When Treviso turned Castelfranco into a garrison, the Paduans promptly retaliated by reinforcing the defences of CITTADELLA, 15km to the west, on the train line to Vicenza. The fortified walls of Cittadella were built in the first quarter of the thirteenth century, and are even more impressive than those of its neighbour. You enter the town through one of four rugged brick gateways; if you’re coming from the train station it’ll be the Porta Padova, the most daunting of the four, flanked by the Torre di Malta. The tower was built as a prison and torture chamber by the monstrous Ezzelino da Romano, known to those he terrorized in this region in the mid-thirteenth century as “The Son of Satan”. His atrocities earned him a place in the seventh circle of Dante’s Inferno, where he’s condemned to boil eternally in a river of blood.

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