The nine-pointed fortress built by the Venetians
WHAT SHOULD YOU CERTAINLY VISIT IN PALMANOVA?
A VENETIAN STAR SHAPED FORTRESS
It is a pity that when visiting Palmanova it is not possible to make a helicopter flight, because let's be honest this village shows itself from the air at its best. Palmanova was built in 1593 by the Venetians as a defensive bulwark against the invasions of the Austrians and Ottomans in the late 16th century. Since 2017 Palmanova is on the Unesco World Heritage List because of its defence works. The Venetians didn't want to just build a fortress or castle , no a completely city was constructed from scratch in the shape of a polygon with 9 points with the most modern defence systems. They used moats, bastions, ravelins and ramparts to keep their enemies away.
The city was ruled by the Venetians governors whose statues you can see in the main square in the center of the town.
NAPOLEON BONAPARTE AND PALMANOVA
To be honest, in the 200 years that followed, the city was never really attacked. This changed in 1797 when Napoleon Bonaparte took over this region and also the city of Palmanova. He invaded this area three times in between 1797 and 1813. After the Treaty of Paris the region was given into the hands of the Austrian Hungarian Empire until 1866 when it was finally returned to Italy after the third war of independence.
Napoleon has left his mark on Palmanova because he added a third ring of fortification, called 'lunette di Napoleone'- Napoleon's crescents. Also it is said that before Napoleon's intervention Palmanova was called Palma (the emblem of victory) and Napoleon decided to add the word "nova" - new - to it.
A WALK ON THE RAMPARTS
A visit to Palmanova is only complete after a walk on the ramparts of the old (now dry) moat. You can also visiti in weekends the underground defence gallery "Galleria Contromina" Palmanova is lying on the Alpe Adria cycle route so you shouldn't be surprised if you see a stray cyclist cycling through the moat ...
MONDAY MARKET DAY AND PALMANOVA OUTLET
If you have the change to visit Palmanova on a Monday you are lucky because that is the market day and the whole central square transforms itself into a lively place full of various stalls offering all kinds of goods.
If you like shopping you are at the right place because only a few kilometers from Palmanova you have the Palmanova outlet full of Italian brands for good prices.
The highlights of Palmanova:
The underground defence gallery "contromina"
The three access ports
The historical museum
The military museum
The market on Mondays