Castles and fortifications in Italy

Wehrburg Castle

Wehrburg Castle was built in the 13th century (the lord of Wehrburg-Andrian was already mentioned in 1229). The castle was owned by the Morand family from 1411 to 1798. They restored the castle in 1520. The chapel dates from the 15th century. Today Wehrburg is a hotel.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Prissiano, Italy

Chenal Castle

Chenal Castle was built probably in the 13th century and had a rectangular floor plan. It belonged to the lords of Montjovet and only later became property of the Challant family, following the marriage between Ebalo the Great and Alexie of Chenal: in this way the two houses could control the passages along the road between Chenal and the Montjovet castle. The castle is nowdays in ruins.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Montjovet, Italy

Segonzano Castle

The Castle of Segonzano was built in the 13th century on a rock spur, around 100 meters above the valley. The place where it"s placed was probably the site of a prehistoric hillfort. Built by Rodolfo Scancio, on the authority of the Prince-Bishop of Trento, Federico Vanga, the castle served as an important fortified site guarding the trade route passing through the Adige Valley and across the Cantilaga bridge on the ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Segonzano, Italy

Castiglione delle Stiviere Castle

The castrum in Castiglione delle Stiviere was founded probably in the 9th century, but it is much altered and restored, especially by the Gonzaga family of Mantua in the 16th century. The castle was home to a cadet branch of the House of Gonzaga, headed by the Marquis of Castiglione. Saint Aloysius Gonzaga (1568–1591) was born there as heir to the marquisate, but became a Jesuit. He died tending plague victims in Rome a ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Castiglione delle Stiviere, Italy

Roccavignale Castle

Roccavignale Castle origin is unknown, but the Rochae Vinealis  was mentioned in 998 AD. The castle was expanded in the 14th century by Carrettesca family. It was burned down in 1799 in the wars between French and Piedmonte armies.
Founded: 10th century AD | Location: Roccavignale, Italy

Zumelle Castle

Zumelle Castle is located in the village of Tiago in the municipality of Mel. Nearby the castle is the early medieval church of San Donato, of Lombard origins. A first fortification here existed perhaps as early as c. 46-47 AD, when the Romans were consolidating their hold in the Valbelluna, conquered in the 1st century BC. The construction sat on a strategical location, commanding the road coming from the plain through ...
Founded: 1311 | Location: Mel, Italy

Castel d'Appio

Castel d'Appio is a medieval castle built by the Genoese in the 13th century. It occupies the site of an Roman militarity camp (castrum) and early Ligurian defense post. The castle lost its purpose in the 18th century and was partially demolished. Today parts of walls and towers remain.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Ventimiglia, Italy

Châtel-Argent Castle

There have been settlements on the site of Châtel-Argent castle since prehistoric times and through the Roman Era. There is a chapel dedicated to Saint Columba of Sens which was built sometime between 1050 and 1070. The castle first appears in a document in 1176 as Castrum Argenteum. The castle was improved around 1275 under the direction of Count Peter II"s architect James St. George and castle grew to the con ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Villeneuve, Italy

Monasterace Castle

The historical centre of Monasterace is crowned at its highest points by the Norman-Byzantine castle dating from the 11th century. The current appearance dates mainly from the 15th-16th centuries.
Founded: 11th century | Location: Monasterace, Italy

Caccuri Castle

Caccuri castle was built over Byzantine fortress dating to the 6th century. It was restored several times. In the early 1800s the castle became a comfortable noble residence, equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, including hot running water and central heating. The restoration work was followed by the architect Adolfo Mastrigli who planned the construction of the cylindrical tower that dominates the castle and which ...
Founded: 6th century AD | Location: Caccuri, Italy

San Niceto Castle

The Castle of Sant"Aniceto (also San Niceto) is a Norman castle built in the early 11th century on a hill in Motta San Giovanni. It is one of the few examples of High Middle Ages architecture in Calabria, as well as one of the few well-preserved Byzantine fortifications in the world. The name derives from that of St. Nicetas, a Byzantine admiral who lived in the 7th-8th centuries. In the 13th century the castle beca ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Motta San Giovanni, Italy

Nanno Castle

Nanno Castle wass mentioned first time in 1264. The current appearance dates mainly from the restoration made between 1520-1530. The square building is surrounded with a wall and thtree turrets. Today Nanno castle is privately owned and not open to the public.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Nanno, Italy

Valer Castle

Castel Valer is situated near Tassullo in a panoramic position, encircled by hills, which are covered by orchards, and it excels for its faultless elegance. The first document of castle dates back to 1211, when it was a property of the Counts Appiano and it was used as military guard post. It was sold to the Coredo’s and to Sporo’s in 1368, who are still the owners. The tower is 40 metres high. It has an octagonal p ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Tassullo, Italy

Champorcher Tower

As the Bard Fortress, Champorcher Castle also belonged to the powerful Lords of Bard, until the fratricidal war between William and Hugo in 1212. Little is known of this early building: we know that it was burned down by order of Hugo of Bard, which might suggest that it was constructed mostly of wood, like many buildings in the late Middle Ages. It was probably reconstructed in the same century, and definitely before 127 ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Champorcher, Italy

Saint Germain Castle

Saint Germain castle in Montjovet played an important part in the history of Val d’Aosta. Few traces remain of its original structure and its construction date is not known for certain. At the end of the 13th century, the Savoy became the owners, replacing the Montjovet family. As already happened in Bard, in this case too, the pretext was provided by the abuse of power that Feidino Montjovet acted on villagers and wa ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Montjovet, Italy

Frascarolo Castle

The Castello di Frascarolo (Frascarolo castle) or of Medici of Marignano is on the hill on a dominating position between Ganna and Ceresio valleys. It is believed the castle is from the early Middle Ages, perhaps the work of the Longobards, but it’s only documented in 1160 when Archbishop of Milan Oberto da Pirovano upheld a valid resistance to the advancing inhabitants of Como looking to conquer the Varese area. How ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Frascarolo, Italy

Rufo Ruffo Castle

The Rufo Ruffo Castle of Zanclea can easily be seen from the surrounding area. This fortress was built on top of a precipitous hill surrounded by green valleys from where you can overlook out on the sea. There was no architectural design planned therefore the castle was built with limestone rocks arranged in no rigorous way and solely based on the geographical locatio making it a challenge. The castle was built in the ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Scaletta Superiore, Italy

Calatubo Castle

The origins of the Calatubo Castle date back to some years before 1093, the year in which Roger I of Sicily defined the boundaries of the diocese of Mazara that included 'Calatubo with all its dependencies'. In ancient times, around the castle there was the village of Calatubo, which based its business on the extraction of stones for water and wind mills from the quarries around the creek Finocchio, as mentione ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Alcamo, Italy

Pietratagliata Castle

The castle of Gresti or Pietratagliata is located near the village of Aidone. Its current condition is that of ruin even if well legible in the forms that are composed mainly of a mighty tower full and a series of rooms ingrottate. The first historical news documented dating back to the 14th century. The castle stands on a high rocky ridge of sandstone. The central part, the spur higher, has been used by man for its strat ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Aidone, Italy

Dornsberg Castle

Tarant noble family founded Tarantsberg castle in 1217, later named as Dorenberch and Dornsberg. The St. Ursula chapel was probably built between 1270 and 1280. From 1699 the castle has been owned by the counts of Mohr, Giovanelli and Fuhcs families. After the end of WWII the building was damaged, but in 1964 the Gottschall family from Munich purchased the castle complex and had it restored with the utmost effort. Sti ...
Founded: 1217 | Location: Naturno, 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.