Castles and fortifications in Italy

Castle of Bauso

The Castle of Bauso in Villafranca Tirrena was built in 1590. It conserved a hall with frescoes, marble medallions portraying four members of the Pettini family, and tombstones inscriptions.
Founded: 1590 | Location: Villafranca Tirrena, Italy

Castello della Valle

Castello della Valle (Fiumefreddo Castle), founded in 1201, was the residence of the noble lords. During the mid-16th-century, the castle was donated to Ferdinando De Alarçon-Mendoza, marquis of the Valle, and took its current name of Castello della Valle. The current appearance dates from that age. The castle was besieged in 1806-1807 by French troops and nearly destroyed. Today it houses several works of local painter ...
Founded: 1201 | Location: Fiumefreddo Bruzio, Italy

Montechiaro Castle

The Castle of Palma de Montechiaro was built in 1353. It is the only castle of the Chiaramonte family that is situated at the seaside, on a cliff known as the Bay of the Sirens. It was founded by Frederick III Chiaramonte, then transferred to his successors Manfredi II, I and Andrea, who beheaded him. His possessions were seized and the ownership of the castle was transferred to the family Caro, who erased the memory of t ...
Founded: 1353 | Location: Palma di Montechiaro, Italy

Kastelbell Castle

Kastelbell castle was built by the lords of Montalban in the 12th century. The oldest document of castle dates back to 1238. The castle was extended from 1531 by the counts of Hendl. After fires in the 19th century it was left to decay, but restored in 1987-1995.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Castelbello, Italy

Spotorno Castle

Spotorno Castle was built probably in the 12th century by the Bishopric of Savona. It was destroyed and rebuilt in the wars against Genoa. The current square form dates from the 14th-16th centuries. De Loterio family owned the castle from the 16th century until First World War.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Spotorno, Italy

Sant'Angelo Lodigiano Castle

Built in the 13th century on the shores of the river Lambro, it lost its military importance due to changing alliances and was converted into a noble residence in 1383 on the orders of Regina della Scala, wife of Bernabò Visconti, who had the main tower erected and mullioned windows installed along the walls. After changing hands many times it was acquired by the Bolognini family who, in 1933, entrusted it to the Morand ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Sant'Angelo Lodigiano, Italy

Ponti sul Mincio Castle

Ponti sul Mincio Castle was built in the 13th century on a moraine rock hilltop with an irregular plan, longer than it is wide, with five towers the main of which looking south east over the Mincio river. The masonry is built of river pebbles, stones and bricks. Following repetitive collapse of the western perimeter wall, diagnosis was carried out and a plan drawn up and executed for the restoration of the wall. The proj ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Ponti Sul Mincio, Italy

Castelnuovo Magra Castle

Castelnuovo Magra is mainly known for its ancient castle which was once the capital of the Bishop of Luni"s domain. The castle had been originally built in the 12th century by Bishop Walter and then later completed by Henry of Fucecchio who developed the Code Pelavicino. Quite a lot of changes and additions have been made to the castle over the centuries. Today, visitors can see the remains of the large ancient walls ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Castelnuovo Magra, Italy

Verrès Castle

Verrès Castle has been called one of the most impressive buildings from the Middle Ages in the Aosta Valley. Built as a military fortress by Yblet de Challant in the 14th century, it was one of the first examples of a castle constructed as a single structure rather than as a series of buildings enclosed in a circuit wall. The castle stands on a rocky promonitory on the opposite side of the Dora Baltea from Issogn ...
Founded: c. 1287 | Location: Verrès, Italy

Abbiategrasso Castle

The Visconti Castle of Abbiategrasso lies on the axis of the Naviglio Grande canal and it was built to protect the waterway to Milan. In the 15th century it was one of the preferred places of residence of the dukes and duchesses of Milan. The castle was probably built at the end of the 13th century on the site of a previous fortification (castro Margazario) near a Benedictine monastery. It was enlarged by Azzone V ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Abbiategrasso, Italy

Nicotera Castle

Nicotera castle was rebuilt in 1764 in the remains of a typical Norman architecture. Over the years the castle has been renovated and rebuilt several times. Today there are three different museums located within the castle which can be visited by tourists.
Founded: 11th century | Location: Nicotera, Italy

Belfort Castle

Belfort castle was built in 1311. In 1670 it was badly damaged by fire, and was decided to be rebuilt entirely. In 1785 the castle lost its importance and was abandoned.
Founded: 1311 | Location: Spormaggiore, Italy

Welsberg Castle

Welsberg Castle (Castel Monguelfo in Italian) lies in a strategic position above Casies Valley. The castle was built in 1140 by the two brother Schwinkher and Otto von Welsberg. This latest wanted the overhanging upon his lands. For more than 800 years the castle had been property of the von Welsbergs, one of the mightiest families in Tyrol, who obtained the title of Prince of the Holy Roman Empire in 1693 by the emperor ...
Founded: 1140 | Location: Welsberg-Taisten, Italy

Introd Castle

Introd castle stands on a promontory protected by the harsh gorges of the Savara and the Dora di Rhêmes (in fact the name Introd derives from the term Interaquas, or entre-eaux in French, which means “between the waters”) and probably dates back to the 12th century. Like Graines castle, originally, it probably consisted of a square keep surrounded by a perimeter wall. Around 1260 Pierre Sarriod of Introd transform ...
Founded: c. 1260 | Location: Introd, Italy

Solza Castle

Solza Castle probably dates back to the 10th or 11th century. Here was born the famous condottiere Bartolomeo Colleoni. According to tradition, when Bartolomeo Colleoni left Solza Castle, he was between 14 and 15 years old: little more than a boy, even for those times. No-one could have predicted then that he was destined to become one of the most famous condottieri of the fifteenth century. Today the same castle a ...
Founded: c. 1000 AD | Location: Solza, Italy

Masnago Castle

The oldest part of the Masnago castle is an 11th-century crenellated tower. The current appearance is result of a series of modifications and extensions from the Middle Ages (11th – 13th centuries) to the 18th century, is one of the most important historical buildings in Varese. The main body of the castle dates from the 15th century and gave the castle the appearance of a mansion house, as may be seen from the façad ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Varese, Italy

Vignazza Tower

Vignazza Tower is a coastal watchtower in Giardini Naxos with a quadrangular structure, three stories high. It was constructed in 1544 to patrol Cape Schisò and the coast south of Port Schisò against the raids of the Barbary corsairs who were led by the Turkish corsair Barbarossa Kheir-ed-Din to attack and plunder the small fishing villages on the coast. When an enemy ship was sighted, the guardian of the watchtower sen ...
Founded: 1544 | Location: Giardini Naxos, Italy

Villafranca Castle

Villafranca Castle was built around 1130 and it was heavily altered in 14th and 15th centuries.
Founded: c. 1130 | Location: Moneglia, Italy

Pietra di Vobbia Castle

Pietra di Vobbia Castle is a rare example of contamination between the work of men and nature, the Castle of Pietra overlooks the Scrivia Valley. An unconquerable fortress, it is built between two rock towers. Recently restored, you can visit it today in all its ancient charm. Embedded between two rock towers and perfectly integrated with nature, the castle of Pietra di Vobbia has retained the typical atmosphere of the ...
Founded: c. 1000 AD | Location: Vobbia, Italy

Forte Sperone

Forte Sperone is the heart of Genoa"s 19th-century fortifications, located right at the apex of the 'Mura Nuove' (new walls) from 1630, which to this day take the shape of mighty ramparts nestled in the hills behind the city centre.The fort"s main entrance, with the Savoy coat of arms above it, is protected by a moat and a heavy gate that was once connected to a drawbridge via two chains; other importa ...
Founded: 1747 | Location: Genoa, Italy

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Late Baroque Town of Ragusa

The eight towns in south-eastern Sicily, including Ragusa, were all rebuilt after 1693 on or beside towns existing at the time of the earthquake which took place in that year. They represent a considerable collective undertaking, successfully carried out at a high level of architectural and artistic achievement. Keeping within the late Baroque style of the day, they also depict distinctive innovations in town planning and urban building. Together with seven other cities in the Val di Noto, it is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In 1693 Ragusa was devastated by a huge earthquake, which killed some 5,000 inhabitants. Following this catastrophe the city was largely rebuilt, and many Baroque buildings from this time remain in the city. Most of the population moved to a new settlement in the former district of Patro, calling this new municipality 'Ragusa Superiore' (Upper Ragusa) and the ancient city 'Ragusa Inferiore' (Lower Ragusa). The two cities remained separated until 1926, when they were fused together to become a provincial capital in 1927.