CastelBrando, former Castrum Costae, is a medieval castle situated on a dolomite limestone rock overlooking the villages of Cison di Valmarino and Valmareno. The name CastelBrando is due to the name Brandolini, the ancient family from Forlì, who were the Lords of the castle.

CastelBrando was originally built in the Roman age as a defensive fortress in order to protect the important lines of communication which connected Northern Italy to the countries on the other side of the Alps. The original castrum, dating from 46 AD is still visible today. The original Roman baths have also been excavated, as have the original pipes of the aqueduct which supplied water from three nearby natural springs. These springs still provide water for the castle today.

During the European Migration Period the fortress became an important defensive position against barbarian invasions. Over the centuries the castle has been subject to numerous enlargements and renovations. During the 13th century the castle was substantially enlarged while under the ownership of the Da Camino family. Their architectural additions included surrounding the castle with imposing Guelph-Ghibelline style battlements and building a central tower.

The Castle's ownership then passed over to the Republic of Venice. After the fall of Venetian Republic in 1797, it was passed down through the family of Giovanni Brandolino and became the property of the Brandolini Counts, an ancient family from Forlì. In the first half of the 16th century Antonio Maria Brandolini (1476–1522), commissioned skilled engineers to enlarge the central part of the castle in Sansovino style, adding Venetian Gothic double and triple mullioned windows. In 1700 the Brandolini family commissioned Ottavio Scotti, architect and Count of Treviso, to design and build an extension to the southern part of the castle. Part of these works included the building of a castle chapel, the Church of San Martino. The chapel was decorated internally with frescoes painted by Egidio Dall'Oglio (18th century).

During World War I, the castle was invaded by Imperial Austrian forces and used as a military hospital. After 10 years of restoration work, financed by Count Girolamo IV Brandolini (1870–1935), the castle was re-opened as a place of residence in 1929. CastelBrando has now been extensively restored and now houses a 4-star hotel, museum and a theatre. Visitors can get up to the castle by funicular railway from the village.

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

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4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

David Roseman (2 years ago)
I would rate it zero stars if I could. Pretty location, but everything else was awful. Super hard beds (nothing like going to a spa hotel only to have the bed wreck your back), sparsely equipped rooms (e.g., no coffee maker, no bathrobes, very little storage), rude/condescending staff, abysmal signage (seriously, good luck finding anything there), plus a wedding ceremony held just outside and under our room until very late made it even more trying and the exact opposite of relaxing. Seriously, the amount of screaming from the wedding made it feel like the Game of Thrones Red Wedding was being recreated below us. This place was the opposite of luxurious: the "wellness area" was a joke and overcrowded/overpriced and the formal restaurant was closed, so only a pizzeria for dinner. Only stayed one night and canceled the following night, so we could go to a comfortable hotel that actually respects its guests and has value for the money. Honestly not even worth visiting to see the castle grounds. Traveler beware.
Vlado ST (2 years ago)
Indeed a beautiful castle. I have a beautiful view of the hill of Hill. All recommendations. CastelBrando, former Castrum Costae, is a medieval castle situated on a dolomite limestone rock at an elevation of 370 m (1,210 ft) above sea level, overlooking the villages of Cison di Valmarino and Valmareno, Northern Italy. The name CastelBrando is due to the name Brandolini, the ancient family from Forlì, who were the Lords of the castle.
Johny B (2 years ago)
Very nice castle .under is great parking for car and there is an entry to cable car for 1 e up to castle .up there is bars and restaurants.so I really recommend with lovely view
Jeroen Hutten (2 years ago)
I've been here with the culture and pizza tour. It simply was one of the most impressive castle experiences I've had. The tour is very detailed and takes you through the entire castle. The castle is nowadays restored in a mix between autenticity and a modern hotel/restaurant. The lighting inside and outside of this castle is simply amazing. The view is great and the pizza was the best I had this holiday! A small tip, it's also possible to view the inside of the walls for free. You only have to pay €1 for the lift taking you up the hill.
Hasret Belet Michieletti (2 years ago)
It has 4*star hotel, different cafes , restaurants and a pizzeria. Open air cafes I liked the most.There’re guided tours inside the castle and if you park down, you can use the funicular for 1€ . You can visit even just for a sightseeing
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