roman empire, when they formed a vast spa area under the name of "Aquae Patavinae".
Not only spa or "thermae". Abano is close to the Euganean hills, an area of ancient settlement and of long natural traditions and endeavours. As documented by Plinius the Elder (Liber XVII, Naturalis Historia), it was Corellius, a Roman knight born in Este, who, on the fertile slopes of the Euganean hills, successfully tried the first grafting. The wild chestnut, able to resist many virulent moulds, was selected as the rootstock of a much more delicate scion, giving birth to the most precious variety of chestnut: the marrons.
Since then, Abano Terme grew as one of the most renown spa area in Italy and one of the most important in Europe. It spreads over an area of more than 20 square kilometres, where the water that permeated the soil works its way back to the surface in many hot springs (80°C) bubbling down from the gentle sides of the Euganean hills.
Hot water is the main resource in Abano Terme and many tourists spend their vacations relaxing in this area, floating otiosely in the many warm water swimming pools or enjoying a healthy mud bath, a real cure-all for skin and bones.
But after so much water, people also start longing for a little wine.. and Abano lies amid the famous "Strada del Vino dei Colli Euganei" (Euganean hills' wine road), a road that unrolls in a fantastic natural scenario and behind each meander can hide a wine-factory with its masterpieces.
The Cathedral (Duomo) of St. Lawrence. The current edifice was erected in 1780 over a pre-existing church which was allegedly destroyed by Cangrande della Scala. The bell tower has parts from the 9th/10th and 14th centuries.
The Montirone Gallery, housing works of Il Moretto, Palma the Younger, Guido Reni, Giandomenico Tiepolo and others.
The Sanctuary of the Madonna della Salute or of Monteortone (built from 1428). It lies on the site where the Madonna appeared to Pietro Falco, healing his wounds. The church is on the Latin cross plan, with a nave and two aisles with three apses decorated by a frieze. It has with a Baroque portal (1667), a noteworthy bell tower, presbytery frescoes portraying the Histories of St. Peter and Virgin by Jacopo da Montagnana (1495) and Palma the Younger's altarpiece depicting Christ Crucifixed Between St. Augustine and St. Jerome.
Outside of the city is the Convent of San Daniele (11th century). 6 km from the city is also the Abbey of Praglia, founded in the 11th century by Benedictine monks and rebuilt in 1496-1550. The church of the Assunta, with a marble portal from 1548, has a Renaissance style interior. Noteworthy is the four cloister complex.
...of course, Abano is also close to many important cities, such as Padova (< 10 km), Venezia (< 60 km), Vicenza (50 km) and Verona (< 100 km). All of them can be reached easily by train or car within one hour.