Medieval castles in Trentino

Corno Castle

Castel Corno (“Horn”) gets its name from the spur of the cliff on which it stands. Just a few minutes from Rovereto, in a strategic location, Castel Corno offers a unique view, which runs from the flow of the Adige River to the Piccole Dolomiti. Founded around year 1000, it has a structure which perfectly adapts to the territory’s morphology: located on the spur of a cliff, it is divided into an upper and lower c ...
Founded: c. 1000 AD | Location: Isera, Italy

Castelfondo Castle

Castelfondo castle was built in the 13th century. It was besieged by local farmers as part of the peasant rebellion in 1525. Restored in the 19th century, it is today privately owned and not open to the public.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Castelfondo, Italy

Ivano Castle

Ivano castle history dates probably to the late 6th century AD, when Longobards built a fortifications against Franks and Alemans. Later it was extended agains Hungarian invasions. The first recorded document about the castle dates back to 1187 and there is a mention of the Lord of Ivano. The Castle displays a mixture of architectural styles: the medieval walls, the Renaissance residence and the Benedictine lodge.  Fro ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Ivano-fracena, 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

Toblino Castle

Toblino is one of the most famous castles in Trentino. It owes its fame to a unique location and the beautiful environment that surrounds it, but also to the many dark legends that found a fertile ground to originate and grow in that park and among those walls. The structure is built on a small peninsula of Lake Toblino. Since the 1100s the castle was owned by the vassals of Prince Bishop of Trento, but has changed han ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Calavino, 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

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

Noarna Castle

Dominating Lagarina valley since the 11th century, the Noarna castle was a possession initially of the Castelbarco family and later of the Lodrons. The ancient Castel Noarna served as a setting for witch trials. Located at Noarna di Nogaredo, the Castle overlooks Lagarina valley since the 11th century and probably used to be a former Roman fort. The 13th century keep consists of the main tower, topped by Guelph embatt ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Nogaredo, Italy

Beseno Castle

Beseno Castle occupies an entire hilltop dominating the Valle dell"Adige, between Rovereto and Trento. It is the largest fortified complex in Trentino and today a most fascinating showcase for exhibitions and shows. Many historical battles, from the wars between fractions with the Veronesi in the 12th and 13th centuries to the battle of 1487 between Trentino troops and the Venetians, as well as the armed battles be ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Besenello, Italy

Sporo Castle

Sporo Castle keep dates back to 1165, when it was built to protect an imperial road. The Sporo family owned the castle from 1312 to 1685. The castle was left to decay in 1720 and restored in 2009. The structure consists of a pentagonal keep and walls with four towers that enclosed residential buildings and a chapel.
Founded: 1165 | Location: Sporminore, Italy

Pietra Castle

Pietra Castle is built on a huge boulder detached from Cengio Rosso. It is located in a strategic location which marked the long border between the Italian Tyrolean territories, Bishopric of Trent and Republic of Venice. When the Venetians tried to go to the north, between the15th and 16th century , they were stopped by the Principality and the Austrians with important pitched battles that took place near the castle. It ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Calliano, Italy

Telvana Castle

The origins of Telvana Castle date back to the Roman age. According to documents the castle was destroyed by the Franks in 590 A.D. while other sources speak of this event in late Medieval times. The primitive core of the castle, dating probably from the 13th century, was built around a single square watchtower, 5 m per side and reaching a height of 26 m. In 1665 it was burned down and was then re-built as a baron"s ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Borgo Valsugana, Italy

Belasi Castle

Belasi Castle was probably built during the 12th century and it overlooks the valley from a cliff above the river with the same name, in an area called Lover in the municipality of Campodenno. It belongs to the group of medieval castles that were built on the right bank of Non valley. In the 16th century the castle lost its original functions, which were administrative and of control, becoming a noble residence continuosl ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Campodenno, Italy

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Sweetheart Abbey

Sweetheart Abbey was a Cistercian monastery, founded in 1275 by Dervorguilla of Galloway in memory of her husband John de Balliol. His embalmed heart, in a casket of ivory and silver, was buried alongside her when she died; the monks at the Abbey then renamed the Abbey in tribute to her. Their son, also John, became king of Scotland but his reign was tragic and short. The depredations suffered by the Abbey in subsequent periods, have caused both the graves to be lost. The abbey, built in deep-red, local sandstone, was founded as a daughter house to Dundrennan Abbey; this Novum Monasterium (New Monastery), became known as the New Abbey.

The immediate abbey precincts extended to 120,000 m2 and sections of the surrounding wall can still be seen today. The Cistercian order, also known as the White Monks because of the white habit, over which they wore a black scapular or apron, built many great abbeys after their establishment around 1100. Like many of their abbeys, the New Abbey's interests lay not only in prayer and contemplation but in the farming and commercial activity of the area, making it the centre of local life. The abbey ruins dominate the skyline today and one can only imagine how it and the monks would have dominated early medieval life as farmers, agriculturalists, horse and cattle breeders. Surrounded by rich and fertile grazing and arable land, they became increasingly expert and systematic in their farming and breeding methods. Like all Cistercian abbeys, they made their mark, not only on the religious life of the district but on the ways of local farmers and influenced agriculture in the surrounding areas.

The village which stands next to the ruins today, is now known as New Abbey. At the other end of the main street is Monksmill, a corn mill. Although the present buildings date from the late eighteenth century, there was an earlier mill built by and for the monks of the abbey which serviced the surrounding farms.