Montagnana is a small town with around 9,000 inhabitants in the North-East of Italy. It is surrounded by mediaeval walls, with four entrances through breathtaking bastions that stand on the main cardinal points. These exceptional fortifications are some of the finest examples of medieval architecture in Europe. The Carraresi family had the initial defensive works reconstructed in the mid 14th century, and it is thought that the original walls date back to before the 10th century. Montagnana boasts many famous monuments and it has been home to many distinguished figures, such as the painter Jacopo Parisato, the architect Alvise Lamberti, and the tenors Aureliano Pertile and Giovanni Martinelli.
As part of a medieval tradition that was revived over 40 years ago, on the first Sunday in September the “Palio” horse race between the 10 districts in Montagnana takes place in a picturesque setting near the “Rocca degli Alberi” castle, with people dressed in period mediaeval and Renaissance costumes.
One of the traditional products that can be enjoyed locally is Berico-Euganeo Veneto Ham (PDO), which can be identified by the symbol of Saint Mark’s winged lion.
The tertiary sector in the area offers highly specialist skills in the fields of textiles and period furniture, and there is a growing antiques trade. There are a large number of small craft firms, which are frequently run by their owners and play an important part in the economy of the area.