Pizzighettone is a walled city in the province of Cremona (Lombardy) of about 7000 inhabitants.
It’s 20 kilometres west of Cremona, 20 kilometres from Piacenza (in Emilia Romagna) and about 60 kilometres from Milan.
It can be reached by train (there are two railways-stops) or by coach.
The city has become a tourist centre since when, about twenty-three years ago, a group of volunteers started to clean the great walls of the ancient military city.
The external defences and the military architecture of the walled city were all covered with green, trees and a great amount of vegetation: what was concealed under the vegetation started to be discovered day by day, causing great surprise and creating a lot of curiosity in people, newspapers and tourists that have nowadays become a big potential for the city.
Since 1992, when men and young men of the Walls Volunteers Group began the impressive works of rediscovering the walls, things have changed and tourism has been developed and increased: children, students, technicians as well as nd people coming from abroad have become interested in the great treasure of our Walled City.
Pizzighettone has one of the most well-preserved and original rampart walls in northern Italy, a rare example of military fortification designed in the twelfth century continuously updated and improved from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries. Its defensive system is an extraordinary example of military architecture.
The city is divided into two parts by the river Adda and it's completely surrounded by ancient walls, with the important peculiarity that they're not solid inside, as the most of many other Italian walled cities, but they are hollow.
That's why inside the walls you can admire spectacular and highly suggestive Casematte (madhouses), a succession of intercommunicating rooms inside the walls covered with barrel vaults, once able to give hospitality to more than 2000 soldiers.
This great and rare historical location nowadays is used for many exhibitions and various events, both in winter and in summer.
The embankments of the river Adda, running from the fortress for over 5 km, wind around the ancient centers of Pizzighettone and the village of Gera where they reach a height of 12 m. and width of 15 m. with walls over 4 m. thick in some places.
Guides are available to visit the city, also with different guided tours.
The standard visit (about two hours) includes the walls and the Casematte, the moat surrounding the fortress, the Ravelin, the rear Porta Cremona Vecchia and the Torre del Guado, symbol of the town, having survived the destruction of the fortress thanks to the fact that it was the location of the imprisonment of Francis I, King of France, in 1525, following defeat at Mirabello ( Pavia ) by the Spaniards.
The visit also includes the Town-Governed Museum with significant paleontological remains, a large collection of weapons connected to the city-fortress and the new section of Renaissance Ceramics, discovered just under the walls that belonged to the canteen of the fortress; and the main church San Bassiano, an importante architecture and artistic witness of the past.
If you have a bit more time don't lose the chance to pay a visit to the Museums in the Walls of piazza D'Armi (the main historical place): the 'Museum of arts and crafts of yesterday', an ethnographic collection of everyday objects and tools in the area, and 'The Prisons Museum' with its cells for solitary confinement.
On the right-hand riverbank, the village of Gera, has undamaged fortified walls.
On this side of the river there is the tourist port.
Thanks to the Consorzio Navigare l'Adda, a company founded by the municipal administration of Pizzighettone which has become the most important group in navigation in Lombardy we can enjoy a cruise on the river Adda for about 1 hour, admiring a marvellous view of fields and nature, the skyline of various villages on the river as well as the animals living in this habitat, fish and birds above all.
The cruises leave from the tourist port on the right-hand riverbank.
It's enough to ride a bike to move and penetrate along the many cycling paths in the nature, where cycling is made possible for everyone and where it's easy to discover a great variety of flora and fauna, relaxing among natural oasis, rivers, farmhouses, historical and cultural heritage.
You can find cycling paths not only in Pizzighettone but also in its surroundings, with a rich cycle network both in the territories of the province of Cremona and in that of Lodi, with the chance of joining also Milan.
You can arrive at Pizzighettone by train (railway station of Ponte Adda) with your bikes and star immediately to ride.
You can also take a cruise on the river Adda: on the ship you can in fact also embark bikes and visit the villages where the ship stops, discovering new cycling paths.
The Cycle Network of the Province of Lodi
If you don't have a bike you can find one and borrow it thanks to the new Bike Sharing Service with ten bikes to ride our territory towards the provinces of Cremona or of Lodi where there is the same Bike Sharing Service.
A Pizzighettone the Bike Sharing Service is situated in piazza Mercato, on the right-hand riverbank, in the center of the walled city and near the tourist port.
Lunch in locals with typical food
Pizzighettone offers various opportunities for lunch and food-tasting at different prices in the many locations on both sides of the river and in the country, proposing traditional products and dishes of our tradition.
Discovering the typical products of the Walled City
In our walled city you can find typical local products, to know, to taste and to buy directly from the producers, to ensure top quality, excellent and certified products that are without a doubt the best of the made in Italy. Among our excellent and selected products there are our typical salami, particular dairy cheeses made with the milk from the farms in the area, cakes, biscuits and sweets with local and old recipt and little beans from local agriculture, historical products cultivated following a centuries of old tradition.
For small groups we propose also a particular guided tour to the producers with the possibility of organise food-tasting also in some locations.
To visit Pizzighettone, it’s enough to call the Tourist Information Bureau of Walls Volunteers Group (0039-372-730333) and reserve a visit.
If the Bureau is closed at the moment of your call, you can leave a message; you can also send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org; you can as well have a look in the Expo Website www.pizzighettone.it/expo (mail: email@example.com)
The Walls Volunteers Group, the Local Administration and the people of Pizzighettone are waiting for tourists in a little but very interesting and charming walled city well-known for the kindness and hospitality of its inhabitants and whose potential is increasing day by day.
From South, Exit tollgate PIACENZA NORD towards Milan, in Codogno take for Cremona
Motorway A 21
Exit tollgate CREMONA, towards Pavia
Railway station PONTE D’ADDA, railway line Codogno-Cremona.