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


4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Mladen Lukic (2 years ago)
Hotel and a museum. This historical place will be interesting for both business and family stays. At the start of escalator there is nice Wilier bicycles shop (where no one speaks English). Hotel has two nice restaurants and one of those is also quite affordable pizzeria. Spa usage for hotel guests is nkt included into price and it is paid 20Eur additionally.
katie lee (2 years ago)
Absolutely amazing, worth every penny. I took my boyfriend here for a surprise weekend getaway and the services, food, and staff were impeccable. When we arrived the staff was so polite and spoke multiple languages fluently, they even upgraded our room(SIGNIFICANTLY SO) and when we went to dinner the restaurant was quite and had dishes that were simply perfect. I can't even begin to praise the spa enough, my review would be too long. Overall; the highlight of this location has to be the staffs attitude or possibly the absolute elegance of the venue.
C Rosh (2 years ago)
Castel Brando upgraded us to the junior suite out of sheer generosity. The staff was kind and aside from the breathtaking scenery of the castle, we were able to relax in the wonderful spa they have.
Marc Jacobs (2 years ago)
Beautifully located hotel with great views. Very romantic, especially for couples. The prices are reasonable and the service is excellent too. Welness area is also very clean and comfortable. The rooms are spacious and tastefully decorated. I would definitely come back.
Lars Martin Teigen (2 years ago)
We had one night at this great castle. When we arrived, we were happy with how great the place was. We were lucky and was upgraded to a junior suite. The rooms where clean and the bed good. The bathroom was also clean and nice. The castle itself and the view is really recommended to visit if you’re in the area. The price was also fair and not high. The breakfast had a good selection and a waiter made the coffee we wanted. We had dinner at the pizzeria restaurant which also where good and had good prices. Would stay her again if ever in the area again.
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