No 13 - Monte San Daniele trail
- Departure: Loc. San Daniele - Abano Terme (Abano Terme)
- Arrival: Abano Terme
- Duration: 1 hour
- Difficulty Level: Easy
- Length: 2 km
- Involved Municipalities: Abano Terme
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- Difference in elevation: about 70 m
- RECOMMENDED PERIOD FOR THE VISIT: Throughout the year
Time is intended for a trained hiker, it could vary depending on the preparation and the interest for the itinerary features.
The San Daniele hill is located in the northeastern area of the Euganean Hills, between the municipalities of Abano Terme, Montegrotto Terme and Torreglia. Geologically, it is an eruptive body about 90 meters high, formed by trachytes; Among the outcrops in the sides of the hill are small shiny glossy ialine quartz crystals of 1-2 mm in slots and irregular geodesy in alkaline trachytes. Despite the low elevation, along its trails it is possibile to recognize many plant species typical of the Euganean vegetation and of the mediterranean “pseudomacchia”. On the southwest side, covered by a thermophilic oak forest with some mediterrean scrub elements, during the spring there is the more copious flowering of “Campanellino” (Leucojum vernum) in the whole euganean territory. Along with it are common widespread common tree species in the area such as the Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna), the Kernel, the Broom, the horse's Horn and the Pungitope.
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(photo by: Riccardo Zimmitti)
In the south-east, the fields cultivated until a few decades ago have given way to non-native Robinia (Robinia pseudoacacia), Rubus ulmifolius, Ulmo and Gelso (Morus alba). To the west of the hill, the vegetation changes, leaving space in the upper part of the chestnut forest with centuries-old trees, while under the monastery dominates a population of “Bagolaro” and along the trail there is the small and curious “Morella rossa” (Solanum luteum subsp. alatum). On the north side of the trail, between a huge specimen of centuries-old “Frassino ossifillo” (Fraxinus oxycarpa) and one of centenary Oak, we can see the Monte Rosso lonely in the plain. Much of the basal area of this slope grows luxuriant in the exotic and flamboyant Rosa multiflora. To the south of the Monastery of San Daniele it is possible to visit the remains of an ancient “roccolo”, used in the past for birding with nets, kept in a chestnut wood. The trails are accessible by everyone and the difference in altitude is mild. In the wood of chestnuts, in late spring, it is possible to observe the Russula parazurea, an interesting mushroom rare in the Euganean Hills. The richness and colors of flora from spring to autumn make it a unique spectacle.
The Monastery of San Daniele
On the top of the hill, the monastery was built by the Longobard family descent Da Montagnone, for Benedictine monks between 1076 and 1078. In the mid-fifteenth century, it became the property of the Canons Regular of the Most Holy Saviour in Venice, who restored the site up until 1771 when the monastery was dissolved by a decree issued by the Republic of Venice and put up for sale. Bought by a Venetian lawyer, Federico Todeschini, who gave it to his daughter as a dowry in 1832, the monastery was partly turned into villa-castle. Ever since 1958, the property has been owned by Benedictine refugee nuns from Fiume (Rijeka), who have restored it to the ancient grandeur thanks to many conservative restoration programmes and by the building of the Sacred Heart Cenacle where the faithful can be asylum. Inside there are sacred icons, some from Poland and Russia.