Day Trips in Italy Veneto

11 Things to Do in Cittadella, Italy – The Town with Walls to Walk On

The Ronda Walkway with Porta Bassano - Cittadella, Italy - rossiwrites.com

This is a comprehensive travel guide about the best things to do in Cittadella, Italy. It includes lots of insider tips and first-hand recommendations to make your day trip to this medieval walled town as easy and enjoyable as possible.

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Here are eleven things to do in Cittadella, Italy.

Cittadella is a medieval town with a beautifully preserved defensive wall that circles its historic centre in a tight elliptical embrace.

An easy distance away by car and train from Vicenza, Padua, and even Venice and Verona, Cittadella is a great day trip in the Northern Italian region of the Veneto. In this gorgeous little town, you can get to experience the authentic rhythm of the Italian lifestyle. You can enjoy a number of seasonal events with the highlight being a large medieval reenactment held each September. Above all, in Cittadella, you can visit a number of exciting sights.

The view from the Belvedere of the Torre di Malta - Cittadella, Italy - rossiwrites.com

The most unmissable of them all is Cittadella’s defensive wall. This is a tall rampart of red bricks and river stones that was first erected in the 13th century. It juts above the town’s rooftops and you can walk on it taking in the views of the historic centre, the Venetian plains, and the nearby mountains.

The wall is dotted with towers, turrets, gates, and keeps. An uninterrupted walkway circles it at a height of 14 up to 30 m! Finding yourself up there and following in the steps of medieval sentinels is one of the best experiences to have off the beaten track in Italy. The panoramic views fill your heart and you understand what birds must feel seeing the world from above. And then, when your fingers touch the centuries-old masonry of Cittadella’s wall, history – usually confined to boring books and documentaries – suddenly becomes vibrant and alive again.

During the six years that I spent living in Italy, I loved visiting Cittadella time and time again. It was one of the very first day trips that my family and I took in Veneto. And then, it easily became a place we often returned to. We loved walking on its wall, circumnavigating the historic centre in an hour or so. We enjoyed the town’s many lively seasonal events. And we always marvelled how, come riposo – the extended Italian lunch break – the town’s streets became deserted and we could walk around and easily imagine being back in the Middle Ages.

Above all, at Christmas, Cittadella’s ice rink was where we always had so much fun. We circled around the huge Christmas tree in its centre, me – holding on for dear life on a penguin-shaped skating support, my husband and my child – brave and free – whizzing past. Cittadella’s huge cathedral towered above the ice rink and the town’s Christmas lights sparkled in the dark. It was truly magical! One of my most cherished memories of our Italian life.

The ice rink at Christmas - Cittadella, Italy - rossiwrites.com

So, today, I want to tell you more about Cittadella and the many wonderful things you can get up to in this small Italian town yourself. If you are looking for a great day trip destination in Veneto or a quiet base from which to explore more of this corner of Italy, Cittadella could be just what you need.

As you may have guessed, I am very fond of this medieval walled town – one of so many in Italy and yet one so special. I hope that by reading this blog post, you will feel excited about discovering Cittadella and making your own memories by visiting it yourself.

This blog post is split into three logically organised parts that you can easily scroll through. I start with a short introduction to the history of Cittadella. Then, I give you the best eleven things to do in this fortified town in Italy. At the end, you will find lots of practical tips to make your visit to Cittadella as easy and enjoyable as possible. From how to get there to where to stay and what to see nearby, everything is covered.

Have a look!

11 Things to Do in Cittadella, Italy - The Town with Walls to Walk On - rossiwrites.com

A Very Short Introduction to the History of Cittadella, Italy

Archers at the medieval reenactment - Cittadella, Italy - rossiwrites.com

Cittadella is a beautiful medieval walled town in the Northern Italian region of Veneto. The land where it stands has been inhabited since ancient times. Important Roman roads ran through it connecting it to large Roman settlements as Aquileia and Genoa as well as to the rest of Northern Italy.

Cittadella itself was founded in 1220 when the Lords of the nearby city of Padua decided to build a fortified castle from scratch. The citadel, they reasoned, would be useful to keep Padua’s territories safe from incursions from nearby Vicenza and Treviso. At the same time, it could be used to support the agricultural development of Padua’s lands.

The location of Cittadella was picked strategically. The new fortified town was erected just 13 km away from Castelfranco Veneto – an important stronghold of the Lords of Treviso.

The walls of Cittadella were built over a long period of time starting back in 1220. Originally, the gates and the defensive structures were made of wood. Later on, it was all rebuilt in bricks and stones. The four gates were erected first. They were followed by the towers and a low wall between them all. Gradually, the wall was elevated, battlements erected on top of it, and a ronda walkway added to aid patrolling the town and keep it safe from attack.

The Ronda Walkway on the medieval defensive wall - Cittadella, Italy - rossiwrites.com

For a few years in the 13th century, Cittadella was ruled by the local tyrant Ezzelino III da Romano. Such was his cruelty and infamy that he was even mentioned in Dante’s Divine Comedy as one of the sinners suffering in lakes of hot blood in Hell.

Ezzelino’s contribution to Cittadella was the construction of the Torre di Malta. This is a 25 m tall tower which the tyrant used as a prison where he tortured his enemies. Nowadays, the tower houses two small museums and it’s topped by a belvedere affording beautiful views over the historic centre. By the way, the Torre di Malta is also mentioned in the Divine Comedy. A small plaque quoting the respective verses is attached to its sturdy outer wall.

In the 14th century, Cittadella was ruled over by the Carrara family – Lords of Padua – whose coat of arms can be seen frescoed on many historic facades around the town to this day. It represents a four-wheeled cart (or carro in Italian).

The staircase in the missing portion of the defensive wall - Cittadella, Italy - rossiwrites.com

Between 1406 and 1797, Cittadella (as all of Veneto) was part of the territories of the Republic of Venice. In the 16th century, the town was attacked during the battles of the War of the League of Cambrai. This is when a small portion of its defensive wall was blown off. Nowadays, a metal staicase bridges over the gap. At the end of the 18th century, the town witnessed the arrival of Napoleon’s troops in Northern Italy. Several of the fortifications attached to its medieval wall were destroyed then.

Cittadella joined the newly established Kingdom of Italy in 1866. Nowadays, it is a town of 20,000 inhabitants in the Venetian plains. It’s a great place to visit to experience the authentic Italian lifestyle and to see for yourself some of the most impressive and well-preserved medieval defensive architecture this side of Italy. Plus, Cittadella prides itself on being the only place in Europe where you can circumnavigate a historic town on an elliptical walkway dating back to the Middle Ages.

11 Things to Do in Cittadella, Italy – The Town with Walls to Walk On

1. Walk on the Medieval Wall of Cittadella, Italy

The Ronda Walkway - Cittadella, Italy - rossiwrites.com

The best thing to do in Cittadella is to walk on its medieval rampart which surrounds fully the historic centre of the town. The rampart is a tall and sturdy defensive wall crowned with battlements and equipped with a parapet walkway (officialy known as the Ronda Walkway). It is the same walkway that was used centuries ago to patrol the town and to keep an eye out for enemies that might be approaching Cittadella.

Following a large-scale restoration effort that took several years, in 2013 Cittadella’s walkway was opened to visitors of this small Italian town. To this day, it remains Europe’s only medieval, fully elliptical and walkwable patrol walkway. You can click here to buy your tickets.

The walkway follows the outline of the wall – an ellipsis with a diameter of 1,461 m. You walk at a height of 14 m and a few times along the way, you climb up even higher inside the keeps and the almost 30-meter tall towers. It is safe and suitable for families with kids.

Standing on top of Cittadella’s rampart, you enjoy soul-inspiring views. Within the ellipsis you have a bird’s-eye panorama of the historic centre’s red rooftops with the massive body of the town’s cathedral proudly rising above them. As you walk next to the centuries-old battlements and touch their masonry with your fingers, you enjoy the view of streets that are straight as an arrow, of houses in ochres and yellows, as well as of neat courtyards where flowers bloom from early spring to late autumn. There are also tall conifers and a few palms along the way.

The moat with the defensive walls - Cittadella, Italy - rossiwrites.com

When you stop to catch your breath from all this beauty at your feet, you end up looking through the narrow openings in the crenellated wall next to you. First, you notice the deep freshwater moat that surrounds completely Cittadella’s walls. Beyond the moat, are more houses, built after Cittadella outgrew the limits of its medieval rampart. Beyond them, the flat as a pancake Venetian plains stretch for miles. On the horizon, steep mountains with crisp snow-caps reach for Veneto’s blue sky. It’s beautiful!

On average, the wall is 2.1 m thick and almost 1,5 km long. Seven different masonry techniques were employed during its construction. It has four gates, four keeps, 12 towers, and 16 turrets. The wall forms an almost uninterrupted oval ring. There is only a small portion of it missing due to an attack during the Wars of the League of Cambrai in the 16th century. Nowadays, a metal staircase stretches over the void and completes the wall.

Quite interestingly, the defensive wall doesn’t have foundations! Instead, it is propped by huge embankments created during the excavation of the moat and piled up high on the outside and the inside of the wall. At some point, centuries ago, the locals started to remove the soil from the embankments which threatened the integrity of the rampart. As you walk on it, you may notice that some sections of it seem to be leaning backwards and the walkway appears to be jutting up slightly . Don’t worry! Cittadella’s wall was carefully restored over many years and nowadays can be traversed all around.

The route that the visitors follow along the Ronda Walkway and through the different keeps and towers is almost two kilometres long. On average, it takes about an hour/an hour and 15 mins to circumnavigate Cittadella’s historic centre on top of its medieval wall. Don’t rush it though! There are so many photo opportunities here. And simply stopping and taking it all in is an experience in itself.

Special events are often held on the Ronda Walkway. From a living Nativity Scene at Christmas to performances of medieval music at candlelight, Cittadella’s wall is a central part of the social life in this small historic town in Italy.

2. Explore the Museums in the Keeps of the Medieval Wall of Cittadella, Italy

Gate in the defensive walls - Cittadella, Italy - rossiwrites.com

Apart from the stunning views you can enjoy from the Ronda Walkway, the next best thing you get to do up there is visiting the small museums housed in some of the medieval keeps and towers of Cittadella’s wall.

Your visit of the wall of Cittadella starts from the town’s tourist office inside the old Casa del Capitano (Captain’s House). You will find this sturdy medieval building right next to the tower of the northern gate – Porta Bassano. Outside, at the wall’s base, there is a large car park where you can leave your vehicle if you have driven to Cittadella. Otherwise, the town’s train station is about 10-15 mins away on foot.

You can either buy your ticket in advance online or on the day from the tourist office inside the Casa del Capitano. Your visit starts from its historic rooms decorated with medieval frescoes. Here you can see a small display with recreated costumes, armour, and arms. These belong to a local association which also stages Cittadella’s large medieval reenactment each September. For more about it, have a look at point 8 in this blog post.

The top floor of the Casa del Capitano leads out onto the rampart where your circumnavigation of the Ronda Walkway begins. En route, you will reach the Torre di Malta which was built in 1251 as a prison. The tower is part of Porta Padova – one of the four gates in Cittadella’s defensive wall. The panoramic terrace – Belvedere – on top of the Torre di Malta offers wonderful views over the surrounding area. Standing at a height of almost 30 m, the eye travels far. On a clear day, you can enjoy a panorama taking several groups of hills in Veneto as well as the Alpine foothills.

More importantly, inside the Torre di Malta, you can visit two small museums:

  • Siege Museum – it tells the story of the siege of Cittadella by the medieval lord of Verona – Cangrande della Scala – in 1318.
  • Civic Archaeological Museum – it traces the history of Cittadella and the adjacent lands from the Bronze Age to the Renaissance.

You can spend as long as you want here. There is lots of information to read through. I particularly enjoyed the explanations about the different types of shields used in the Middle Ages. There was certainly a great variety of them with different purposes.

If, for whatever reason, you decide that you don’t want to continue your stroll on the Ronda Walkway, you can return to street level from the Torre di Malta.

3. Learn the Names and the Stories of the Four Medieval Gates of Cittadella, Italy

The Ronda Walkway with the Captain's House and the frescoed Porta Bassano - Cittadella, Italy - rossiwrites.com

There are four gates in Cittadella’s medieval defensive wall. They lie, approximately, along the four cardinal points, 450 metres from each other. Their names are Porta Bassano, Porta Vicenza, Porta Treviso, and Porta Padova. As you can guess, the gates point towards the Italian cities they are named after.

Cittadella’s four gates serve as an easy point of orientation in your explorations of the town’s historic centre. You will walk through one of them upon your arrival in town. You will walk on top of all four of them during your circumnavigation of the Ronda Walkway. And you will stop many times in your tracks during your time in Cittadella to take photos from any possible angle of the gates, their mighty architecture, and their frescoes.

Here is a short overview of Cittadella’s four gates:

  • Porta Bassano – this is the gate with the strongest fortifications. Originally, it had a drawbridge, a complex access system of five doors, a large keep, and its own moat that cut it off the town’s centre and was connected to the outer moat. Its facade is adorned with two frescoes – the four-wheeled cart of the Carrara family (Lords of Padua during the Late Middle Ages) and the coat of arms of Padua. The Casa del Capitano (Captain’s House) which nowadays houses the local tourist office, is attached to Porta Bassano. The visit of the Ronda Walkway starts from the tourist office.
  • Porta Vicenza – this is the western entrance to Cittadella’s historic centre. The keep here is about 25 m high and it’s frescoed with Christ’s Crucifixion.
  • Porta Padova – once the main entrance to Cittadella, this is a large gate with the Torre di Malta towering above it. It has a clock and beautiful frescoes. Inside it, you can visit the Siege Museum and the Civic Archaeological Museum of Cittadella as part of your stroll on the Ronda Walkway.
  • Porta Treviso – this is the eastern entrance to Cittadella’s historic centre. The keep here is also about 25 m high and it’s frescoed with the Crowning of the Virgin and the Annunciation.

4. Crisscross the Historic Centre of Cittadella, Italy

Palazzo Pretorio and Duomo seen from the Ronda Walkway - Cittadella, Italy - rossiwrites.com

The historic centre of Cittadella is very pretty. It’s also quite small and contained within the medieval defensive wall, so it’s easy to crisscross it all in a limited amount of time.

Walking around Cittadella’s historic centre, you will come across many structures and elements that are typical for Italy’s medieval towns. There are long porticoes – enclosed pavements with the top floor of the adjacent buildings jutting over them. There are faded frescoes adorning old facades. The windows are with wooden shutters to protect the rooms inside from the hot summer sun. And there is a proliferation of gorgeous wrought-iron details.

Piazza Pierobon is the main point of reference in Cittadella. This is the town’s massive central square. It’s surrounded by a pretty sequence of houses and the huge body of the town’s cathedral dominates above it.

As in every small Italian town, you can expect to find in Cittadella a good number of bars serving excellent Italian coffees, traditional breakfast pastries, and light lunches of crustless sandwiches and pizza slices. There are also great patisseries, some lovely restaurants, a bakery or two, and several excellent boutiques selling Italian fashion and shoes.

In your explorations of the historic centre, you will soon see how Cittadella follows the unspoken rules of the Italian lifestyle. Mornings are busy and lively with a large weekly market held each Monday. Afternoons are quiet with most of the shops closed and people at home taking the long Italian afternoon rest known as riposo. And then, in the evenings, everyone comes out for a relaxed walk, followed by an aperitivo or a dinner with friends and family.

5. Admire the Most Important Buildings in Cittadella, Italy

The Andrea Mantegna Town Hall with the defensive wall and snow-capped mountains behind it - Cittadella, Italy - rossiwrites.com

Apart from its massive defensive wall and the chance to walk on it, Cittadella offers a number of other sights to visit in its historic centre. These are:

  • Palazzo Pretorio – you will find this historic building near Porta Treviso in Cittadella. In the past, this is where the town’s governor – or podesta’ as it is known in Italian – used to live. Richly decorated with frescoes, the palace nowadays is used as an exhibition space. It’s run by the Pretorio Onlus foundation and has a rich programme of noteworthy art events.
  • Andrea Mantegna Town Hall – this is a large building with an amphitheatrical courtyard where performances and events take place. Standing up on Cittadella’s wall, you can enjoy fully the effect of its modern architecture against the town’s historic surroundings.
  • Palazzo della Loggia – this is actually my favourite building in Cittadella. It stands on the edge of the large central square – Piazza Pierobon. It houses the local police force. It has a lovely symmetrical facade inspired by the canons of classical architecture. While the building was erected many hundreds of years ago, the facade was extensively remodelled in the early 19th century. What I loved about it the most was its portico with its faded frescoes and the 15th-century bas-relief of the winged lion of St. Mark – symbol of the Republic of Venice which ruled over Cittadella for almost four centuries.
  • Teatro Sociale – dating back to 1817, this is a true temple of the performance arts. It is thought that the theatre’s facade was designed by Giuseppe Japelli who was also the architect of one of Italy’s most famous historic coffee houses – the mythical Caffe’ Pedrocchi in Padua. The inside decoration of Cittadella’s theatre is attributed to Francesco Bagnara – a painter and stage designer more famous for designing the lavish interiors of Teatro La Fenice in Venice.

6. Light a Candle in the Duomo of Cittadella, Italy

The facade of the Duomo - Cittadella, Italy - rossiwrites.com

As every self-respecting Italian town, Cittadella has its Duomo – a cathedral that stands at a key spot in the historic centre and serves as the focus of the local religious and social life. In addition, Cittadella’s Duomo is simply enormous. When you first see it from the medieval rampart, it rises proudly above the rooftops of the houses around it, dwarfing them in the process.

Standing in front of its facade, you need to throw your head back and look up to see it in its entirety. Right above the mighty pillars that protrude from the facade, there is a sign in Latin: Domus Dei et Porta Coeli. In English, this translates as ‘House of God and Heaven’s Gate’.

Cittadella’s Duomo was built between 1774 and 1826. Its facade was finished in 1913. From the front, the church looks quite a lot like a classical temple. This is in line with the neoclassical architectural canons that were very popular in Italy a couple of centuries or so ago. Three architects worked on Cittadella’s Duomo. The most famous of them – Domenico Cerato – also designed Italy’s largest square – Prato della Valle in nearby Padua.

Today, the Duomo’s sacristy hosts an art gallery with originals by Venetian artists of the rank of Jacopo dal Ponte, Andrea da Murano, and Palma il Giovane. In the bell tower, there is a small museum with a rich collection of religious art and sacred objects.

When in Cittadella, make sure that you also visit the small Church of Santa Maria del Torresino. You will see it standing against the medieval wall right next to the enormous gate Porta Padova. At present, this church is used as an exhibition place. Inside it, however, you can still see a wooden crucifix, altarpieces, as well as a pulpit and a medieval marble basin from the ancient Church of San Nicolo’ of Mejaniga – the village on the foundations of which Cittadella was built back in the 13th century.

If you have a car at your disposal, then make sure that you drive to the Church of San Donato about a couple of kilometres away from Cittadella’s historic centre. This is an ancient place of worship that has been in existence since the 6th century. The current church was built in the Middle Ages with pebbles from the River Brenta (which were also used for the construction of Cittadella’s rampart). There are 14th-century frescoes inside it.

7. Enjoy a Seasonal Event in Cittadella, Italy

The ice rink at Christmas - Cittadella, Italy - rossiwrites.com

Although small in size, Cittadella enjoys a social life that is rich in events and happenings. This is when the town’s central square – the majestic Piazza Pierobon – truly comes to life. If you want your visit to Cittadella to coincide with one of the town’s major events, have a look at this list of what’s on when:

  • Carnival (Carnevale) – between the end of January and the whole of February, Carnival is all that Italy thinks about. Large-scale celebrations take place all around the country. Cittadella has its own with a Carnival parade, fireworks, and a fairground. It is traditionally held on Shrove Tuesday.
  • St. Joseph’s Fair (Fiera di San Giuseppe) – Father’s Day in Italy is celebrated on 19th March – the official day of the Catholic Saint Joseph. This is when Cittadella holds a large spring fair with artisans selling local products in the historic centre of the town.
  • Musical Sunset – throughout summer, medieval music concerts are held on certain evenings. They take place on the parapet walkway of Cittadella’s defensive wall. With the tunes and the views, it’s easy to feel transported back to the Middle Ages.
  • Annual Fair – come to Cittadella on the last weekend of October for a three-day long festival of arts, crafts, and food. It’s a great opportunity to see and experience an authentic Italian celebration with thousands of people flocking to the town all throughout the long weekend and with music, light shows, and fireworks on the last evening.
  • Cittadella at Christmas – the town is lovely at Christmas with its festive decorations, Christmas music concerts, a traditional exhibition of Nativity Scenes, and a small festive market. For me, the pinnacle of Christmas in Cittadella has always been the large ice rink in the historic centre. It was on it that I overcame my fear of slipping and falling. And over the years, I even became a very enthusiastic ice skater, albeit I always relied on a penguin- or a bear-shaped skating aid to feel secure.

8. Have Fun at the Annual Medieval Reenactment in Cittadella, Italy

A stall with historical music instruments at the medieval reenactment - Cittadella, Italy - rossiwrites.com

Italian people are closely connected to their history. Local groups of enthusiasts regularly get together to study the customs and the crafts of bygone times. They research original sources of information, make by hand lavish, historically correct costumes, learn how to use the arms and armour of medieval soldiers, and recreate artisan tools used centuries ago.

Then, they stage large-scale medieval reenactments in small towns that, themselves, are hundreds of years old. Cittadella has its own medieval reenactment which is held on the fourth weekend of September each year.

It’s a lot of fun! It’s organised by the local association Armi, Dame e Cavalieri (in English, Arms, Ladies, and Knights). This is when large tents in the medieval style are set up on the green embankments between Cittadella’s massive rampart and the deep freshwater moat. Craftsmen get to work making shoes, fabric, baskets, wood carvings, and even arrows using handheld tools. Ladies dressed in their finery walk around in groups. And archers compete with each other to see who will manage to send their arrow flying as far away as possible.

In addition, there are parades in the historic centre, historic games taking place at different spots around town, birds of prey displays, and performances of medieval music. The event reaches its crescendo on the last night. This is when there is a torch-lit parade through the streets of Cittadella, fireworks, and even a very realistic siege of the town. It all ends with setting on fire the defensive wall. Not for real, of course, but it looks very good.

So, yes, it really pays to visit Cittadella on the fourth weekend of September. The rest of the time, you can see photos of the town’s medieval reenactment and read about the historic events that it recreates in the small museums that can be visited during your walk on Cittadella’s rampart.

9. Take the Kids to Play in Cittadella, Italy

The historic centre seen from the top of Porta Bassano - Cittadella, Italy - rossiwrites.com

Cittadella is a great place to visit with kids. The town is small and very walkable. Built on a flat surface, you can easily cross its historic centre from end to end in a few minutes. Wide pavements make it easy to walk around with a pushchair and while some of the side streets are cobbled, they are still flat, so navigating them with little ones is not a problem.

The best thing about it is that Cittadella has a nice and large playground. You will find it nestled in a lovely green park just outside of the town’s massive defensive wall. The nearest gate to the playground is Porta Padova. It’s all very green with plenty of trees providing a nice shadow in the heat of the summer. A nice sturdy fence separates the playground from the moat. On a hot summer day, it’s very nice to stop for a moment and look at the water trying to spot the large fish that swim in it.

When the weather is not so nice, you can head to Magilandia. This is a nice indoor playcentre with a restaurant. You will find it about five-six minutes away by car from Cittadella.

10. Visit the Military Cemetery in Cittadella, Italy

Outside of Cittadella’s historic centre and next to the town’s municipal cemetery, there is a military cemetery where 20,000 soldiers are buried. The remains of 10,010 of them have not been identified. The soldiers are of seven different nationalities of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire. They perished in World War I. 1,200 white crosses and an eternal flame pay silent vigil to the fallen soldiers.

11. Take a Trip from Cittadella, Italy

The greenhouse and the villa - Parco Villa Bolasco - Castelfranco Veneto, Italy - rossiwrites.com

One of the best things about Cittadella is that it’s within a close proximity to many more hidden gems in the Venetian countryside. As such, you can easily combine a visit to Cittadella with a visit to one or more of the following must-see destinations:

  • Castelfranco Veneto – Cittadella’s former military rival, this is a delightful medieval walled town and birthplace of the famous Renaissance painter Giorgione.
  • Nove – a small town famous for the locally made ceramics.
  • Bassano del Grappa – a very pretty town on the shores of the River Brenta. It has a rich heritage and some of the most beautiful squares this side of Italy.
  • Marostica – a truly splendid medieval walled town with a full ring of ramparts, two castles, and a central square that is shaped like a chequerboard.
  • Asolo – a charming hilltop town with splendid views. Throughout the centuries, many artists, writers, travellers, and even a queen found a peaceful refuge here.
  • Villa di Maser – a lavish Palladian villa frescoed by Veronese.
  • Possagno – a small village where the famous Italian neoclassical sculptor Antonio Canova was born and laid to rest.

If you are a quick sightseer, then you can fit Cittadella and one of the above places on the same day. Otherwise, use this list as a source of inspiration for many day trips in the area. You will soon find out that the more you see, the more there is to see and enjoy here.

Practical Information about Visiting Cittadella in Veneto, Italy

How to pronounce the name of Cittadella in Italy?

The Church of Santa Maria del Torresino seen from the medieval defensive wall - Cittadella, Italy - rossiwrites.com

The pronunciation of Cittadella follows Italian phonetic rules. As such, the C here is a soft ‘ch’ as in the English word ‘chair’. The double consonants tt and ll need to be said forcefully and with a lot of emphasis.

Here is a short audio clip on YouTube of an Italian person pronouncing Cittadella.

Where is Cittadella, Italy?

The historic centre seen from the Ronda Walkway - Cittadella, Italy - rossiwrites.com

Cittadella is a small town in the Venetian plains in Northern Italy. It’s in the Province of Padua which is part of the Italian region of Veneto. It has around 20,000 inhabitants and it’s easy to reach by car and train from a number of important cities in Veneto. Among them are:

(a) Vicenza – 25 km away from Cittadella;
(b) Padua – 33 km away from Cittadella;
(c) Treviso – 40 km away from Cittadella;
(d) Venice – 65 km away from Cittadella; and
(e) Verona – 83 km away from Cittadella.

Here is a map showing the exact location of Cittadella in Italy in relation to the above cities. You can click on it for further details and distances.

How to reach Cittadella, Italy?

The historic centre seen from Porta Bassano - Cittadella, Italy - rossiwrites.com

Cittadella enjoys good connections by train with some of the largest cities in the Northern Italian region of Veneto. A direct train takes you from Vicenza to Cittadella in just 25 mins. From Padua to Cittadella, the direct train takes under 45 mins. From Treviso to Cittadella, the direct train also takes under 45 mins.

If you are travelling to Cittadella from either Venice or Verona, then you will have to travel first to either Padua or Treviso (coming from Venice) or respectively Vicenza (coming from Verona) and then take the direct train from there.

To check train travel times and buy tickets in advance, I use Omio. It shows prices and travel times for all available types of trains in Italy irrespective of the company that runs them. This way I can compare costs and times of departure and arrival.

Reaching Cittadella by car is very easy, too. If you are driving there from Vicenza or Padua, it’s a toll-free journey. From Venice and Verona, there will be a small toll charge to pay if you opt to drive on the highway. This very helpful website will give you an estimate of how much the tolls are going to cost. Click here if you need to hire a car for your trip to Cittadella in Italy.

Where to stay in Cittadella, Italy?

Long portico in the historic centre - Cittadella, Italy - rossiwrites.com

You can find all sorts and types of accommodation in and around Cittadella in Veneto, Italy to suit any budget. From fabulous hotels to cozy B&B’s in historic buildings, there is something for everyone.

For ideas about the types of accommodation available in Veneto in particular and Italy in general, have a look at this blog post:

I usually prefer to book all my accommodation through Booking.com. It gives me many different options in terms of budget and location and I can also read and compare reviews left by real people. Click to see all available places to stay in and around Cittadella, Italy.

If you need some visual help in terms of precise location and price range, have a look at this map. It gives you a quick idea of the prices and whereabouts of the many hotels and other forms of accommodation you can book for your stay in Cittadella in Veneto, Italy.

You can zoom in and out in order to search for a place to stay. You can also click on the option that interests you to find out more details or to make a booking directly.

In addition, if you click on ‘Accommodation’ in the top right corner of the map and select ‘Experiences’ from the drop-down menu, then you can see some truly exciting experiences you can book directly in the area around Cittadella, Italy:

When is the best time to visit Cittadella, Italy?

The historic centre seen from the Ronda Walkway - Cittadella, Italy - rossiwrites.com

Cittadella is a great year-round destination for a day trip in Veneto, Italy. No matter the season, this small walled town is a very exciting place to visit. Still, ideally, try to come here on a fair weather day as walking on the wall of Cittadella is not a great experience if it drizzles. Otherwise, pop in any time you want.

Keep in mind that summers are very hot here, so a bottle of water and a high-factor suncream will come in handy. Especially up on the Ronda Walkway! Winters are generally mild with only very rare snowfalls. Still, bring an extra layer for your walk on Cittadella’s defensive wall, as up there it can get very chilly.

How long to stay in Cittadella, Italy?

Cittadella is very small and walkable. Everything that there is to do and see here, you can comfortably fit it in half a day or so. Which is perfect, as then you can spend the rest of the day exploring another beautiful destination nearby.

If you would rather take it easy and prefer not to rush around, then Cittadella is a lovely full-day trip. In case you decide that you need a peaceful place as a base to explore the hidden corners and the larger cities of Veneto from, again Cittadella could be the perfect choice.

What other walled towns to see in Veneto, Italy?

Marostica - Veneto, Italy - rossiwrites.com

If you have a particular interest in walled towns, fortified castles, and medieval settlements, then you are in luck. The Northern Italian region of Veneto is dotted with beautiful and very well-preserved medieval walled places. They make for wonderful day trips from the region’s larger cities and have so much to offer in terms of history, authentic traditions, exciting sightseeing, good food, and splendid views.

My favourite medieval walled towns in Veneto (in no particular order) are: Marostica, Montagnana, Este, Malcesine, Torri del Benaco, Lazise, Soave, and Monselice. All these small and cute towns have massive defensive walls – either portions or whole – and, in most cases, an impressive castle, too.

If you want to branch your search for walled towns in Italy beyond the confines of Veneto, then the neighbouring regions of Emilia-Romagna and Friuli Venezia Giulia have some spectacular ones. Personal favourites of mine are Castell’Arquato, Grazzano Visconti, Cordovado, and Palmanova. Click here and here to read more about them.

What are some great tours and activities to book in Veneto, Italy?

Cyclists heading to the daily market on Piazza dei Signori - Padua, Italy - rossiwrites.com

The Northern Italian region of Veneto has a lot to offer to the curious traveller. From its capital Venice and the City of Love Verona to the City of Academics Padua, this is a place where you will discover centuries-old history, beautiful nature, some of the best food this side of Italy, as well as a portion of Italy’s largest lake – Lago di Garda.

All in all, Veneto needs years for all that it has to offer. If you don’t have that much time on your hands, then it’s always a good idea to book some guided tours and some exciting activities for your holiday here. This way, you can see lots in a small amount of time. And you can fill your days here with many exciting experiences.

I usually consult this website for tours and activities, when I travel: Tourscanner. This is a great search engine that compiles the offerings of the most well-established travel and tour companies. Clicking on the link will load a list with many different tours and activities you can choose from in Veneto – from gondola tours on the Grand Canal in Venice to food tours of Verona and sailing experiences on Lake Garda. You can also narrow your search from the options on the left-hand side and choose between day trips, outdoor adventures, food and wine experiences, wellness procedures, and shows, music and nightlife.

To book tickets for world-class museums and top attractions in Veneto in particular and Italy in general, I recommend Tiqets. It is an easy to use search engine where you can buy tickets in advance for a huge number of places of interest and events that you may want to visit and experience.

In Conclusion

The historic centre seen from the Ronda Walkway - Cittadella, Italy - rossiwrites.com

Cittadella is a small walled town in the northern Italian region of Veneto. Built in the Middle Ages, its historic centre is surrounded by an oval ring of tall defensive walls. As a unique experience in Europe, visitors to Cittadella can walk on them and thus see the town and the surrounding plains and mountains from a height that varries between 14 and 30 metres.

It’s a great thing to do when visiting this beautiful corner of Italy. At the crossroads of history, architecture, and strong local spirit, Cittadella is a great day trip from several large Italian cities.

In this blog post, I have shared with you how to visit Cittadella and the best things to do here. From strolling on its medieval Ronda Walkway to enjoying a large annual medieval reenactment, Cittadella has a lot to offer to the traveller seeking new experiences off the beaten path.

During my six years of living in Italy, Cittadella was one of my most favourite day trip destinations. It’s a town that I loved to revisit and the image of its tall defensive wall forming an oval ring was one of the last things I glimpsed from the plane when leaving Italy for a new life in England.

I hope that all the information and first-hand tried and tested tips I share with you here will galvanise you to discover this lovely medieval walled town and everything it has to offer for yourself.

Have a wonderful time in Cittadella, Italy!

Now get ready quick for your trip to Cittadella in Italy!

More Helpful Veneto Info for You

Veneto: Best Cities to VisitTop 15 Places30 Adventures15 Most Colourful Places, Mysterious Places, Best Lakes to Visit, 15 Reasons to Visit, Sanctuary of Madonna della Corona
Veneto’s Small Towns and Villages: Most Beautiful Villages, Malcesine, Torri del Benaco, Punta di San Vigilio, Campo di Brenzone
Venice: Main Landmarks, Essential Tips, Hidden GemsNearest AirportsBoats in VeniceHaunted VeniceDay Trips from VeniceArco del Paradiso
Verona: Things to Do in One DayDay Trips from Verona
Padua: Things to Do in One Day101 Facts About Padua10 Reasons to Visit PaduaDay Trips from Padua
Vicenza: Things to Do10 Must-See MuseumsDay Trips from Vicenza
Hiking in Veneto: Cadini del Brenton and Cascate della Soffia, Lake Garda’s Tibetan Bridge, Rocca di Garda, Dante’s Hill, Grotta Azzurra di Mel, Family-Friendly Walks and Hikes

More Helpful Italy Info for You

Best of Italy: Italian PiazzasItalian FoodItalian MarketsItalian Coffee Culture, Types of Italian Coffees, Rules of Italian Breakfast, Italian Breakfast Foods and Drinks
Northern Italy: 18 Best Cities to Visit
Lake Garda:
 Best TownsNearest AirportsTravel OptionsLake Garda with Kids, Malcesine, Riva del Garda, Torri del Benaco
Lake Como: Things to SeeNesso
Friuli Venezia Giulia: VenzoneMost Beautiful Villages
Emilia Romagna: BolognaRavennaComacchioMost Beautiful Villages
Marche: 6 Reasons to VisitGradaraFrasassi CavesTemple of Valadier

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