Medieval castles in Piedmont

Ivrea Castle

Ivrea Castle was built on behalf of Amadeus VI, Count of Savoy, in 1358. Ivrea was built to signify the dominance of the House of Savoy over the region. The castle has four towers erected on a plan flank. It is located next to a cathedral and a bishop"s palace. The castle is mentioned in the work of Giosuè Carducci. The most significant changes were recorded at the end of the 18th century, when the castle was trans ...
Founded: 1358 | Location: Ivrea, Italy

Masino Castle

For more than a thousand years, Masino Castle has overlooked the immense Canavese plain from high ground in front of the evocative morainic barrier of the Serra di Ivrea – an intact and seemingly endless landscape. The strategic location of the castle resulted in it being frequently attacked, but the noble Valperga dynasty, whom, legend has it, are descended from Arduin of Ivrea, the first King of Italy, retained owners ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Via del Castello, Italy

Castello Contessa Adelaide

From high up on the rock of Susa, this castle has witnessed millennia of history. In 1046, Countess Adelaïde received here her husband Otto, Count of Savoy, bringing him the dowry of the marquisate of Susa and the county of Torino. The Castle was presumed to be built in the Middle Ages, this also explains the presence of mullioned windows on the walls, a typical element of that era. Over the years he underwent several r ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Susa, Italy

Casale Monferrato Castle

Giovanni II Paleologo, Marquis of Monferrato, ordered to build the current castle in Casale Monferrato and the work continued until 1357. When Casale assumed the role of capital of Monferrato"s marquisate and obtained in 1474 the title of city, also the castle, seat of the court, changed its aspect following the restoration with the Marquises Guglielmo VIII (1464-1483) and Bonifacio V (1483-1494). When Giovanni II P ...
Founded: 1357 | Location: Casale Monferrato, Italy

Fort of Exilles

The Exilles Fort (Forte di Exilles) is a fortified complex in the Susa Valley. Together with the nearby Fort of Fenestrelle and the Forte Albertino it was part of the defensive line between the House of Savoy lands and France: both these states held it in different phases depending on the outcome of the various wars. It is located on a spur commanding one of the narrowest sections of the Susa Valley, along the main road c ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Susa, Italy

Pavone Castle

Pavone Castle was originally built between the 9th and the 11th century. At the beginning of the 13th century, the castle went to the Romano family and, several years later, Oberto, the new bishop of Ivrea, got it back. In the 14th century, its first and major reconstruction took place. In the 15th century, the castle was abandoned, but, at the end of the century, Bishop Bonifacio Ferrero gave the go-ahead for new reconst ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Pavone Canavese, Italy

Acqui Terme Castle

The Palaeologi Castle in Acqui Terme was mentioned for the first time in 1056. It was rebuilt in the 15th century by Marquis William VII of Montferrat. Acqui Terme’s Archaeological Museum is housed inside the castle. The exhibition is divided into three sections (dedicated respectively to prehistory: from Palaeolithic to Neolithic, to the Bronze and Iron Ages, to the Roman period and finally the Middle Ages), with a to ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Acqui Terme, 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

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

Bardassano Castle

Bardassano Castle was built in the 11-13th centuries and is well-preserved. For long time it was transformed in prison from the Chieri Council after demanding the ownership after arguments between aristocratic families. The massive main building is built of brick and has corner towers. The terraces were made in the 17th century.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Gassino Torinese, Italy

Borello Castle

Borello Castle was probably built in the 13th century and documented first time in the 15th century. It was originally built by Borello family, but later was in hands of Aschierie, Bartolomei ja Rotari di Susa families. The square form castle ruins remain.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Bussoleno, Italy

Gabiano Castle

The imposing Castle of Gabiano, one of the largest and oldest in the Monferrato area, stands in a dominant position on the Po valley. Always a place of important economic and strategic importance, the manor has been the protagonist of sieges and wars. The first historical documents regarding the castle date back to the seventh century. In 1164 Frederick I granted the feudal investiture to William II of Monferrato. The fie ...
Founded: 8th century AD | Location: Gabiano, Italy

Uviglie Castle

The first certain traces of Uviglie Castle can be found in a document dated in 1322. In this text the marquis of Monferrato Teodoro I granted the Pocaparte family a license to build their own fortified residence. The construction of the round tower and the wall supporting the roof garden adjacent the present park goes back to that period. On February 1495 Giovanni Antonio Pico, who was from an old noble family from Casal ...
Founded: 1322 | Location: Rosignano Monferrato, Italy

Malgrà Castle

The imposing outline of the Castle of Malgrà has been marking the outline of the town of Rivarolo since 1333, the year in which the Counts of San Martino began its construction. Built as a military presidium, it then became a welcoming noble mansion thanks to a series of important structural and decorative interventions, made possible by the peacetime which began in the 14th century. The building originally included two ...
Founded: 1333 | Location: Rivarolo Canavese, Italy

Rocca di Verrua

The Fortress of Verrua Savoia dates back to the 10th and 11th centuries. During the wars the fortress was destroyed and rebuilt several times. Currently, only the Dungeon and the Ponte del Soccorso remained of the fortress. Prior to the French siege of 1704 the defence consisted of an enclosure wall and 4 bastions. The main part of the fortress consisted of the keep, barracks and of a well.
Founded: 11th century | Location: Verrua Savoia, Italy

San Giorio di Susa Castle

San Giorio di Susa Castle was built probably in the mid-13th century. The complex is divided in the upper and lower castle. Today it is ruined but tower and hall exists.
Founded: 13th century | Location: San Giorio di Susa, Italy

Settimo Vittone Castle

Settimo Vittone Castle was built to inthe 9th century to the site of 6th century abbey. The castle was important step for pilgrimages to Rome. The castle was demolished in the 16th century. In the courtyard is a Pieve di San Lorenzo, one of oldest existing Christian chapels in the area. It was probably built in the late 9th century.
Founded: 9th century AD | Location: Settimo Vittone, Italy

Montalto Dora Castle

Montalto Dora Castle was built in the first half of the 12th century on top of Monte Crovero reflecting in the waters of Lake Pistono, being first mentioned under the name of castrum monsalti in a document dating from 1140. During the 14th and 15th century, the castle was modified and enlarged to better serve from a defensive viewpoint. In the 19th century, the castle was renovated under the direction of architects Car ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Montalto Dora, Italy

Castello Della Rovere

The Della Rovere Castle dates from 1480 to 1517 by Cardinal Domenico della Rovere and represents a rare example of Renaissance architecture in Piemonte. The magnificent cloister dated 1513/1515, with its terracotta features and the recently discovered 16th century frescoes by the school of Pinturicchio, are particularly significant. In 1776 it becomes the headquarters of the Royal Porcelain Manufactory, strongly backed by ...
Founded: 1480-1517 | Location: Vinovo, Italy

Cremolino Castle

Cremolino was the main feud of the Monferrato branch of the Malaspina marquises, lords of the Lunigiana. The castle was built in the late 13th century, around a tower that dates from the year 1000, by Tommaso Malaspina, who inherited the estate from his mother Agnese, the last heir of the Aleramici Del Bosco marquises. When the Malaspina line of Cremolino died out at the end of the 15th century, the castle was enfeoffed ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Cremolino, Italy

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Monte d'Accoddi

Monte d"Accoddi is a Neolithic archaeological site in northern Sardinia, located in the territory of Sassari. The site consists of a massive raised stone platform thought to have been an altar. It was constructed by the Ozieri culture or earlier, with the oldest parts dated to around 4,000–3,650 BC.

The site was discovered in 1954 in a field owned by the Segni family. No chambers or entrances to the mound have been found, leading to the presumption it was an altar, a temple or a step pyramid. It may have also served an observational function, as its square plan is coordinated with the cardinal points of the compass.

The initial Ozieri structure was abandoned or destroyed around 3000 BC, with traces of fire found in the archeological evidence. Around 2800 BC the remains of the original structure were completely covered with a layered mixture of earth and stone, and large blocks of limestone were then applied to establish a second platform, truncated by a step pyramid (36 m × 29 m, about 10 m in height), accessible by means of a second ramp, 42 m long, built over the older one. This second temple resembles contemporary Mesopotamian ziggurats, and is attributed to the Abealzu-Filigosa culture.

Archeological excavations from the chalcolithic Abealzu-Filigosa layers indicate the Monte d"Accoddi was used for animal sacrifice, with the remains of sheep, cattle, and swine recovered in near equal proportions. It is among the earliest known sacrificial sites in Western Europe.

The site appears to have been abandoned again around 1800 BC, at the onset of the Nuragic age.

The monument was partially reconstructed during the 1980s. It is open to the public and accessible by the old route of SS131 highway, near the hamlet of Ottava. It is 14,9 km from Sassari and 45 km from Alghero. There is no public transportation to the site. The opening times vary throughout the year.