Padua / SurroundingsGallery
The medieval flavour of Montagnana is perhaps the most well-preserved in the Veneto, and surely one of the most charming in Europe. The breathtaking backdrop of the Euganean Hills draws the eye to the robust history of the town. And robust in a literal sense, with its solid terracotta buildings.
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The walls appear to suddenly erupt from the green plain, standing out against the sky like one of the monuments in the town's own main square: 2 km of fortifications, studded with 24 towers, 4 gates and a grassy moat/ditch enclose the ancient town within its neverending past.
In fact here at Montagnana the Middle Ages are not so much a remote period as an 'eternal summer', which 'shall not fade/Nor lose possession of the fair' it possesses, the medieval beauty which it proudly shows to the world.
The 'eternal summer' is most prominent in September, when the traditional Palio or medieval fair takes place and the 10 comuni della Scodosia compete in traditional games.
The walls of this splendid city of art were constructed by Ezzelino da Romano and from 1405 enlarged and reinforced by the Carraresa family and later by the Venetians. All around the perimeter we encounter magnificent edifices such as the Porta Legnano, also known as the Fortress of the Trees', still preserving the original 13th century wooden doors, and the castle of San Zeno, both from the period of Ezzelino, which today is home to the City Museum. In addition there is the Cathedral, built between the 15th and 16th centuries over the previous Romanesque basilica, which houses Veronese's Transfiguration, and a large altar, attributed with all likelihood to Sansovino.
The traces of Venetian domination are visible in the grand palaces and patrician houses. Moving outside the city walls we can also find Palazzo Pisani, an excellent example of Palladian architecture.
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