Palaces, manors and town halls in Italy

Palazzo del Capitaniato

The palazzo del Capitaniato was designed by Andrea Palladio in 1565 and built between 1571 and 1572. The palazzo is currently used by the town council. It was decorated by Lorenzo Rubini and, in the interior, with frescoes by Giovanni Antonio Fasolo. Since 1994 the palace has been part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the 'City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto'. The Palladian loggia replace ...
Founded: 1571-1572 | Location: Vicenza, Italy

Broletto Palace

The Broletto or Broletto Palace of Brescia has for centuries housed the civic government offices of the city. Initial construction of the Broletto took place during 1187—1230, although the structure has undergone many modifications over the centuries, specially after the Sack of Brescia in 1512 during the War of the League of Cambrai. The long stone facade on the south fronts Via Cardinale Querini and aligns pa ...
Founded: 1187 | Location: Brescia, Italy

Basilica Palladiana

The Basilica Palladiana is a Renaissance building in the central Piazza dei Signori in Vicenza. The most notable feature of the edifice is the loggia, which shows one of the first examples of what have come to be known as the Palladian window, designed by a young Andrea Palladio, whose work in architecture was to have a significant effect on the field during the Renaissance and later periods. The building was originally ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Vicenza, Italy

Palazzo dei Trecento

Palazzo dei Trecento is located in the Piazza dei Signori of Treviso  and it is home to municipal council. The palace was erected in the 13th and 14th centuries, as the seat of the Maggior Consiglio ('Highest Council'), the main administrative council in the city. Built in brickworks, it has two floors, the lower one entered through a loggia. The upper floor has three triple mullioned windows. Internally, ther ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Treviso, Italy

Palazzo Montalto

Palazzo Montalto was built in 1397 for Maciotta Mergulese. In the 15th century, the Queen of Aragon gave the palace to Filippo Montalto. It was used as a temporary hospital during a cholera epidemic in 1837, and it was used by the Figlie della Carità in 1854. The palace is built in Chiaramonte Gothic architecture. Its façade is characterized by a number of mullioned windows decorated with flower motifs. It also ha ...
Founded: 1397 | Location: Syracuse, Italy

Ducal Palace

The Palazzo Ducale di Mantova ('Ducal Palace') is a group of buildings in Mantua, built between the 14th and the 17th century mainly by the noble family of Gonzaga as their royal residence in the capital of their Duchy. The buildings are connected by corridors and galleries and are enriched by inner courts and wide gardens. The complex includes some 500 rooms and occupies an area of c. 34,000 m². Although ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Mantua, Italy

Palazzo Duchi di Santo Stefano

Built between the late 1200s and the early 1300s, the Palazzo Duchi di Santo Stefano (Palace of the Dukes of Santo Stefano) was part of the medieval walls of Taormina. It is a masterpiece of Sicilian Romaneque and Gotic style, fitted with Arabic-Norman elements. The building has a beautiful garden in front of its main facades, where there is still a well for the collection of rain-water which was the water supply for th ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Taormina, Italy

Palazzo Chiericati

The Palazzo Chiericati is a Renaissance palace in Vicenza, designed by Andrea Palladio for the Count Girolamo Chiericati. The architect started building the palace in 1550, and some further work was completed under the patronage of Chiericati"s son, Valerio. However, the palazzo was not fully finished until about 1680, possibly by Carlo Borella. The palazzo was built in an area called which housed the wood and catt ...
Founded: 1550-1680 | Location: Vicenza, Italy

Royal Villa of Monza

The Royal Villa (Villa Reale) lies on the banks of the Lambro, surrounded by the large Monza Park, one of the largest enclosed parks in Europe. It was originally built by Giuseppe Piermarini between 1777 and 1780, when Lombardy was part of Austrian Empire, for the Archduke Ferdinand of Austria. Following the establishment of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy, the building was used as a Royal Palace and became home to the V ...
Founded: 1777-1780 | Location: Monza, Italy

Villa del Balbianello

A Franciscan monastery had existed on the tip of the peninsula of Dosso d"Avedo since the 13th century. The two towers which remain on the property are the campanili of the monastery"s church. After failing in his attempts to buy the nearby Isola Comacina Cardinal Angelo Maria Durini purchased the property in 1785. In 1787 he converted the monastery building into a villa for use during the summer and added a log ...
Founded: 1787 | Location: Lenno, Italy

Castello Cova

Castello Cova was built between 1910 and 1915 on a design by architect Adolfo Coppedè (brother of the more famous Gino Coppedè), it is an example of Gothic Revival architecture, with guelph-style merlons decorating the external rusticated walls as well as the middle-ages styled tower. The tower of Castello Cova was reportedly an inspiration for the architects of the Velasca Tower, a landmark skyscraper in the cent ...
Founded: 1910-1915 | Location: Milan, Italy

Villa Carlotta

The beautiful Villa Carlotta was built at the end of 17th century by the Milanese marquis Giorgio Clerici in a natural basin between lake and mountains, facing the dolomite Grignas and the peninsula of Bellagio. The architect created for the Clericis an important but sober building, with an Italian garden decorated with sculptures, stairs and fountains.  In 1801 Gian Battista Sommariva, famous politician, businessman an ...
Founded: 1695 | Location: Tremezzo, Italy

Palazzo del Te

Palazzo del Te is a palace in the suburbs of Mantua. It is a fine example of the mannerist style of architecture, and the acknowledged masterpiece of Giulio Romano. It was constructed 1524–34 for Federico II Gonzaga, Marquess of Mantua as a palace of leisure. The site chosen was that of the family"s stables at Isola Del Te, on the edge of the marshes just outside Mantua"s city walls. Giulio Romano ...
Founded: 1524-1534 | Location: Mantua, Italy

Palazzo Biscari

Palazzo Biscari was built by will of the Paternò Castello family, the princes of Biscari, starting from the late 17th century, lasting for much of the following century, after the devastations of the 1693 earthquake. The new palace was built directly against the city walls (Charles V"s walls), which had partially withstood the earthquake. The oldest section was built under Ignazio, third prince of Biscari, who ent ...
Founded: 1763 | Location: Catania, Italy

Arengario

The Arengario is a historic building in Monza. It was built in the 13th century and is named after its original function as the town"s arengario (i.e., town hall). It is located in the most central square of Monza, Piazza Roma. Its architecture is clearly inspired by that of the Palazzo della Ragione of Milan, with a portico surmounted by a single upper floor that was used for councils. The side of the building fac ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Monza, Italy

Villa Monastero

Villa Monastero, located on the shore of Lake Como, includes a botanical garden, a museum, and a convention center. Villa Monastero is an eclectic villa built in the Nordic style. The site was originally a Cistercian convent, founded at the end of the 12th century in Varenna, which now lies beneath the modern building. The convent grew in importance and wealth, purchasing many properties, especially around Lierna, but eve ...
Founded: 17th century | Location: Varenna, Italy

Palazzo delle Albere

Palazzo delle Albere is a Renaissance villa-fortress in Trento. It was built during the 16th century by the Madruzzo family of prince-bishops of Trento. It has a square plan, with four square, 6 m-wide and 20 m tall corner towers, surrounded by a ditch. In the Great Hall, on the second floor, were once frescoes celebrating emperor Charles V"s deeds. Still visible are instead the depictions of the 12 months. The th ...
Founded: 1550 | Location: Trento, Italy

Villa Cimbrone

Sitting high atop a promontory that offers stunning views of the Mediterranean and the dramatic coastline below, the Villa Cimbrone is the crown laurel of Ravello.  Villa Cimbrone stands on a rocky outcrop known as 'Cimbronium', and it is from this landscape feature that the villa takes its name. The earliest references to the villa date back to the eleventh century AD, when the villa belonged to the Accongiog ...
Founded: 1904 | Location: Ravello, Italy

Villa Pisani

Villa Pisani is the name shared by a number of villas commissioned by the patrician Pisani family of Venice. However, Villa Pisani usually refers to a large, late baroque villa at Stra. The construction was begun in the early 18th century for Alvise Pisani, the most prominent member of the Pisani family, who was appointed doge in 1735. The initial models of the palace by Paduan architect Girolamo Frigimelica still exist, ...
Founded: 1735-1756 | Location: Stra, Italy

D'Albertis Castle

The Castello d"Albertis was the home of sea captain Enrico Alberto d"Albertis, and was donated to the city of Genoa on his death in 1932. D"Albertis designed the castle in the style of an architectural collage with a Gothic revival appearance inspired by palaces in Florence and castles of Aosta Valley. It currently houses the Museo delle Culture del Mondo (Museum of World Cultures), inaugurated in 2004. Er ...
Founded: 1886 | Location: Genoa, Italy

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Cesis Castle

German crusaders known as the Livonian Brothers of the Sword began construction of the Cēsis castle (Wenden) near the hill fort in 1209. When the castle was enlarged and fortified, it served as the residence for the Order's Master from 1237 till 1561, with periodic interruptions. Its ruins are some of the most majestic castle ruins in the Baltic states. Once the most important castle of the Livonian Order, it was the official residence for the masters of the order.

In 1577, during the Livonian War, the garrison destroyed the castle to prevent it from falling into the control of Ivan the Terrible, who was decisively defeated in the Battle of Wenden (1578).

In 1598 it was incorporated into the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Wenden Voivodship was created here. In 1620 Wenden was conquered by Sweden. It was rebuilt afterwards, but was destroyed again in 1703 during the Great Northern War by the Russian army and left in a ruined state. Already from the end of the 16th century, the premises of the Order's castle were adjusted to the requirements of the Cēsis Castle estate. When in 1777 the Cēsis Castle estate was obtained by Count Carl Sievers, he had his new residence house built on the site of the eastern block of the castle, joining its end wall with the fortification tower.

Since 1949, the Cēsis History Museum has been located in this New Castle of the Cēsis Castle estate. The front yard of the New Castle is enclosed by a granary and a stable-coach house, which now houses the Exhibition Hall of the Museum. Beside the granary there is the oldest brewery in Latvia, Cēsu alus darītava, which was built in 1878 during the later Count Sievers' time, but its origins date back to the period of the Livonian Order. Further on, the Cēsis Castle park is situated, which was laid out in 1812. The park has the romantic characteristic of that time, with its winding footpaths, exotic plants, and the waters of the pond reflecting the castle's ruins. Nowadays also one of the towers is open for tourists.