His Dark Materials
His Dark Materials

"Well, this was a mercantile city. A city of traders and bankers. We thought we knew about bonds. We thought a bond was something negotiable, something that could be bought and sold and exchanged and converted...But about these bonds, we were wrong. We undid them, and we let the Spectres in."
Giacomo Paradisi to Will Parry about Cittàgaze[src]

Cittàgazze (sometimes abbreviated to Ci'gazze[1], English pronunciation roughly "chi ta GAT zeh"), was a city within a parallel universe. Its currency was the corona.


Cittàgaze was once a thriving city with traders and bankers. However, when the Guild of the Torre degli Angeli was set up, three hundred years prior to when Lord Asriel created a bridge between two worlds, they began to investigate into matters concerning other worlds. The philosophers in the guild made the subtle knife which allowed them to pass into other worlds. However, when a window was created, Spectres (creatures who would feed on a human, not killing them but feeding on their soul) were released. The humans who had been attacked by Spectres would be rendered useless despite the fact that they were still alive, they didn't react to their surroundings.[2]

Since more and more humans were left useless, businesses started to fail, more children were orphaned and general life was no longer possible. The city stopped being able to construct and create things as they couldn't rely on imports. Therefore, the philosophers took to stealing from other worlds, they stole not only objects but ideas too. [2]

When Lord Asriel created the bridge between Lyra's world and the world of Cittàgazze, a huge mass of fog hit Cittàgazze and the population fled to the nearby hills as Spectres flooded the city. The enormous rip in the sky caused the creation of a large number of Spectres, so the adults were unable to return.[1]

When Will Parry and Lyra Silvertongue arrived here, they both took to a café near the sea in which they met and, after fighting, began to talk and help each other. This café remained their home for several days whilst they visited Will's world to research into their own separate things.[3]

Joachim Lorenz was going from this city when Serafina Pekkala, Ruta Skadi and the other witches from Lyra's world saw him. Joachim told them about the history of his world and how it had ended up such a miserable place.[2]


Cittàgazze was a seaside town, reminiscent of those near the Mediterranean or the Caribbean. Hills surrounded the city which had wide, cobbled roads and was filled with ancient architecture. It was full of hotels decorated with bougainvillea and smaller, somewhat shabby cafes, one of which was on a promenade full of palm trees.[4]


Torre degli Angeli[]

The staircase inside the tower

The Torre degli Angeli was a large tower in a square in Cittàgazze. Around its main entrance were carvings of angels. The tower was home to the Guild of the Torre degli Angeli. On the roof of the tower stood a structure similar to a greenhouse.


Cittàgazze had an unusually young demographic. Since the adults were forced to leave because of the Spectres, the city was populated by gangs of children.[1]


The name Cittàgazze comes from the Italian città (city) and gazze (magpies). Thus, it can be loosely translated as the city of magpies. It is mentioned that this is because the Guild of the Torre degli Angeli used the subtle knife to steal things that were expensive from other worlds, in the way a magpie steals shiny objects.

Behind the scenes[]

Cittàgazze set.png
  • For the TV series, Cittàgazze is being built at Bad Wolf Studios in Cardiff.


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HDM Wiki has 14 images of Cittàgazze.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 The Subtle Knife, Chapter 3
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 The Subtle Knife, Chapter 6
  3. The Subtle Knife, Chapter 1
  4. The Subtle Knife, Chapter 1
World of Cittàgazze
Countries BeninBrasilCoreaEireland
Locations BergamoCittàgazzeCittàgazze caveSant'EliaUnidentified village
Buildings Belvedere towerCittàgazze caféTorre degli AngeliWhite villa
Natives AngelicaGiacomo ParadisiJoachim LorenzPaoloStriped T-shirt boyTullio
Important Guild of the Torre degli AngeliSpectresSubtle knife