Trieste

Palmanova

more than a year ago
Criminally underrated and/or overlooked, few people outside of the region have even heard of Palmanova or confuse the Renaissance town with the much more widely known outlet shopping centre located nearby. In fact, we admittedly only 'discovered' Palmanova by accident one day while checking directions to a Radiohead concert at Vila Manin on Google Maps!

Built by the Venetians at the very end of the 16th century, both to commemorate a large European military victory over the Turks and to serve as a new easternmost defensive garrison against any future incursions, the town consists of several concentric circular ring roads surrounded by a nine-sided defensive wall and moat with outer walls also in the form of a perfect nine-sided star. Roads radiate out towards one of the three gates from the large central square, on which sits a now slightly lopsided glistening white cathedral. In all the town covers an area of some 13.33 square kilometres, and is still home to some 5000 inhabitants.

There may not be many classic sights to visit here, but the town itself is one incredible large open-air museum, and there are several fine restaurants, cafés and shops to stop by during a day-trip here. The well-stocked tourist information office just off the main square has maps and brochures highlighting several different walking paths in and around the town, as well as info about the wider Friuli Venezia Giulia region. The whole town has been a protected national monument since 1960, and the road there is well-marked from the exit on the A4 motorway.

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