Palmanova is in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of Italy. The architecture is remarkable; Palmanova is both one of the earliest planned cities and one of the latest examples of a medieval walled city.
The city was built by the Republic of Venice, starting in 1593, primarily as a border post to defend against the Ottoman Turks. The shape was a nine-pointed star, close to ideal for defense according to the military thinking of the day. The core of the city, the main wall and the moat were finished by the 1630s, but additional fortifications were built later; the third and final wall was completed in the early 19th century. The walls are inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List together with five other Venetian wall structures in Italy and along the Adriatic Sea.
Palmanova has never really succeeded as a city, and current population is only about 5,000.
Palmanova can be reached from the nearby motorways, A23 (Udine-Tarvisio) and A4 (Turin-Trieste) and by the railway between Udine and Cervignano. There are also bus connections.
There is a fine cathedral and a scenic central plaza, both from the early 1600s. However, the fortifications — which are in good repair — are the main attraction.
The Duomo is located in front of the town hall of Palmanova (formerly the Palace of Provveditore). Commissioned in 1603, the construction started later that year and was completed in 1636. The identities of any architects are uncertain, but may have been Vincenzo Scamozzi and Baldassare Longhena.
The bell tower of the Duomo, erected in 1776, was deliberately made short because enemies attacking the city should not be able to see the Duomo from outside the city walls.
The niches in the façade contain statues representing the saints Justina of Padua, one of Padua's patron saints, and Saint Mark, as well as a statue of Christ the Redeemer.
- The three monumental gates Porta Udine, Porta Cividale and Porta Aquileia.
- The Piazza Grande, to which all the main edifices of the city open, built in Istrian stone.