Castles and fortifications in Italy

Lamprechtsburg Castle

Lamprechtsburg castle consists of a simple Palas, keep, farm buildings and chapel. It is surrounded by the curtain wall. The chapel is mentioned in 1075 or 1090 and the wooden fort was replaced by stone castle in 1225 by the lords of Lamprechtsburg. In the 1570s extensive restoration work was carried out. In 1812, the estate was sold to the priest Joseph Hauptmann, whose descendants are still the castle owners.
Founded: 1225 | Location: Brunico, Italy

Obermontani Castle

Obermontani Castle was erected in 1228 by Albert II of Tyrol as defence against the Bishops of Chur. This is the place where the original handwritten copy of the 'Nibelungen' was found (now in the public record office of Berlin-Dahlem). The castle is not accessible.
Founded: 1228 | Location: Laces, Italy

Reinegg Castle

Reinegg castle was built in the mid-13th century, and is recorded in 1263 as being owned by the countess Elisabeth von Eppan. Ten years later, ownership was transferred to count Meinhard II of Tyrol. Over the centuries, fiefs were granted to a number of different families until in 1635, Reinegg castle came under the ownership of Bolzano merchant David Wagner. In 1861 the Wagner family was elevated to Counts of Sarthein; t ...
Founded: c. 1250 | Location: Sarentino, Italy

Spine Castle

Spine Castle was built in the late 12th century and destroyed in 1348. In the 16th century the castle ruins was converted into a hunting lodge. In 1933 a serious fire almost led to complete destruction, only the southern buildings were saved while the other wings collapsed and were never rebuilt. Today only part of the castle is habitable while the rest lie to ruins, although impressive. Spine castle is not open to the p ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Comano Terme, Italy

Sprechenstein Castle

A striking feature of Sprechenstein castle is the circular castle keep dating from the 13th century. The great hall and chapel (dedicated to St.s Erasmus) with its small winged altar as well as the murals and frescoes were created in later centuries. The castle and its works of art were hit by bombs in the Second World War and later restored. Since the end of the 18th century Burg Sprechenstein has been owned by the Auers ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Campo di Trens, Italy

Camairago Castle

Camairago Castle was built in the first half of the 15th century by the order of Vitaliano I Borromeo, a nobleman from Milan. Borromeo family still owns the castle. During the first Italian War of Independence it was a headquarters of Austrian field marshall Radetzky in 1848.
Founded: 15th century | Location: Camairago, Italy

Soiano Castle

Soiano Castle overlooks the village of Soiano del Lago. It was built already in the 10th century against the Hungarian invasions and was also the meeting place for the heads of families in Chizzoline and Soiano. In order to oppose the feared Savoy army a further gate was constructed to close the castle. Currently the manor is once again the property of the Commune.
Founded: 10th century AD | Location: Soiano, Italy

Vigolo Castle

The castle of Vigolo was erected during the Renaissance in a strategic position over the pass between Vigolana and Marzola, in order to defend the town. The first record of castle dates back to 1214. In 1254 it was besieged and destroyed. In 1424 the castle passed to the family of Murlini and later in 1477 to de Fatis, whose descendants are still the owners. The de Fatis acquired the castle in ruins and rebuilt it almost ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Vigolo Vattaro, Italy

Muzzerone Fortress

This Italian fort was built in 1870 and was served during both world wars. Its main armament consisted of eleven 240mm artillery pieces.
Founded: 1870 | Location: Porto Venere, Italy

La Tour de Villa Castle

Originally, La Tour de Villa castle was comprised almost entirely of the central tower. The restoration works did not re-build the western part and the northern part, leaving instead a beautiful court yard with views over the plain. Today, the complex is made up of two well-distinct parts: one part is the 12th century tower and the other inhabited part is a semi-circular structure which dates back to the 15th century. T ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Gressan, Italy

Poira Castle

Poira Castle was built in the Middle Ages to the site which was inhabitated already in Greek and Roman ages. Today it is ruined with some remains.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Paternò, Italy

Oliveri Castle

Oliveri Castle was built first by the Arabs in the 11th century and later enhanced by Normans. Today the castle is a private building and it is not possible to visit its interior.
Founded: 11th century | Location: Oliveri, Italy

Cuasso Castle Ruins

Known as Castelasc in Lombard local language, the Castle of Cuasso is one of the most important defensive buildings in the province of Varese and Insubria. Founded in medieval times, it stands upon a hill which gives name to the whole city of Cuasso al Monte. Nowadays only ruins remain of the ancient structure. Due to the lack of written sources, the history of the castle is still, in some respects, mysterious. T ...
Founded: 8th century AD | Location: Cuasso al Monte, Italy

Aiello Calabro Castle

Aiello Calabro Castle was probably buillt in the Byzantine period in the 9th century against Arabian raids. It was besieged  four months by Norman count Robert Guiscard in 1065. He lost two of his nephews in the siege.  The current ruins date mainly from the 15th century. In the 16th century it was one of the most powerful castles in southern Italy. Aiello Calabro castle was destroyed by earthquakes of 1638, 1783 and 1 ...
Founded: 9th century AD | Location: Aiello Calabro, Italy

San Fili Castle

San Fili Castle was built between 1711-1720 by Giuseppe Lambert. 
Founded: 1711 | Location: Stignano, Italy

Mirabello Castle

The Mirabello Castle is located in Mirabello di Pavia in the area of the Parco Visconteo. The building today is only a wing of the original castle, which was the seat of the Captain of the Park, the authority administering the Parco Visconteo on behalf of the Visconti family. Since the 12th century the area had been occupied by a Cistercians monastery. In 1325 the Fiamberti family of Pavia acquired goods and lands ...
Founded: 1325 | Location: Pavia, Italy

Savignone Castle

Savignone Castle has a semi-circular great tower and rear rampart, and its position on a conglomerate spur that presents a cliff of 150 metres on one side is its main natural defence. In the 13th century the Fieschis took possession of Savignone and its castle, which only seemed to be lived in during the summer. The fief was certainly a feather in the cap of this lineage because its position in the Scrivia Valley was exce ...
Founded: c. 1207 | Location: Savignone, Italy

Calice al Cornoviglio Castle

Calice al Cornoviglio Castle is situated atop a hill overlooking the village. Founded in the 11th century, the first appearance in historical sources dates from 1206 when an act stated that the bishop of Luniwas to return the property of the castrum calisi (original name of the castle) to Guglielmoand Corrado Malaspina. The castle had belonged to the Malaspina family from the 12th century on, but in the 13th century it w ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Calice Al Cornoviglio, Italy

Madrignano Castle

The first mention of the Madrignano Castle dates back tothe imperial diploma of Frederick Barbarossa of 1162, where it was assigned to Obizzo Malaspina. During the Middle Ages, the village of Madrignano was part of the fief of Caliceal Cornoviglio, until 1400. In 1416 it passed to the Genoese. In 1465, Madrignano and Calice were sold to Tommaso Campofregoso, who in turn sold them to the Marquis Azzone di Mulazzo. Shortly ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Madrignano, Italy

Castle of Ventimiglia

The castle of Ventimiglia is an ancient four towers castle which was built at the end of the 14th century by the Ventimiglia family on the top of Mount Bonifato near Alcamo. Enrico Ventimiglia, the son of Guarnieri Ventimiglia whom he succeeded to, declared that he had this castle built on Mount Bonifato as a protection from possible attacks. According to different interpretations, the castle, instead, would date back to ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Alcamo, 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.