Cittadella is one of the most charming examples of medieval architecture and town planning, a few kilometers away from significant historical towns such as Treviso, Vicenza and Padua.
Its famous defensive wall, one of the last with a fully walkable route on the top, runs on an elliptical path of 1461 meters interspersed with 36 towers.
The impressive city walls of Cittadella are closely related to the very reason of its foundation: the paduan government, worried about the expansionist ambitions of its neighbouring municipalities, asked Benvenuto da Carturo to build these walls as the first defensive line near the Muson river in 1220, on the opposite shore of the military outpost of Castelfranco, owned by the city of Treviso.
The transition in 1406 to the rule of Venice brought a long period of peace and political stability, converting Cittadella from a military outpost to a commercial and administrative center; the city became a landmark for the large rural area around it.
The four wall gates (Porta Padovana, Porta Vicentina, Porta Bassanese and Porta Trevisana), placed on the four cardinal points, are ideally joined by two avenues that split the interior space of the walls in four districts, which in turn are divided by a grid network of narrow streets.
Travelers in Cittadella cannot miss a visit to the Duomo, with its rich art gallery in the sacristy and a Museum of sacred art in the Bell Tower, containing a diverse collection of liturgical objects, from altarpieces to thuribles.
The Teatro Sociale, in front of Porta Vicentina, is a must for neo-classical architecture connoisseurs and theatre lovers alike. The floral frescoes in the hall were made by Francesco Bagnara, the same artist behind the decorations of “La Fenice” theatre in Venice.
Torre di Malta, a tower built as a prison in 1251 by the infamous Ezzelino III da Romano, had such a long history of atrocities to be cited in Dante’s Inferno. Its large rooms, fortunately, have been converted in the Museo Civico Archeologico, an archeological museum filled with artifacts found in Cittadella’s territory, from Bronze Age relics to Renaissance objet d’art.