Cittadella a Hidden Gem in Northern Italy
by Ruth Murdoch | June 2019 | Italy
What a gem we found by pure chance. I pointed to a place on the map that would conclude today’s driving and found a free parking spot that just happened to be nearby a town wall. Getting that close to an Italian old town is something of a miracle in Betsy, our Motorhome, with her 7.5 metre (plus bikes) length.
Cittadella has Europe’s best-preserved medieval parapet walkway that allows you to traverse its nearly two-kilometre loop.
We unassumingly walked into the local Tourism office to check out the local surroundings, only to discover this was the start of the parapet walkway.
The walls are 1461 metres in circumference, 14 metres high, with 30 metre high keeps. On average the walls are 2.1 metres thick.
An elderly Italian lady in front of me was not confident to walk out onto the walkway and look down. I suspect she suffered from vertigo. However, with her family who had already scarpered and another group coming up from the rear, she had no option other than to keep moving forward.
There are four gates that enter the town and twelve towers looking both inwards to the residents and outwards to anyone wishing to lay siege to this town. One family succeeded and an invading family occupied Cittadella for 30 years.
Today the city of 36km2 and which was founded in 1220, has a population of just 20,000. The houses and grounds are immaculately kept which surely must be more than a coincidence.
Beautifully manicured private back yards from the residents of Cittadella
There is also a panoramic viewing platform at the halfway point, which offers unobstructed views of the beautiful mountains, vineyards, and countryside, as well as the town buildings. We tried to capture as much of this scenery as possible.
The Walls Surrounding Cittadella
The moat runs all around the walls and is fed by spring water. From the walkway we could see large fish, probably carp, enjoying the flowing water entering the moat laying in wait for morsels to feed upon.
It’s June and already the high season so where are the crowds to spoil our photos? I don’t know how many tourists maps Cittadella is featured on, but if you are in the area then do pop in.
We were amused to come across a small café called Motueka, which is a quaint town in New Zealand’s south island. Unfortunately, Moteuka was closed so we couldn’t find out how a little north Italian walled town ended up with a café from New Zealand origins.