The itinerary that links the Colli Euganei to the Venice lagoon follows an ancient water course at one time used by lighters, the so-called “burci”, that carried loaded goods such as the trachyte of Colli Euganei, the salt from Chioggia and the sugar from Pontelongo. .
Going along the Euganean Waterway from Padua for about an hour, one reaches Battaglia Terme. Here we leave behind us the Colli Euganei (Euganean Hills) and point decidedly towards the east, following the sinuous course of the Vigenzone canal. In the neighbourhood of Ponte di Riva we go along the right bank until the locality of Cagnola, where two Veneto villas face each other: that on the left - Villa Malipiero – originates from the sixteenth century, the other one - Villa Santinello – less significant, was rebuilt after the damage of the Second World War. Over the course of the bike ride some white numbered stones driven into the ground attract our attention. They deal with an ancient division of parcels of the embankment given in concession to the farmworkers for harvesting hay from the grassy escarpments. The surrounding landscape is still well preserved; in the cultivated fields we find beautiful rustic buildings and marvellous villas of the Veneto. The villages that we go through on this itinerary have names that recall the river-way: Gorgo (small whirlpool), Bovolenta (water mill); in the latter village we carefully observe the wayside bollards of the bridge on the Vigenzone canal where the signs left by the ropes that kept the boats at their moorings can be seen.
The next place, Pontelongo, whose name ("long bridge") is self-explanatory, owes its own development to the presence of a large sugar refinery that is still working and was built in the nineteenth century. The town hall is the beautiful villa of Foscarini Erizzo, recently restored. On leaving the sugar town we find that of the Benedictine Courtyard: Correzzola. A metalled track allows us to reach the sixteenth century Benedictine Courtyard built by monks and the parish church of San Leonardo. On these lands the Benedictines started a wide-ranging struggle to resist the formation of marshland and, when the land reclamation was concluded, built characteristic rural houses with stalls, haylofts and granaries to spread agriculture. Today, at least 60 of these remain and still keep the name of the saint to which they were dedicated. Taking the route on top of the left embankment, after a few kilometres a tourist notice informs us that we are in the neighbourhood of Castelcaro: where an oratory stands today. In the fourteenth century the Carraresi had built a military outpost to oversee the Bacchiglione river. Chioggia, that was by that time in the Middle Ages a few kilometres away, had one of the most important salt-works in the Mediterranean. During the last stretch the landscape changes noticeably, the expanses of ploughed fields from a thick network of ditches and channels give way to extensive flatlands and sparklings from the lagoon from which appears the historic centre of Chioggia, destination of our itinerary.