Palmanova, the Friulian star-shaped city 

Palmanova is a unique city of Friuli that represents one of the most important models of military architecture of the modern age. Today it is one of the most beautiful villages in Italy and since 2007 it has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Its peculiarity consists in the defensive star shape that was attributed to it during its realization. In the sixteenth century the Republic of Venice decided to build a fortress on the border with the Austrian Empire to better control and defend the surrounding territory.

The city has an interesting history to discover and offers its visitors many points of interest as well as the opportunity to taste the recipes of traditional Friulian cuisine.

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The history of Palmanova  

The fortified city of Palmanova was inaugurated on 7 October 1593 by the Republic of Venice. The date was chosen to honour two important events in the history of the Venetian Republic.

It is in fact the anniversary of the victory of the battle of Lepanto against the Turks of 1571 and is also the day dedicated to Santa Giustina. The city remained under the control of Venice for over two hundred years until 1797 when it was conquered by General Bonaparte.

With the Treaty of Campoformio it was annexed to the Habsburg Empire until its annexation to the Kingdom of Italy in 1866, when with a plebiscite it was sanctioned its union to the kingdom.

Palmanova: here’s what to see 

Palmanova has been included in the list of the most beautiful villages in Italy thanks to its structure and its charm. Here are many things to see starting from the main square of the city of Friuli. 

It is Piazza Grande which has a characteristic hexagonal shape and is crossed by three main streets that converge towards the center. There are 6 other streets that surround it. It overlooks the Duomo and the historic buildings of Palmanova such as the Loggia del Gran Guardia.

At the center of the square there is a stone base on which is placed the high banner and on the sides stand out the 11 statues depicting the general provveditori who have alternated with the guide of the city. 

The Cathedral of Palmanova inside is sober and elegant. When you enter you immediately perceive a feeling of harmony and grandeur. To the left of the church is the Loggia della Gran Guardia with the Palazzo del Provveditore. If you want to discover this wonderful village you can not miss the Military Historical Museum where the history of the city is reconstructed in the shape of a star.

Other attractions not to be missed in Palmanova are the three majestic gates to the city. The first to be built is Porta Aquileia in 1598.Under the cornice there is a frieze with coats of arms while under the tower there is the lion symbol of Venice.

Here at the time were housed the rooms of the soldiers who presided over this entrance to the old town. In 1605 Porta Cividale was also built. The last is Porta Udine which owes its name to the city to which it is oriented. It was also built in 1605 and inside were the rooms of the officers and soldiers.

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Palmanova: where is it 

Palmanova is a medieval village located in the province of Udine in Friuli Venezia still retains its appearance as a fortress city that attracts many visitors attracted by the charm of this place to discover.

The city was founded in 1593 by the Republic of Venice with the aim of creating an impregnable stronghold. To do this, the best military engineers of the time were employed to design the city’s nine-pointed star plan. Form that is still visible today if you look at Palmanova from above.

You can clearly see its particular geometric shape that was made to make it impregnable to the attacks of enemies. Every detail of this medieval architecture has a precise war purpose. For example, the length of each side of the star was decided according to the range of the guns: the 400 meters allowed the guns to defend the entire perimeter of the city.

As for the buildings, they were built lower than the walls so that they were invisible to enemy attacks. Finally, the nine points of the star are the bulwarks. These are embankments with stone walls that thanks to their shape allowed to deflect the cannonballs fired by opponents.

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The traditional cuisine of Palmanova 

Palmanova also offers the opportunity to discover the recipes of the traditional cuisine of Friuli and Venezia Giulia. Undoubtedly one of the main products of the Friuli territory is rice. Among the most popular dishes are rice with beans and risotto with asparagus tips.

Another typical Friulian dish is frico prepared with potatoes, cheese and onions. Each area of the territory has its own traditional variant.  Very well known is also the Jota a soup made of beans potatoes and cabbage.

Among the first courses you can not forget the traditional stuffed pasta as the Ciarson of Carnia. These are ravioli filled with herbs, potatoes, raisins and cinnamon.  

Undoubtedly among the most famous gastronomic products of the region there are cured meats and sausages that are known worldwide for their exceptional quality. 

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