Padua / Surroundings

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Cittadella

Citadella is one of the historic symbols of the Veneto: a perfectly conserved medieval monument of great charm.

It is located in a strategic position at the junction of Padua, Vicenza and Treviso. In the eyes of Padua it was a principal asset for the defence of its possessions, above all for protection against Treviso, which had a imposing and menacing stronghold in the form of Castelfranco. The city walls, erected as an outpost, were thus began in around 1220 and were completed some decades later.

Unlike the neighbouring fortresses with their quadrangular formats in keeping with the military standards of the time Citadella is distinguished by its circular walls, which, with their four gates situated at the cardinal points - each bearing the name of the city which it faces - its two main intersecting roads, and 16 towers, made it a sort of 'ideal city', always ready to confront any type of threat. During its long history the town has been ruled by the Romans, the Scaligeri, the Visconti, and was finally handed over to the Venetians. During the war of the League of Cambrai the only damage it sustained was to the Porta Vicenza (still visible today).

Since a few years ago it has been possible to walk around the entire circle of the city walls, starting from Porta Bassano, visiting the Captain's house, where before embarking on the tour of the walls themselves you pass through an evocative environment adorned with ancient arms and furnishings.

Also not to be missed are the Palazzo Pretorio, the Cathedral museum containing Jacopo di Ponte's Supper at Emmaus, the Social Theatre, the Maltese Tower, whose rooms it is said Ezzelino da Romano used to torture prisoners, and the ancient church of San Donato, which lies just outside the city walls on the way to Padua.