Castles and fortifications in Italy

Velthurns Castle

Velthurns (Velturno) Castle was built by Cardinal Christof Madrutz and Bishop Johannes Spaur in Renaissance style between 1577 and 1587. It was used as summer residence of the archbishops of Bressanone (Brixen) until 1803. Once the castle was known for its deer garden, the fish pond and the huge aviary for birds, today the complex itself is a sight on its own. Worth mentioning is above all the St Catherine’s Chapel o ...
Founded: 1577-1587 | Location: Feldthurns, Italy

Rivalta di Torino Castle

Rivalta di Torino is home to a medieval castle, around which the town originated starting from the 11th century. The castle was destroyed in 1229 and rebuilt after that. The castle and the village were owned by the Orsini local branch until 1823. The castle has a massive appearance and was once accessed through a drawbridge, now replaced by a stone one.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Rivalta di Torino, Italy

Bevilacqua Castle

Bevilacqua Castle is considered one of the finest examples of its kind on Veronese territory. It was erected in 1336. Guglielmo Bevilacqua and his son, Francesco, were both commissioned by the Della Scala (Lords of Verona) to erect it. Originally erected for purely military purposes, the castle was damaged during the period of League of Cambrai and lost its strategic importance during the reign of the Venetian Republic. ...
Founded: 1336 | Location: Bevilacqua, Italy

Torriglia Castle

Torriglia Castle may have been built around the year 1000. The first document dates from 1153. In 1180 it became a property of Malaspina family and later it was moved to the hands of Fieschi family. In 1392 and 1450 it was besieged. The castle was destroyed in 1799 when during the France invasion. Today it lies in ruins.
Founded: c. 1000 AD | Location: Torriglia, Italy

Boymont Castle

Boymont Castle ruins are famous for the panoramic view. It was built between 1220-1240 by the relative of the Count of Eppan. Especially in the 14th century the family Boymont played an important role. After them the Castel was in the hands of the Austrian Ulrich Kässler for a short period after he married the rich daughter Barbara of Boymont in 1413. In 1425 Castel Boymont was victim of arson and has not been rebuilt ...
Founded: 1220 | Location: Eppan, Italy

Maredolce Castle

The origins of the Maredolce Castle are unknown. Some scholars tend to attribute the foundation of the castle to the emir Ja"far al-Kalbi (998-1019), believing that it was built over a pre-existing structure. Other scholars believe that the castle dates back to the Norman era, although others consider that just the lake of the Favara Park was realized in the age of the Hauteville dynasty. The first documents regardin ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Palermo, Italy

Squillace Castle

Squillace Castle was built on the ruins of a monastery when the Normans conquered Squillace in 1044. Throughout the years it was conquered and ruled by various families – one of which being the Borgia family. The Borgia family was an Italian-Spanish noble family that become prominent during the Italian Renaissance. Between 1494 and 1735, Squillace was governed by the Borgia Princes. In 1793, an earthquake severely dama ...
Founded: 1044 | Location: Squillace, Italy

Cassano d'Adda Castle

The Visconti Castle is a castle of Middle Age origin located in Cassano d"Adda. It received the current form in the 14th century, when Bernabò Visconti, lord of Milan, enlarged the existing fortification as part of a defensive system of the Visconti dominions on the Adda river. At the end of the 20th century, after a period of abandonment, it was restored and transformed into a hotel. A castle in the area is suppos ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Cassano d'Adda, Italy

Avigliana Castle

The old town of Avigliana is one of the most significant in Piedmont, for its medieval architecture and its churches. The castle was probably built in 942 by the Marqueses Arduinici of Turin (it was probably Arduino the Hairless who built the first settlement of Castrum Avilianae) on the top of Mount Pezzulano. This castle was used by the Counts of Savoy at least from 1137. In 1691, after conquering it, the French Marshal ...
Founded: 942 AD | Location: Avigliana, Italy

Lauria Castle

 The Lauria castle in Castiglione di Sicilia was built by Roger of Lauria. It dates back to the 12th century.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Castiglione di Sicilia, Italy

Prösels Castle

Prösels Castle (Castello di Presule) was first named in a document from 1279 and it is believed that the lords of Völs, feudatories of the Bishopric of Brixen, had built the castle here by 1200. Today the central palace with a Romanesque archway are surviving parts of this first fortress. In Italian it is sometimes called Castel Colonna, reflecting the fact that around the time of Leonhard II the Völs (Fiè) family st ...
Founded: c. 1200 | Location: Presule, Italy

Corenno Plinio Castle

The castle of Corenno Plinio is today one of the best preserved castles in Lombardy. Built between 1363 and 1370 on ancient Roman ruins, by will of Andreani’s family, it has a square shape, even if irregular, and two towers: a square one dated back to the 11th century and a C shape one at the castle’s entrance in Piazza Garibaldi. Piazza Garibaldi, with its pebble floor, lets you breathe the medieval past of Cor ...
Founded: 1363-1370 | Location: Dervio, Italy

Churburg Castle

Churburg Castle (Castel Coira in Italian) is one of the best preserved castles of South Tyrol. In 1259 this building was mentioned for the first time under the name “Curberch” in a document of the archbishop Heinrich von Monfort, which had the castle built around 1250. However, already in 1297 the castle passed to the Lords of Mazia, which were in constant feud with the prince-bishopric of Chur. At the beginning of th ...
Founded: 1250 | Location: Sluderno, Italy

Fort Montecchio-Lusardi

Fort Montecchio-Lusardi is a military fort situated in Colico, built between 1911 and 1914. It is the only Italian fort from World War I which has been preserved intact with its original weapons. The main function of the fort was to control the roads of Spluga, Maloja and Stelvio, in case the Central Powers decided to invade northern Italy, violating the neutrality of Switzerland. The fort was one of the strongholds in a ...
Founded: 1911-1914 | Location: Colico, Italy

Malaspina Castle

The medieval town of Varzi is home to a castle built by the Malaspina family in 1164 after inheriting from Frederick Barbarossa the territory from the Rivanazzano Hills to Oramala. The structure is currently owned by the Counts of Odetti di Marcorengo, who in 1983 embarked on a redevelopment process that ended only three years ago, in order to give this gem of architecture back to the community, opening it up to the publi ...
Founded: 1164 | Location: Varzi, Italy

Forte del Santissimo Salvatore

The peninsula of San Raineri, on which Forte del Santissimo Salvatore was eventually built, had been inhabited since antiquity, and Greek pottery dating back to the 8th century BC was found at the site. The fort got its name from a monastery and church dedicated to the Holy Saviour, which were built on the peninsula in the Middle Ages. In around 1081, a tower dedicated to Saint Anne was built on the peninsula, and it saw ...
Founded: 1546 | Location: Messina, Italy

Fort Venini

The military Fort Venini in Oga was erected in the defense of the main alpine passes of the Alta Valtellina, and was built between 1908 and 1914 in the village of Dossaccio. The fort’s structure is decidedly massive and includes four armoured domes in steel where there were the cannons, that thanks to the particular orientation east-west, could rotate and defend all the valleys and the passes potentially subject ...
Founded: 1909-1912 | Location: Valdisotto, Italy

San Salvatore Castle

San Salvatore is one of the largest castles in northern Italy. In 1245, the city of Treviso granted the hill of San Salvatore to the Collalto family. They built a castle on top of the hill between the late 13th and early 14th centuries. In 1312, when the castle was complete, Emperor Henry VII granted full jurisdiction of the area to the Collalto family. They planted vineyards in the fields around the castle. The 16th to ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Susegana, Italy

Rezzonico Castle

The Castle of Rezzonico is the concrete sign of the fortified village of Rezzonico that overlooks Lake Como. Built in the fourteenth century (1363) by the Counts Della Torre, the Castle of Rezzonico is similar for the type to the castle of Corenno Plinio in the town of Dervio.The castle covers an area of ​​about two thousand square meters and within its walls there were houses and the main tower. It was no ...
Founded: 1363 | Location: Santa Maria Rezzonico, Italy

Padenghe Castle

Padenghe Castle is situated on a hill from where it enjoys a beautiful panorama, has retained its original structure built between the 9th and 10th century on the ruins of fortifications of Roman times. What we can now admire is a reconstruction of the 13th and the 14th century. At the time, the castle was surrounded by a moat, and in it there were houses on three parallel rows, built with the walls. In 1154 it was recogn ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Padenghe Sul Garda, Italy

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Amphitheatre of the Three Gauls

The Amphitheatre of the Three Gauls was part of the federal sanctuary of the three Gauls dedicated to the cult of Rome and Augustus celebrated by the 60 Gallic tribes when they gathered at Lugdunum (Lyon). The amphitheatre was built at the foot of the La Croix-Rousse hill at what was then the confluence of the Rhône and Saône.

Excavations have revealed a basement of three elliptical walls linked by cross-walls and a channel surrounding the oval central arena. The arena was slightly sloped, with the building"s south part supported by a now-vanished vault. The arena"s dimensions are 67,6m by 42m. This phase of the amphitheatre housed games which accompanied the imperial cult, with its low capacity (1,800 seats) being enough for delegations from the 60 Gallic tribes.

The amphitheatre was expanded at the start of the 2nd century. Two galleries were added around the old amphitheatre, raising its width from 25 metres to 105 metres and its capacity to about 20,000 seats. In so doing it made it a building open to the whole population of Lugdunum and its environs.