The most beautiful castles in Italy
Italy is one of the most beloved destinations in all Europe. A country of great landscapes and a complex history, Italy offers a great deal of magnificent castles and fortresses. We’ve put together a list of the 10 of the most intriguing and majestic sights.
Castel del Monte is a 13th-century citadel and castle described by the Enciclopedia Italiana as "the most fascinating castle built by Emperor Frederick II".
The castle has neither a moat nor a drawbridge; therefore, some considered it never to have been intended as a defensive fortress; however, archaeological work has suggested that it originally had a curtain wall.
The site is protected as a World Heritage Site; moreover, the castle also appears on the Italian version of the one cent Euro coin.... view details
Castelvecchio is the most important military construction of the Scaliger dynasty that ruled the city of Verona in the Middle Ages.
The castle is powerful and compact in its size with very little decoration - one square compound built in red bricks, one of the most prominent examples of Gothic architecture of the age, with imposing M-shaped merlons running along the castle and bridge walls. It has seven towers, a superelevated keep with four main buildings inside. The castle is surrounded by a ditch, now dry, which was once filled with waters from the nearby Adige.
Castelvecchio is now home to the Castelvecchio Museum and the local officer's club which can be accessed through the left door on Corso Cavour.... view details
Castello Ursino (English: 'Bear Castle') was built in the 13th century as a royal castle of the Kingdom of Sicily, and is mostly known for its role in the Sicilian Vespers, when it became the seat of the Sicilian Parliament. The castle is in good condition today, and it is open to the public as a museum.... view details
The Three Towers of San Marino are a group of towers located on the three peaks of Monte Titano in San Marino. They are depicted on both the national flag and coat of arms.
The Guaita is the oldest of the three towers, and the most famous. It was constructed in the 11th century and served briefly as a prison. It was rebuilt numerous times and reached its current form in the 15th century.
The Cesta is located on the highest of Monte Titano's summits. A museum to honor Saint Marinus, created in 1956, is located in this tower and showcases over 1,550 weapons dating from the Medieval Era to the modern day.
The Montale is located on the smallest of Monte Titano's summits and itis not open to the public. It was constructed in the 14th century to give protection against the increasing power of the Malatesta family in that region.... view details
Castel dell'Ovo is a seaside castle in Naples, located on the former island of Megaride, now a peninsula, on the Gulf of Naples.
The castle's name (in Italian, Egg Castle) comes from a legend about the Roman poet Virgil, who had a reputation in medieval times as a great sorcerer and predictor of the future. In the legend, Virgil put a magical egg into the foundations to support the fortifications. Had this egg been broken, the castle would have been destroyed and a series of disastrous events for Naples would have followed.
The Castel dell'Ovo is the oldest standing fortification in Naples. After a long period of decay the site got its current appearance during an extensive renovation project started in 1975.... view details
Castel Nuovo is a medieval castle located in front of Piazza Municipio and the city hall in central Naples. Its scenic location and imposing size makes the castle, first erected in 1279, one of the main architectural landmarks of the city.
Before the accession of Charles I of Naples (Charles of Anjou) to the throne in 1266, the capital of the Kingdom of Naples was Palermo. There was a royal residence in Naples, at the Castel Capuano. However, when the capital was moved to Naples, Charles ordered a new castle, not far from the sea, built to house the court. Works, directed by French architects, began in 1279 and were completed three years later.... view details
Miramare Castle is a 19th-century castle on the Gulf of Trieste near Trieste, in northeastern Italy. It was built from 1856 to 1860 for Austrian Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian and his wife, Charlotte of Belgium, later Emperor Maximilian I and Empress Carlota of Mexico, based on a design by Carl Junker.
All the rooms still feature the original furnishings, ornaments, furniture and objects dating back to the middle of the 19th century. Visitors may also visit the throne room, which was recently restored to its former splendour.
The castle's grounds include an extensive cliff and seashore park of 22 hectares (54 acres) designed by the archduke. The grounds were completely re-landscaped to feature numerous tropical species of trees and plants.... view details
Sforza Castle is one of the main symbols of Milan and its history. It was built in the 15th century by Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan, on the remains of a 14th-century fortification. Later renovated and enlarged, in the 16th and 17th centuries it was one of the largest citadels in Europe.
Extensively rebuilt by Luca Beltrami in 1891-1905, it was severely damaged during Allied bombardment of Milan in 1943 during World War II. The post-war reconstruction of the building for museum purposes was undertaken by the BBPR architectural partnership.
The castle now houses several of the city's museums and art collections. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Milan.... view details
Aragonese Castle stands on a volcanic rocky islet that connects to the larger island of Ischia by a causeway (Ponte Aragonese).
The Aragonese Castle is the most impressive historical monument in Ischia, built by Hiero I of Syracuse in 474 BC. At the same time, two towers were built to control enemy fleets' movements. In 326 BC the fortress was captured by Romans, and later by the Parthenopeans (the ancient inhabitants of Naples). In 1441 Alfonso V of Aragon connected the rock to the island with a stone bridge instead of the prior wood bridge, and fortified the walls in order to defend the inhabitants against the raids of pirates.
Today the castle is the most visited monument of the island. It is accessed through a tunnel with large openings which let the light enter. A more comfortable access is also possible with a modern lif.... view details
Castel Sant'Angelo, also known as the Mausoleum of Hadrian, is a towering cylindrical building in Parco Adriano, Rome. It was initially commissioned by the Roman Emperor Hadrian as a mausoleum for himself and his family.
The building was later used by the popes as a fortress and castle. The popes converted the structure into a castle, beginning in the 14th century; Pope Nicholas III connected the castle to St Peter's Basilica by a covered fortified corridor called the Passetto di Borgo. The fortress was the refuge of Pope Clement VII from the siege of Charles V of Spain during the Sack of Rome (1527), in which Benvenuto Cellini describes strolling the ramparts and shooting enemy soldiers.
The Papal state also used Sant'Angelo as a prison; Giordano Bruno, for example, was imprisoned there for six years. Another prisoner was the sculptor and goldsmith Benvenuto Cellini. Executions were performed in the small inner courtyard. As a prison, it was also the setting for the third act of Giacomo Puccini's 1900 opera Tosca; the eponymous heroine leaps to her death from the Castel's ramparts.
The Castle was once the tallest building in Rome. Decommissioned in 1901, the castle is now a museum, the "Museo Nazionale di Castel Sant'Angelo".... view details
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