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Medieval Walled Towns


Before the year 589 the river Adige flew through the town and along its banks important religious and cultural Paleovenetian settlements developed in pre-roman age. The town became one of the most important Italian centres after the year 1000 thanks to the presence of the Estensi family, who erected their castle and fortified the town. The circle of walls was later enlarged by the Da Carrara family and by the Venetians. The fine rooms of the Atestino National Museum house a great number of items from Paleovenetian and Roman times, and a beautiful collection of ceramics. The imposing remains of the castle, which scenographically descend from the top of the hill downwards for about one kilometer, are one of the main attractions of the town

In the 13th-century the castle became one of the most important centres of troubadoric poetry as many Italian and foreign troubadours and ministrels met at the court of Azzo VI of Este. The religious heritage of the town is very rich, too. The Cathedral keeps a beautiful painting by Giambattista Tiepolo (1759) and the tomb of Blessed Beatrice díEste, the daughter of the Marquis of Este, who died in 1226 when she was only 26 years old. Her beauty and virtue had enchanted many poets, who dedicated their lyrics to her. The charme of this town attracted poets and artists even in more recent times: in the 16th-century a great numbers of artists gathered at the dwelling of Alvise Cornaro a rich and generous patron of art and culture of Venetian origins;in the 19th century the great romantic English poets Byron and Shelley spent a long and intense holiday at Villa Kunkler; the 20th century registered the presence of Bruce Chatwin and Emma Tennant at Villa Albrizzi. Este is worldwide famous for the production of artistic ceramics.


MONSELICE has an enchanting historical centre which develops around the slopes of the Citadel Hill. The defensive function and the setting out of the citadel (Rocca) date back to the Roman times, and was later enlarged and completed by the Langobards in the fifth century. In the year 1239 the town was further fortified by will of Emperor Frederic II, who ordered extensive fortification works and the building of the castle. The town was later contended by the most important families who dominated the region in the fourteenth century, the Estensi, the Carraresi and the Scaligeri until in 1338 it was conquered by the Da Carrara noble family of Padua.

In 1405 following an enervating siege lasting a full year it became part of the Serenissima Republic of Venice, a domination which lasted until the end of the eighteenth century. The beautiful walk from piazza Mazzini to the top of the hill reveals the most important historical events of the town through its main monuments. The first stop is at the Chiesa di s. Paolo (St. Paulís church), which keeps an early medieval crypt with 13th-century frescoes. Taking the Via del Santuario you reach the Castello (Castle) a fortress dating from the late Middle Ages, re-built by Ezzelino da Romano in the 13th c., enlarged by the Da Carrara family and transformed into a residence by the Marcello Venetian noble family. In 1942 it was made a museum by Count Vittorio Cini who added a rich collection of arms and furniture.

Continuing the ascent is the 16th-century Villa Nani Moncenigo and after it the old Pieve di S. Giustina, which was consecrated in 1256, it houses a number of important works or art and a fine beamed ceiling (1787). After passing through the doorway of the Ďcountís lioní you reach the wide panorama of the rotonda. The Porta Romana (Roman gate) erected in 1651 marks the entry to the Jubilee Sanctuary of the Seven Churches designed by Vincenzo Scamozzi on commission from the Duodo Venetian noble family. The mansion of the Duodo family, Villa Duodo, and a spectacular exedra mark the end of the route. From here a stairway and path lead to the top of the hill (150m) dominated by the imposing Mastio Federiciano (Frederickís stronghold).


The last walled town in the south-western part of the province of Padua is MONTAGNANA. The fortified city centre remains one of the best preserved and most charming examples of a walled city in Europe.The walls have a circumference of about two kilometers with two gates and 24 towers . S. Zeno Castle, one of the two gates, was erected in 1242 and now hosts the Town Museum. The other gate, Rocca degli Alberi, is a real jewel of military architecture. It was erected in 1360 by the will of Francesco I the Elder of the Da Carrara family. The narrow porticoed streets of the town lead to the wide Vittorio Emanuele Square, dominated by the Cathedral (works of art by Sansovino and Paolo Veronese inside). Close to Porta Padova is Villa Pisani a work by Andrea Palladio (1553-1555). Montagnana is situated at the centre of the Veneto Berico Euganeo Sweet Ham production area.

The gloriuous past of the town of these beautiful medieval towns is recreated in spectacular historical re-enactments and medieval festivals, during which costumed performers, musicians, flag-wavers, invade the streets, play games from the middle ages, compete the palio (horse-race) to win the prize, and recreate the typical medieval atmosphere in vigorous and colourful tournaments, picturesque markets and medieval fayres. The most important medieval events are: Palio of Trambaque at Cervarese S. Croce Castle (May), Estensiís Days in Este (June), Palio of Montagnana (1st Sunday in September), Roccaís Joust in Monselice (3rd Sunday in Semptember) and Voices from the Middle Ages in Cittadella (end September-early October). The year ends with the Medieval New Year in Montagnana (last Sunday in December).

Affittacamere di Tasinato Davide Dom. Fisc e Sede Ditta: Via Cataio 1, 35036 Montegrotto Terme PD P.IVA e Cod. Fis. TSNDVD70D29G224H. Tel. 049 891 03 55, Email info@camerelabotte.it | Amministrazione