TOURIST BOARD (PRO CITTADELLA)
Tourist office is set in the Captain’s house at the Bassano gate. There you can find informations about Cittadella, Padova and it’s surroundings but also informations about the other provinces. The office is also the entrance to the ramparts and here you can buy some souvenirs like postcards, posters, cd-rom, dvd, guide books etc.. By request we can also organize guided tour of the town and cam make room reservations.
The town walls are still intact with a circumference of 1461 mt and diameter of around 450 mt. They have round shape and the parapet walk is around 12 mt higher than the surrounding land. The walls are 2,1 mt thick and they are enclosed by a ring-shaped moat that ,at the old time, became the primary defensive element. Built in 1220 without foundations, the walls rest on ramparts made with earth removed from the fosses below.
Cittadella was built in correspondence of the crossing of two pre-existing roman road axes and inside the walls still remain the chequered disposition of the internal spaces.
The four gates correspond approximately to the four points of the compass and they have the name of the city they are direct to: Bassano gate (north), Padova gate (south), Viceza gate (east) and Treviso gate (west).
In the Middle Age every gate was protected by an iron porticullise and two drawbridges: the bigger for chariots and knights and the smaller for the pedestrians.
PORTA PADOVA – SOUTH GATE
The South gate known as Porta Padova, formed the main entrance to the town. Externally there was the big symbol of Padua (white flag with a red cross), the Carraresi coat of arms (a chariot recognizable from the four wheels) and an iscription, now abraded, that welcomed travellers. A lateral gate in the middle of the gateway leads to the public gardens and permit to walk until the North gate (Porta Bassano). At last, near the south gate there are the Malta tower and the Torresino church.
The robust building is constructed within the south gate. Ezzelino da Romano had the tower built in 1251 as a gruesome prison for his enemies. Chroniclers of the painted a black picture of the events that made it famous. Legend has it that the prisoners were sent to the castle with their feet tied under a horse’s belly, then dropped into tower’s dungeon and left to starve, enduring cruel torture. In 1256, when Ezzelino was banished from Padua, Cittadella’s inhabitants opened the gates so that Tiso from the nearby settlement of Camposampiero could free a few hundred prisoners, including women, reduced to a pitiful state. By contrast, Ezzelino’s supporters were driven into a courtyard and massacred. Two stone tablets were placed on the Tower’s wall with an engraved passage of the “Chronicle of Rolandino”, and the verses of Dante who recounts the tragedy with his poetic authority. The Torre di Malta has been the subject of much research by Cittadella historians. They believe that Dante’s reference to a Torre di Malta is just to Cittadella’s tower. For a fewe years now the ground floor has been converted into a large conference hall where meetings and round-table conferences are held, while the upper floors host the Archaelogical Museum (Opening hours: 1st April-31st October Saturday and Sunday 3pm-7pm; 1st November-31st March Saturday 2pm-6.30pm Sunday 9am-12 / 2pm-5pm. To visit on other days or for more information please call the following phone numbers: 049-9404485 or 049-9413473 or 049-5970627).
Nowadays Torre di Malta is one of the exits of the ramparts and during the opening hours it’s possible to visit the viewpoint on the top of the tower where people can enjoy a spectacular vista over the town and the surrounding area.
CHURCH OF SANTA MARIA DEL TORRESINO
Named after the adjoining tower (torresino) near the south gate (Porta Padovana), according to tradition, the church was built by soldiers at the same time as the castle. The foundations of an earlier building, probably the original structure, have been discovered in recent excavations. The paintings on the altars mat not attain the highest artistic standards, but are nevertheless interesting portrayals of local history. The stone receptacle in the nave comes from the village of Colombara di Cittadella. It is widely held to be the font of the nearby medieval church of San Nicolò di Mejaniga. In 1968 the Torresino church, after a period of neglect, was restored and reopened for worship to commemorate the war dead. During 1997 it was further refurbished and now important art exhibitions as well as spring and autumn concert seasons are held in the nave.
PORTA BASSANO – NORTH GATE
The north gate has in common with the South Gate the coat of arms of Padua and Carraresi family but it is higher and it was defended with five rows of arches closet by portcullises, two drawbridges and a moat linked to the main moat encircling the walls.
Nearby there is the house of the Captain of the guards. The building was erected on three floors that are today connected by recently constructed stairs. The characteristics are the frescoes on the first floor dating back to the 13th and 16th centuries with the coats of arms of the important families who ruled the city. Nowadays this building is the seat of the Tourist Office and the entrance to the ramparts.
Nowadays the parapet walk has been restructured for the ¾ of its length. It is 14-16 mt high and permit the visitors to know and appreciate from a privileged point of view the walls structure and functionality. The entrance is in the Captain’s house.
Parapet walk opening hours:
1st April – 31st October
Mon – Fri 9am-1pm / 2pm-6pm closed on Tuesday
Sat 9am-12.30pm / 3pm-7pm guided tour of the walls at 3pm-4pm-5pm-6pm
Sun 9am-12.30pm / 3pm-7pm
1st November - 31st March
Mon – Fri 9am-1pm / 2pm-4pm closed on Tuesday
Sat 9am-1pm / 2pm-4.30pm guided tour of the walls at 2pm and 3pm
Sun 9am-12 / 2pm-5pm
LAST ENTRANCE ALWAYS 45 MINUTES BEFORE CLOSURE
Info: Tourist Office
PORTA VICENZA E PORTA TREVISO – WEST AND EAST GATES
West and East Gates are 20-25 mt high and were defended with three rows of arches, porticullises and with a drawbridge. Nowaday Porta trevisao is one of the exits of the parapet walk and also in this tower it’s possible to take a look of the town from the viewpoint on the top.
THE MAGISTRATES’ HALL
This palace represented the power of the Paduan State first and later of Venetian Republic. The importance it had in the past is also showed by the pink marble portal dating from 1500, with two medallions bearing the effigy of Carlo e Pandolfo Malatesta. In fact is thanks to Sanseverino and Malatesta families that the Magistrates’ hall was completely frescoed both internally and externally. Some examples of decorations are the coat of arms of the two families accompanied with portraits in round frames and motifs of fantastic animals, vegetables and astrological symbols. Recently restructured, since September 1998 it has hosted a series of national art exhibitions.
THE DUOMO (CATHEDRAL)
The Duomo and its surroundings with many works of art form an architectural complex of great interest built between 1774 and 1826 by three eminent architects. Domenico Cerato, designer of other structures such as the Specola and Prato della Valle in Padua, designed the building's layout. Ottavio Bertotti Scamozzi (1726-1790), from Vicenza, gave the temple its characteristic neo-classical style while Carlo Barera, also from Vicenza, oversaw the building's completion. The façade was completed in 1913, while local artisans crafted the bas-reliefs and statues. The wide nave features six altars, four of which bear works by Leandro Bassano, Lattanzio Quarena, Sebastiano Santi and Michele Fanoli from Cittadella. Of note in the sacristy are: "La Cena in Emmaus" (Supper in Emmaus) by Jacopo da Ponte (1510-1592), some time ago on the high altar of the old parish church; "La Deposizione", a painting attributed to Venetian artist Lazzaro Bastiani (1430-1512) and member of Gentile Bellini's circle; "La Flagellazione", a painting attributed to Palma il Giovane (1540-1628); "Adoration of the Magi " (L'adorazione dei Magi) of the Venetian school, attributed to the seventeenth century, and "The Crucifixion", a large eighteenth century canvas. A museum of religious art has also been organised in the bell-tower.
PALAZZO DELLA LOGGIA
Named in documents since the fifteenth century as the Palazzo della Loggia, for the space that opened on the ground floor, the building was restructured on neo-classical lines in 1816 by Vicenza architect Carlo Barera. Some noteworthy elements conserved from the earlier building are the frieze with some of the coats of arms of the Venetian chief magistrates and the fifteenth century bas-relief of the Lion of St Mark (Leone di San Marco). Cittadella's citizens concealed it in Napoleon's times and it was recently rediscovered under the layer of a wall of the same building. Another Lion of St Mark, hidden in the same circumstances, was placed on top of the column in the Piazzetta del Duomo.
In 1817 a group of wealthy Cittadella citizens founded a Theatrical Society, inspired by a similar association of philharmonic music active since 1804. However, the Society needed a theatre. An architect from Bassano, Giacomo Bauto, who had already designed his town's theatre, was commissioned to design the building opened in 1811. Francesco Cibele, an architect from Vicenza, completed the work. The building, with its simple and incomplete neo-classical façade, attributed to Giuseppe Iapelli (who also designed the famous "Pedrocchi" café in Padua), is based on nineteenth century theatrical design. An atrium lined by cafés and fruit shops, a semicircular hall with a stage (extended in 1836) and the orchestra pit, three rows of loggias or upper tiers (allocated to Society members), a smoking room or foyer used in breaks or for Society meetings. The still splendid fresco decorations were crafted by Francesco Bagnara, stage designer and painter from Vicenza, who painted the famous La Fenice theatre of Venice too. The theatre was opened at the fair in October 1828 and from 1831 on theatrical seasons took place regularly at least until the First World War, when Cittadella fell behind the battle lines. The theatre's first era may be considered its heyday as it hosted a wide variety of spectacles: ranging from Opera music to plays and tragedies, to band concerts and to the first cinema screenings. After the war the theatre's importance gradually declined and the few heirs of the founding members decided in 1934 to sell it to the Council (the transfer was finalised in 1950). In 1970 the Community theatre (Teatro Sociale) fully resumed its activities, acting year after year as an irreplaceable symbol of Cittadella's culture.
ANDREA MANTEGNA HALL (TOWNHALL)
The building was erected on a previous building dating back to the 16th century. It was inaugurated by Vittorio Emanuele II at the end of the 19th century and was used by the town council as a “crops warehouse”. The very first schools which provided primary education for many generations of the inhabitants of Cittadella are located in one of the sideways of the building. During the First World War it was used as a field military hospital where a lot of wounded soldiers were looked after. Today it is the seat of Cittadella Town Council.
VILLA MASTINI, DELLA SCALA, MALFATTI, RINA
This is a two-storey 19th century mansion which is now the Seat of the local library and a multifunctional centre. Inside, there are spacious rooms that remind us the master’s house of the old days. The façade has been adorned by classical decorations and by rusticated decorations at ground floor level. The building complex is characterised by the presence of a Scaligera tower in the inner gardens, crowned by the dovetailing battlement and flanked by two cylindrical bodies containing the stairs.
S. DONATO CHURCH
Only 1.5 km or around a mile south of the town walls, on the highway to Padua is the ancient Church of San Donato. In all likelihood built on a pagan shrine, it was the first Christian parish church in the region as early as the sixth century. In the late middle ages the local population's religious and social life revolved around the church, as evinced by finds dating from the Lombard era arranged on the inner wall of the building and the four subsequent refurbishments.
SAINT FRANCIS MONASTERY
The monastery of Franciscan fathers was built around 1481 and has always been a very active spiritual centre in Cittadella. Under Napoleon's rule in 1806 the monastery was suppressed and converted into a barracks. In 1947 it was returned to the Franciscan Fathers and the church, with a nave was recently restored and has regained its evocative Franciscan style. The monastery converges on a majestic cloister and has spacious interiors with fascinating vaulted ceilings. In the entrance is a fresco depicting the Virgin Mary with baby Jesus between St Anthony of Padua and St Francis. It is usually ascribed to an artist from Vicenza with Umbrian influences who painted it at the beginning of the sixteenth century.
CHURCH OF SANTA MARIA DI BRENTA
Santa Lucia di Brenta is the church of a solitary Benedictine monastery on which it stood long before the 13th century near banks of the river Brenta. After centuries of service the church was devastated and nearly abandoned in the 14th century. However, it was restored in the 16th century and was ornately frescoed by Iacopo da Ponte, paying tribute to the workmanship of the village's monks. Apparently in 1867 the church was still in use, but after this date even its name quickly faded. After the Second World War Giuseppe Cappello, an honorary monument inspector, discovered the church by chance in the guide of storybook. Little remained of the religious building, as it had been transformed into a rundown farmhouse known locally as "the Statue house" with a dwelling, barn, cellar and storeroom together measuring little more than fifteen metres in length.
||9 - 13
||14 - 18
||9 - 13
||14 - 18
||9 - 13
|| 14 - 18
||9 - 13
||14 - 18
|Saturday and Sunday:
||9 - 12.30
||14.30 - 19
CAMMINAMENTO DI RONDA
open from 9.00am until 16.00pm from Monday to Friday (except Tuesday)
Saturday 14.30 - 16.30
Sunday 14 - 17