Castles and fortifications in Italy

Avise Castle

Erected at the end of the 15th century by Bonifacio d’Avise, the Avise castle comprises a three-story building sided by a quadrangular tower. The motto of the Lords of Avise, Qui tost Avise tart se repent, is inscribed on the main portal. The monument has recently been restored and currently hosts events and temporary exhibitions. Worth discovering is the vast interior room with the fireplace, the furniture and the pewt ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Avise, Italy

Forte Monteratti

Forte Monteratti is a military barracks in Genoa built between 1831 and 1842 by the Government of the House of Savoy to defend the area’s highest peak, Monte Ratti (hence the name given to the barracks), situated behind Genoa’s Quezzi and Bavari districts.
Founded: 1831-1842 | Location: Genoa, Italy

Gravina Castle

According to Giorgio Vasari, Gravina castle was designed in 1231 by one Fuccio from Florence. It was built by oly Roman Emperor Frederick II on the hill nearby the town, originally a base for bird hunting. The 58 x 29m rectangular size castle had four towers.
Founded: 1231 | Location: Gravina in Puglia, Italy

Colombaia Castle

According to several historical documents, the fortifications in Colombaia island were built first time around the 260 BC, During the first Punic war. The Roman army tried several times to conquer this island, succeeding only in 247 BC, although they left it shortly after and left the territory totally in disuse, with the Castle of the Dovecote which quickly became a nest of doves that would have given way to the pagan wo ...
Founded: 1280 | Location: Trapani, Italy

Punta Troia Castle

Around 1140 Roger II, King of Sicily, transformed the old Saracen tower of Punta Troia in a real castle in defense of western end of the richest and most powerful kingdom in the Mediterranean at that time. In subsequent periods Swabian domination, Angevin and Aragonese Marettimo followed the fate of Sicily, accentuating an isolation that had its peak during the long Spanish rule, when the western part of the island becam ...
Founded: c. 1140 | Location: Favignana, Italy

Madruzzo Castle

Madruzzo castle dates from the 12th century.  The castle was set on fire and almost completely destroyed in 1703 during the War of Spanish Succession.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Lasino, Italy

Haderburg Castle

Haderburg castle (Castel Salorno in Italian) dates back to Middle Ages and is located on a soaring rock spur above the homonymous village. The castle marks the lingual border of German (or bilingual) and only Italian speaking inhabitants (South Tyrol and Trentino). The building is one of the most important monuments of South Tyrol. Castel Salorno has been constructed by the Earls of Salorno in the 13th century. Thereupon ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Salorno, Italy

Mühlbacher Klause Castle

Mühlbacher Klause (Chiusa di Rio Pusteria) castle was built by Sigmund, Duke of Tyrol, between 1458 and the 1480"s. It replaced an older fort, built in the 13th century and which was situated about 600 meters west of the present location. Both fortifications were built here to control the passage through the Pusteria valley which was the border between the counties of Gorizia and Tyrol.  In the 18th century an ad ...
Founded: 1458-1480 | Location: Rio di Pusteria, Italy

Senarega Castle

Senarega Castle was built in the 12th century by the Senarega family. It had originally a tower, to which the lower block was added during the 15th century, highlighting the simple square shape of the whole block. On the ground floor there is a large fireplace for heating the room, while on the upper floor there would have been a wooden oven for cooking food, and from here the tower could also be accessed. In additio ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Senarega, Italy

Luna Castle

The majestic medieval castle of Sciacca was built in 1382 at the wishes of Guglielmo Peralta, count of Caltabellotta, who became one of the four vicars of the kingdom of Sicily after the death of king Fredrik the III. The castle was passed down to the counts of Luna when, after the death of Nicolò Peralta (son of Guglielmo) one of his three daughters, Margherita, married count Artale of Luna, a Catalan and uncle of king ...
Founded: 1382 | Location: Sciacca, Italy

Mussomeli Castle

Mussomeli Castle is a magic and evocative palace where it is possible to enjoy a breathtaking view of the coastline. Built in 1370 by Manfredi Chiaramonte III, this Norman-Gothic castle stands in a strategic position overlooking the whole valley as it is on top of a high limestone crag almost 800 meters above sea level.  The Mussomeli Castle has not undergone radical changes throughout its history therefore you can get ...
Founded: 1370 | Location: Mussomeli, Italy

Rubein Castle

Schloss Rubein was probably built in the 13th century by the lords of Rubein. The first document of castle dates from 1220. The major restoration took place after 1875 by the Count Brandis and later by Countess Anna Asseburg-Wolff-Metternich and his husband. Their descendants are still in possession. The 21m high tower was erected for the defensive purposes and the castle was built around it. during The late Gothic cha ...
Founded: c. 1220 | Location: Meran, Italy

La Mothe Castle

Perched on top of the hill, La Mothe Castle dominates the village of Arvier. Unfortunately only the four sided tower remains intact, while the ruins of the round tower and the perimeter wall are still visible. From its current appearance, construction of the castle is estimated as being between the end of the 12th and the start of the 13th century, with important modifications in the 15th century. It was first mentioned i ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Arvier, Italy

Gela Castle

The Castelluccio ('Small Castle') of Gela was built around 1143 by the Count of Butera. It is located 10 km from the city.
Founded: c. 1143 | Location: Gela, Italy

Drugolo Castle

The Drugolo castle is located in the village with same name along the road that leads from Padenghe to Bedizzole in the morainic hills. Its construction is dated to the 10th century, perhaps by the Lombards. It has a square plan with two corner towers and is positioned on a wall that raises it considerably, has a drawbridge and Ghibelline battlements; towards the end of the 14th century the perimeter walls were rebuilt. ...
Founded: 10th century AD | Location: Drugolo, Italy

Castel d'Ario Castle

Castel d'Ario Castle was a strategic element of a defensive system into the Mantuan territory, together with Castelbelforte and Villimpenta Castles, placed on the borderline with Veneto. Castel D'Ario Castle represents one of the main medieval fenced-in castles with a pentagonal shape. Five towers are visible, included that one at the entrance, where people can still see the location where there was a portcullis and the ...
Founded: 10th century AD | Location: Castel D'ario, Italy

Warth Castle

The Warth Castle (Burg Warth) was around 1250 to the site of earlier fortified court. Lords of Weineck made the first major reconstruction in in the mid-15th century. The residential buildings were erected in the 16th and 17th centuries.
Founded: 1250 | Location: Eppan, Italy

Haselburg Castle

The first castle built on the rock spur above Bolzano by the Lords of Haselberg dates back to the 12th century. This Haselberg castle is today known as Castle Flavon. Already in those days the fortress boasted a circular wall at its east and south flank, which could easily be assaulted. The great hall was located just above the porphry rocks. It is presumed that also a donjon already existed in these days. Only few docum ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Bolzano, Italy

Rafenstein Castle

The romantic ruin of Rafenstein castle rises high above the city of Bolzano at the entrance of Val Sarentino. The complex was constructed in the 13th century by the Bishop of Trento Friedrich von Wangen in order to control the commercial relationship between north and south and in order to keep the sovereignty of Bolzano. As this is also where an important commercial road passed by, this castle in the Mediaeval and stil ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Bolzano, Italy

Montmayeur Castle

Montmayeur Castle was built in 1271 by Anselmo and Aimone D´Avise on a steep promontory over the orographic right bank of the Dora Valgrisenche, in a position dominating the entrance to the valley of the same name. Today it is reduce to ruins, but preserves the cylindrical tower, crowned with beautiful swallowtail battlements. It is still possible to see the remains of the ancient castle and the boundary wall. Access i ...
Founded: 1271 | Location: Arvier, Italy

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Seaplane Harbour Museum

The Seaplane Harbour is the newest and one of the most exciting museums in Tallinn. It tells stories about the Estonian maritime and military history. The museum’s display, that comprises of more than a couple of hundred large exhibits, revitalizes the colourful history of Estonia.

British built submarine Lembit weighing 600 tones is the centrepiece of the new museum. Built in 1936 for the Estonian navy, Lembit served in the World War II under the Soviet flag. It remained in service for 75 years being the oldest submarine in the World still in use until it was hauled ashore in 2011. Despite its long history, Lembit is still in an excellent condition offering a glimpse of the 1930s art of technology.

Another exciting attraction is a full-scale replica of Short Type 184, a British pre-World War II seaplane, which was also used by the Estonian armed forces. Short Type 184 has earned its place in military history by being the first aircraft ever to attack an enemy’s ship with an air-launched torpedo. Since none of the original seaplanes have survived, the replica in Seaplane Harbour is the only full-size representation of the aircraft in the whole World.

Simulators mimicking a flight above Tallinn, around-the-world journey in the yellow submarine, navigating on the Tallinn bay make this museum heaven for kids or adventurous adults.

Seaplane Harbour operates in architecturally unique hangars built almost a century ago, in 1916 and 1917, as a part of Peter the Great sea fortress. These hangars are the World’s first reinforced concrete shell structures of such a great size. Charles Lindbergh, the man who performed the first solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean, landed here in 1930s.

On the outdoor area visitors can tour a collection of historic ships, including the Suur Tõll, Europe's largest steam-powered icebreaker.