Access to Monte Cero I/VE-278

My beter half has been pestering me for years for a visit to Venice. Despite being only a few hours drive from where we live, I didn’t want to go because it was tacky, crowded, dirty, smelly, and in general a huge tourist trap. According to media reports, because of well-known global events this year the situation there was better so I reluctantly gave in (in reality I wanted to see Venice too, but shhh!). We set up for a few days trip to Lago di Garda and Venice and I was allowed to do a few SOTA activations.

When preparing for our trip, unactivated summit of Monte Cero, one of Euganean Hills SW of Padova, stuck out like a sore thumb.

Short web search revealed that the hill top has been infested by a large number of various transmitters, many of them operating without any license or permit, and that local community wanted them removed (BTW in my part of the world, Italians are not really known for adhering to the rules regulating the use of radio spectrum, be it broadcasting, CB or amateur). The community fought various owners in court for decades and finally won. This led to removal of illegal transmitter huts and antennas and construction of single new transmitter tower.

So, while we are in the area, I could have an opportunity for first activation of this summit, right?

We left our car on the parking in the village below and took the road leading to the hill. When the road started to get steeper, this is what we found:

Technically, the sign only forbids vehicle traffic, not pedestrians, and large board only gives information about antenna tower construction site, which has already been finished for a few years. The barrier itself was not locked, only held down by a wooden stick. We decided to continue.

After a walk along the concrete paved road with nice views to surrounding hills, many of them SOTA, just below the summit but still well out of AZ, we found this board:

My Italian doesn’t really go much further than “Un cappuccino per favore”, but as far I could tell, there is a local decree that allows access to the summit only for personnel maintaining the radio equipment stationed there, because the measured ammount of RF radiation is higher than limits, allowed for general public. Oh well. If acces is not allowed, it makes no sense to go on with the activation, as it would be invalid. We took a quick look around from the supposedly RF-infested place and returned to our car.

After a short break we spent the rest of the day in nearby spa town Abano Terme, and activating Monte Ortone I/VE-288. In the evening we moved on to Venice and my XYL finally got wat she wanted for years.

But story did not end there. It ended only today, almost a month later.

I wanted to share the information about the decree prohibiting the acces with you, by posting the pictures and a short notice as summit info, to prevent the one or the other would-be activator from climbing the hill just to turn back empty-handed. While googling the decree in question I found this:
If my Google Translate serves me right, this is a recent decree, that revokes previous decree. Since November 2018 (after the construction of new tower), access to the summit of Monte Cero is allowed again, they just didn’t bother to remove the sign there.

Oh well, it could have been nice first activation. Maybe next time… Meanwhile, feel free to activate Monte Cero. Judging by the tower there, it won’t be the most QRM-free experience.

P.S.: Italian speakers, please correct me if i got something wrong (except that remark about Italians not adhering to the RF spectrum rules, that’s a fact! :wink:).