Este (/ˈɛstiː/; Italian: [ˈɛste]) with a population of 17,000, is a town and commune of the Province of Padua, in the Veneto region of northern Italy. It is situated at the foot of the Euganean Hills. Its rich volcanic soil nurtures excellent wines, which have recently been distinguished with their own denomination: Colli Euganei.
In addition, the region is famous for its spas and hot springs. Bicycling trails chart scenic tours throughout the area, and serve as world-class training destinations for avid cyclists. Nature trails also wind their way for hikers, bird watchers, and botanical enthusiasts.
History of Este by Valter Pieressa
Este and the Euganei Hills
The Euganei Hills have long drawn artists and thinkers to its ancient hilltop towns.
Left: Arqua Petrarca is one such town, where the 12th century poet Petrarch built a home which serves as a destination for poets and writers, such as the 19th Century poets Percy Bysshe Shelley and Lord Byron.
Excellent small hotels and restaurants dot the hills and enhance the tourist experience for athletes, cultural tourists and nature enthusiasts.
In the heart of Este stand the remains of the walls that once circled a medieval city.
What was once the protected city now is public park and garden, and a small restaurant as well as the historic museum are built incorporating part of the fortifications.
The park is laced with pathways, gardens, and Renaissance statues. A parking area outside the walls serves also as public gathering space. A short walk leads to the central square of the modern city.
Este is regarded as the "cradle" of Venetian civilization. Mocenigo Palace, the home of the National Archeological Museum of the Adige Valley, has one of the most important Pre-Roman collections in Italy.
The National Museum of Este, adjacent to the ancient town walls, is filled with local pre-Roman Etruscan and Roman-era ceramics, stone works, amphora, metal artifacts, jewelry, frescoes, as well as medieval and Renaissance treasures
A short walk from the old city walls leads to the City Square, a large cobblestoned area surrounded on four sides by arcaded walks and some elegant private homes. The heart of Este’s commercial center, the square and its avenues house small private enterprises, such as pharmacies, restaurants, and specialized boutiques.
At the end of the square stands a stately tower, which housed the gates to the later Renaissance town. This area turns into a lively, bustling market on Wednesdays, and especially on Saturday mornings.
Este’s streets, in season, are arrayed with flowers and plants. A Flower Festival is held every spring. Ancient buildings are adapted to modern commercial uses, with entranceways tucked in to the former archway walls.
A long portico shelters many of the boutiques along the main square and adjacent wide streets.
The old, old buildings do present problems, but are creatively adapted to contemporary life.