A jump into the past, a journey back in time to more than 10 centuries ago … Imagine yourself in the 10th century, in a small town built in a strategic geographical position such as the one in which Montagnana is located, an important crossroads since Roman times. In such a crucial area, the Hungarians’ raids were the rule and it is easy to understand why Montagnana was already a fortified town before becoming the feudal center of the well-known family of the Marquises of Este. In the 12th century the small town had a primary role as a military stronghold in the broader context of the struggle between the Papacy and the Empire; in particular, it was the scene of clashes between Ezzelino III da Romano, a powerful feudal lord and representative of Emperor Frederick II in northern Italy, and the Guelph League headed by the Estensi Marquises. In 1242 Ezzelino set fire to the town with the intention of conquering it, and then beganits reconstruction building the powerful Mastio, the highest and oldest tower in the town, which still bears his name.
In 1275, having defeated the tyrant, the town returned into the hands of the Estensi, thus entering the domains of the Municipality of Padua: still today, on the western side, we can admire the brick walls next to the two fortified gates of Castel San Zeno and the Rocca degliAlberi, a reminder of the Age of Municipalities. In the 14th century the city came under the control of the lords of Padua, the Da Carrara, who provided it with two curtain wallsmade out of brick and trachyte, a stone typical of the nearby Euganean Hills, 24 guard towers and the imposing Rocca degli Alberi. Indeed, the Da Carrara are responsible for the greatest expansion of the boundary walls, which are most solid on the North and South sides.
In 1405, after years of wars against Venice, Montagnana surrendered to the Serenissima, losing military importancebut increasing its economic power. If we exclude the Cambrai war, for a few hundreds of years the Venetian Paxfavoured trade and the arrival of artists and nobles, who chose to live in beautiful residences in the area. Thanks to the investments of the Venetian nobility settling in the mainland, Montagnana was enriched with artistic beauties and sumptuous palaces.