Day 56: first day trip of 2012 – Cittadella

Now that Martina the van is fixed, the girls and I are free to travel outside of the local area once again – hurrah!  I saw a commercial for a town here called Cittadella, a fortress town about an hour and a half away from here.  The weather was supposed to be beautiful again, so I figured we could handle a short drive in the car.  I packed up our snacks and gps, wrestled Addie into the car through bribery (milk and a Diego movie), and off we went.

Cittadella was constructed in 1220 by order of the city of Padua.  It was intended as a military outpost to help defend the communities.  The walls are anywhere from 14-16 meters high and is surrounded by a moat.  Though restored through the years, the walls are nearly all the original materials and workmanship, which the exception of one part destroyed in a war during the 16th century.  There are four gates of entry, with three currently open (our van could actually fit through two of the entrances!).  The town inside the walls boasts a large town square, a duomo, and a historic Casa del Capitano or Captain’s House.  

Mind you, I had three children in tow, so we did not hit up the entire city.  We walked through the town center and saw the duomo, chased some pigeons, and chatted with a nice older Italian lady – I was most impressed that I could understand what she was speaking to me!  Cittadella also has a nice playground on the outside of the city, and my kids can sniff out a playground from miles away.  We spent some time there and walked along the outside of the fortress.  You can pay to walk on the top of the walls, but I chose not to because, 1) the steps and the walls are narrow and uneven, and that is a lot for my nerves with the kids, 2) it costs money, and we were trying to spend very little, and 3) by the time we arrived there, the office was closed for riposo! 

The pictures do not do it justice – it was so cool to see something that was so old and yet still in tact.  I enjoyed explaining the reasons for building a wall to the girls and a little about Medieval times to them.  The weather was perfect – we did not even need jackets.  The girls had fun, and while I admit Addie was still her usual self in the car and towards the end of our time there, it was still nice to get out and see something historical.  On the way home, we drove through another walled town called Castelfranco Veneto.  We did not get out since Addie was sleeping, but it was beautiful with statues, a large tower and church, and smaller walls encompassing the old town center.  With a few wrong turns, an extra twenty minutes on the road, and throwing some juice boxes back while doing 130km on the autostrada, we made it back home.

Enjoy our pictures.  We sure enjoyed the nice weather, the difference in scenery, a little bit of learning, and just a chance to explore.  And it only cost me lunch and a little gas.  I think our next trip should be the Jesolo aquarium….maybe next month?

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