Twenty minutes to breathe along the River
I have always loved places with water. It doesn’t mean that I am a sea lover, by water I mean rivers, canals and even tiny little lakes that look more like puddles. Obviously my favourite spot in my hometown is La Specola, the observatory by the river, and whenever I fell the need of being more in touch with nature I just go for a walk, a run or a ride on the “argine”, the bank.
There are many “argini” around Padova – and they all are 10 minutes away by car. What I love of them is that they are not pretentious. If they were people they would have been humble farmers, tanned in summertime and with chapped hands all over the year.
You could walk for kilometres and the landscape won’t change that much, you will just get lost in the endless Pianura Padana, that looks more or less the same, wherever you go. You shouldn’t expect to see castles or royal gardens, but only the beauty of nature in its simplest shapes: a golden field of wheat painted in red by thousands of red poppies, an ancient certosa abandoned by monks but not by its holy atmosphere – once I will tell you about Certosa di Vigodarzere – flowers and bees, green bushes and green flowing water.
You don’t need a reason to go there, you don’t need anything else. No proper trekking shoes and no sunblock, just twenty minutes, at least, to breathe. (Even though picnics there are really great, so you should give it a try!)
By the way, argini are really generous. They always offer you peace and calm, but in spring time they even feed you, with a tasty wild herb called bruscandoli. Here people usually make frittata or risotto with them, especially on the 1st of May. But to be honest, I love more picking them than eating them! Because it’s always so surprising to see the generosity of nature, it makes me understand why in ancient time people used to address to Earth calling it Mother, Mother Earth.