Malcesine Castle

Malcesine, Italy

Malcesine's most prominent landmark is the Castello Scaligero, which has 13th-century fortifications and an older medieval tower in white natural stone. Like the castle of Sirmione at the southern end of the lake, it is named for the della Scala family of Verona who ruled the region in the 13th and 14th centuries, and has the characteristic swallow-tail Ghibelline merlon crenallations. Remnants of an Etruscan tomb have been found within the castle walls. Most of the structures visible today date to the period of the della Scala. The bell of the castle was cast in 1442 and it is still in service.

In September 1786, Johann Wolfgang Goethe was questioned by the local magistrate on suspicion of being an Austrian spy after drawing sketches of the castle, and recalled the incident in his published travel report Italienische Reise (Italian Journey). During the period of Austrian rule, which ended in 1866 after the Third Italian War of Independence, major renovation work took place inside the castle. The Austrians turned it into a military garrison and the munition store they constructed was later used by the Guardia di Finanza of the Kingdom of Italy as a prison. Since 1902, the castle has been a national monument.

Today, the castle contains a small museum on the natural history of Lake Garda and Monte Baldo. One room in the Austrian powder magazine is dedicated to Goethe and his visit.

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Founded: 13th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Italy

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4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Thomas Menz (2 years ago)
Awesome view, impressive Castello. A lot to see & learn at the exhibition.
Hannes Lepuschitz (2 years ago)
Beautiful place to go, Very good food,
Lee Salter (2 years ago)
Classic Scaligeri (early medieval rulers of Verona - any walls or castles you see around the province with similar "V" battlements are Scaligeri) castle that towers over Malcesine. There are beautiful little court yards to walk around, small exhibitions of nature, and pictures of old Malcesine, with a few basic castle ruins. The real attraction, however, is the view. It's worth a visit for this alone.
Mark (2 years ago)
Got married here in September 2015, and what can I say. What a venue. Lovely restaurant just outside the main entrance too enjoy a quiet meal before or after visiting, plenty too see here and the 360* views are stunning. If you can during your visit, check out the bell tower and take a look at the bell, cast in 1442 I do believe and still used. There is a couple of mini museums within the castle grounds itself, one for the natural history of Lake Garda itself and also Monte Baldo. There is a room also dedicated to the visit of Goethe. Whether you are visiting the town or passing on the lake, the site of the castle is unmistakable
Anthony Tate (2 years ago)
Beautiful late Middle Ages castle in front of lake Garda. Amazing views of the lake and very close to Monte Baldo.
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