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 many magnificent castles and fortresses. We’ve put together a list of the 10 of the most intriguing and majestic sights.
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
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
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, ...... view details
Fort Bard is a fortified complex built in the 19th century by the House of Savoy on a rocky prominence above the town of Bard.
It has been completely restored after many years of neglect. In 2006 it reopened to tourists as the Museum of the Alps with additional art exhibitions and galleries. In the summer, the main courtyard is used to host musical and theatrical performances.... view details
Torrechiara Castle is a massive castle built by Pier Maria II Rossi (1413-1482), count of San Secondo, between 1448 and 1460.
The building was thought not only as a defensive structure, but also as mansion for the count's lover, Bianca Pellegrini, for which a famous hall, the Camera d'Oro ("Golden Chamber") was built with decorations by Benedetto Bembo, sibling of Bonifacio Bembo.
The Courtyard of Honour of the castle is the setting for the Torrechiara Festival, dedicated to the great soprano Renata Tebaldi.... view details
Castello di Caccamo is among the largest and best preserved Norman castles in Sicily, and one of the largest in Italy.
The castle is built on a steep cliff, 521 metres above sea level. It overlooks the surrounding countryside, including the San Leonardo River Valley, and the Rosmarina artificial lake.
Today, the castle is open to the public. A restaurant is located on the ground level of the castle, while other parts of the structure are also used for conferences and meetings.... view details
The Castello Estense or castello di San Michele is a moated medieval castle in the center of Ferrara, northern Italy. It is a large block with four corner towers.
The castle was built in the 14th century by the Marquis Niccolo II d'Este when a riot of the Ferrarese people convinced him that the family's palace was insufficient to guarantee the security of the nobility in the event of future riots. He therefore ordered the construction of a defensive fortress on the north side of the Palazzo.
In 1919 when the First World War ended, an ambitious restoration project was started that had been under discussion since 1916. ... view details
The Fortress of San Leo is best known as the site where Count Cagliostro died. It was one of the palaces owned by Federico da Montefeltro and his wife Battista Sforza and was a fortified, palatial retreat. It is now a museum.... view details
The Castle of Valentino is a historic building in the north-west Italian city of Turin. It is located in Parco del Valentino, and is the seat of the Architecture Faculty of the Polytechnic University of Turin.
The Orto Botanico dell'Universita di Torino, a historic botanical garden in the castle grounds. The castle is one of the Residences of the Royal House of Savoy included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1997.... view details
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