Wednesday morning, I headed to the train station to take the train to Cittadella, a fortified medieval walled city.
I stopped at a little bar along the way to the train station for my morning caffè macchiato. The young woman working behind the bar was putting on her mascara and chatting with friends when I walked in and did not realize I was there at first. I thought the whole thing was a bit amusing.
At the train station, there was a big group of students purchasing tickets at the ticket machines and a line for the tickets sold at the counter. Fortunately, I was not in a rush to purchase my ticket. The 8:38 train was on time. It was a 42 minute train ride to Cittadella.
During my train ride, we stopped in Castelfranco Veneto for a few minutes. Although I did not do a lot of planning for this trip to Italy, I did plan for my trip to Cittadella. Back when I was planning, I thought about stopping in Castelfranco Veneto on my way back to Treviso. As we sat at the station, I heard an announcement of a train arriving from a town that that had always been on my bucket list. I remembered thinking about visiting this place but thought it would be too much train travel. I checked my favorite train app – the Rail Planner Eurail/Interrail app and realized that it was just a short 20 minute train ride from Cittadella. I had my plan for the day!
Once we arrived at the Cittadella train station, it took about 5-10 minutes to walk to the little medieval walled city.
There are 4 towers corresponding to the 4 main gates (each called a porta) in this walled city surrounded by a moat. Here’s a link with information about the city walls and here’s a little excerpt from Wikipedia about Cittadella:
The town was founded in 1220 by the Paduans to counterbalance the fortification of Castelfranco Veneto, 13 kilometres (8 mi) to the E., in 1218 by the Trevisans. This was a time of war between the communes.
It was built in successive stages in a polygonal shape on orthogonal axes through the construction of 32 large and small towers, with the formation of a protective moat and with four drawbridges next to the four entrance gates.
Its walls, 14 to 16 metres (46 to 52 ft) tall, were built with the “box masonry”: two parallel walls filled with a sturdy core of stones and hot slaked lime totaling a thickness of about 2.10 metres (6.9 ft).
My walk from the train station took me through the Porta Padova.
I stopped in a bar close to Porta Padova for another caffè macchiato. Yum!
Across from the bar was the Chiesa di Santa Maria del Torresino, a little church where an interesting watercolor exhibit was taking place. Lots of beautiful paintings, mostly of flowers. My favorite was the girasole painting.
There are 2 main streets inside the city walls. Each street connects opposite gates to each other. It’s pretty difficult to get lost in this little city. I walked down the main street towards Porta Bassano, where the Tourist Office is located. This is where the walk along the ramparts around the city begins.
Halfway towards Porta Bassano (about a 5 minute walk) you will find the Duomo.
Here is Porta Bassano…
I climbed the steps to the Tourist Information office where you purchase your ticket. Before reaching the office, you will walk through this area with mannequins dressed up to represent life in ancient Cittadella.
I was pretty excited to start my walk around this little city! The skies were hazy that day so unfortunately I was not able to see the mountains. That just means I will have to return someday! The walk and the views were still very cool!
When you reach Porta Padova, you will find a tiny archeological museum on the bottom floor and another museum of sorts with more mannequins dressed up to represent the history of Cittadella. A woman sitting at a desk in the middle of this museum will check your ticket. I asked her if the bell tower next to the church was open to climb. It was not.
I took tons of photos during my walk around the walls of Cittadella. I made a slideshow as sort of a virtual walk around the walls. I don’t think there is a way to start the slideshow from the start, so I labeled the first photo as “the START”.
Here’s a collage highlighting some of the photos from my slideshow to give you an idea of my walk in case you don’t want to spend time watching the entire slideshow…
Back at Porta Bassano where I began my walk, I inquired about a quick stop for lunch. I also wanted to take a few photos of the 2 other main gates of the city.
First, I walked to Porta Treviso…
After taking a few photos, I realized that the time sort of got away from me. I did not want to miss my train so this is as close as I got to Porta Vicenza…
Close up of an old building…
Street view looking towards Porta Padova…
Because of the time, I decided to eat at my next destination instead of stopping for lunch. I bought a couple of apricots in a little grocery store to tide me over. I made it back to the train station with 10 minutes to spare.
Here’s a view of the moat right outside the city walls as I headed back to the train station…
Next up – Part 2 of my day.