Cittadella is a splendid walled city of medieval origin, in the province of Padua, located a few kilometers from Padua, Vicenza, Treviso, and inserted in the broad historical context of the walled cities of Veneto such as Bassano del Grappa, Marostica, Asolo, and Castelfranco Veneto.
Enclosed by 15 meter high walls, Cittadella is the only city in Europe to have a medieval parapet walkway in an elliptical shape. In the shape of an irregular ellipse, the wall has 4 main towers and along the entire perimeter (1461 meters) another 12 towers and 16 smaller towers.
The walls were erected in 1220 by order of the municipality of Padua to defend its territory against the cities of Vicenza and Treviso, as well as to better control the activities of the local lords and to start a policy of agrarian colonization.
If you’d like to take the parapet walkway, you must go to Porta Bassano to the Casa del Capitano (Captain’s House), where the tourist office is located.
Immediately after the ticket office, you go up a staircase to enter a room in the Captain’s House, where you can see armor and period clothes. Leaving the room, the 2km long walkway begins. Here you can admire the Carraresi coat of arms, visible on the south side of the Bassano gate, the ancient Paduan family who began to dominate the territory until the arrival of the Serenissima or the “Most Serene” Republic.
Four doors open at the cardinal points, facing the neighboring cities: Porta Treviso, Porta Padova, Porta Vicenza and Porta Bassano. Halfway through, you will find the famous Tower of Malta, an ancient prison mentioned by Dante in the Divine Comedy.
Inside, you can visit the Civic Archaeological Museum, the Siege Museum, and the Torre Belvedere at almost thirty meters high. From above, the landscape sweeps over the surrounding countryside, where you’ll have views of the Euganean Hills, the Berici Mountains, the Pedemontana with the walled cities of Marostica and Asolo, and Monte Grappa.
Photos: Angela Pierdonà