Discovering Noale, the medieval village that became a strategic stronghold for the Serenissima Republic

26 October 2021

Venice, October 21, 2021- Changing the course of a river to protect the beating heart of a city. Creating an archipelago made of eleven islands and fifteen bridges to prevent the enemy from attacking the castle and the fortress. This, and much more, is hidden behind the walls, the waterways, and the streets of Noale, the little medieval village that still today hands down an important piece of the 1600-years old history of Venice.

A work of expertise, all the uniqueness of a city specifically designed by men: Noale is the result of an engineering work of great technological value, carried out throughout an intense and meticulous study of the land on which the city was decided to raise. This is how, by putting a perimeter all around the village, and considering every slope of the ground, as to make water naturally flow out of its canals, it was created an impenetrable stronghold, which captured the Serenissima Republic’ attention, and contributed safeguarding Venice by enemies, during its phase of expansion in the mainland.

The importance of this land-based Venetian treasure, is confirmed by the fortress and towers still present in the town which, still today, tell the history of a place that lived its most flourishing period in the Middle Ages, when the “Tempesta” noble family decided to create a strategic stronghold along the banks of the Marzenego river, at the turn of Padua, Treviso and Venice, as strategic point from which to move soldiers and knights.

The path that goes from the Bell Tower, all along through the archipelago and up to the Clock Tower, allows visitors to retrace, although only through imagination, the history of Noale and of its ancient but cutting-edge water and land defensive systems.

While walking along the banks, you are suddenly plunged back into the past: craftsmen, scribes, blacksmiths, and carpenters, dressed up in period costumes, are scattered all the way along the path, together with characters in costume performing in medieval dances and shows.

History and natural beauty mix harmoniously along the banks of the canals that surround the heart of Noale: the Island of the Fortress. Rows of trees and a water moat surround the complex defensive structure dating back 1245. A fortress whose construction took decades and that still today stands above the town, enclosed within the archipelago canals, dug by the noble family that used to live there to defend the city. High crenellated walls, banks and ditches rise three meters above the ground floor, in all their majesty. A precious and tangible example of fortified town, which today is subject of a partial restoration, that has been, over centuries, residence of Venetian noblemen as well as prestigious administrative headquarter, after the handover to the Serenissima Republic, in the fourteenth century.

A typical Venetian treasure, a fortified medieval center, entirely based on water, where you can admire one of the best-preserved urban systems of the Veneto region.