Castles and fortifications in 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

Andrano Castle

Spinola-Caracciolo castle in Andrano was built in the 14th century and restored a century later. The square form castle was corner towers and machicolations.
Founded: 14th century | Location: Andrano, 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

Cosenza Castle

The Castello Svevo ('Swabian' or Hohenstaufen Castle) was originally built by the Saracens on the ruins of the ancient Rocca Brutia, around the year 1000. The castle was restored by Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, adding the octagonal tower to the original structure, in 1239. According to tradition, his son Henry lived in this castle, as a prisoner at his father"s command. Louis III of Naples and ...
Founded: c. 1000 AD | Location: Cosenza, Italy

Pilato Castle

Situated in the centre of Nus, Pilato castle was built by the lords of Nus in the 12th-13th century. Its owners abandoned it after a fire, preferring the castle on the hill (Nus Castle). The castle gets its name from the legend which claims that Pontius Pilate stopped there on his way to exile in Gaul. Today the ruins that survived the fire have been restored and are open to visitors: a ladder takes visitors up to the u ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Nus, Italy

Fischburg Castle

Fischburg Castle (Castel Gardena), surrounded by numerous fish ponds that were name-giving for the castle. It was constructed between 1622 and 1641 by Engelhard Dietrich von Wolkenstein-Trostburg as summer residence and hunting castle, even if the monumental construction conveys medieval grandeur. Actually, the inventory of the castle reveals that the castle contains more hunting weapons than weapons of war. Moreover appl ...
Founded: 1622 | Location: Santa Cristina Valgardena, Italy

Moniga Castle

The walls which enclose the town of Moniga del Garda were built in the 10th century to face the Hungarian invasions. The castle was founded in the same period and is still in fairly good condition. Rectangular in shape (60 × 80), there is only one entrance at the centre of the eastern wall, where signs of an old drawbridge can still be seen. The crenulated city walls have four small round lookout towers on each corner. T ...
Founded: 10th century AD | Location: Moniga del Garda, Italy

Baradello Castle

The Castello Baradello is a military fortification located on a 430 m high hill next to the city of Como. The castle occupies the ancient site of Comum Oppidum, the original settlement of Como, dating from the 1st millennium BC. Later it was one of the last Byzantine strongholds in the area, surrendering to the Lombards in 588. The castle was restored during the War of the Lombard League, with the help of emperor Frederi ...
Founded: 6th century AD | Location: Como, Italy

Quart Castle

Quart castle is a set of buildings arranged within a fortified perimeter, which respects the natural contour of a difficult rocky slope.The donjon (keep) standing on the highest point of the rock, the functional layout of individual buildings, the chapel and the winding passageways, are evidence of an early or Germanic fortified structure, although current architectural evidence point to more recent periods, as do the fi ...
Founded: c. 1185 | Location: Quart, Italy

Binasco Castle

The Visconti Castle of Binasco is famed for having been the prison of Beatrice di Tenda (Duchess of Milan and wife of Filippo Maria Visconti), who was arrested and there sentenced to death for adultery in 1418. Today it is the seat of the municipality of Binasco. The castle originated from a stronghold built by the Visconti in the 14th century to take care of their land in the area. Probably between 1315 and 1319 the n ...
Founded: c. 1320 | Location: Binasco, Italy

Castel Sant'Angelo

Castel Sant"Angelo, also known as Forte Sant"Angelo, is in good condition and is open to the public. It is located on the top of Monte Sant"Angelo, overlooking the city to the north and its harbour to the south. Several archaeological sites, including remains of a Hellenistic settlement, can be found in the area. The first fortification to be built on Monte Sant"Angelo was a watchtower, which was cons ...
Founded: 1583-1640 | Location: Licata, Italy

Summersberg Castle

The oldest parts of the Summersberg castle is the round 'Witch Tower' dating from the 14th century. Extensions and additions were made between 15th and 18th centuries. From 1619 to 1828 Summersberg was owned by Counts of Wolkenstein. In 1880 Ignaz Vinzenz Zingerle bought the castle. The descendants of Zingerle still own the castle.
Founded: 14th century | Location: Gudon, Italy

Borromeo Castle

Borromeo Castle of Peschiera is the oldest possession of the Borromeo family in Lombardy. The family came originally from San Miniato in Tuscany. The Borromeo family became wealthy due their commercial and financial activities abroad. In 1435, Banco Filippo Borromeo & Compagni set up a branch in London. In 1432, Vitaliano Borromeo was granted to fortify Peschiera farmhouse. In the decades of the sixteenth century, t ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Peschiera Borromeo, Italy

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Redipuglia World War I Memorial

Redipuglia is the largest Italian Military Sacrarium. It rises up on the western front of the Monte Sei Busi, which, in the First World War was bitterly fought after because, although it was not very high, from its summit it allowed an ample range of access from the West to the first steps of the Karstic table area.

The monumental staircase on which the remains of one hundred thousand fallen soldiers are lined up and which has at its base the monolith of the Duke of Aosta, who was the commanding officer of the third Brigade, and gives an image of a military grouping in the field of a Great Unity with its Commanding Officer at the front. The mortal remains of 100,187 fallen soldiers lie here, 39,857 of them identified and 60,330 unknown.