The castles of Bellaguardia and della Villa look at each other on Montecchio Maggiore hill. They are also known as Romeo and Juliet's castles, the two unlucky passionate lovers whose legend was narrated by the count Luigi Da Porto. He was from Vicenza, vicar in Arzignano, town fortifications strategist, poet and author of the novel earlier known as La Giulietta which was reprised in the early 16th century by authors of different nationalities to become at last William Shakespeare's famous masterpiece.
Although the hill fortification has older origins, the first news on the two castles' origin dates back to 14th century: they are mentioned in the peace treaty stipulated by Mastino II della Scala in 1339 at the end of the Venetian-Scaliger war.
The current castles had been built by Cangrande II., Lord of Verona, since 1354. They were destroyed by bombards by Bartolomeo d'Aviano during the War of the League of Cambrai in 1514.
Purchased in 1742 by the the municipality of Montecchio Maggiore, after various restoration works and environmental improvement, the two castles are nowadays used for recreational activities. Juliet castle is used as a restaurant with a spectacular roof terrace, whereas Romeo castle is used for performances and cultural activities.References:
Narikala is an ancient fortress overlooking Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, and the Kura River. The fortress consists of two walled sections on a steep hill between the sulphur baths and the botanical gardens of Tbilisi. On the lower court there is the recently restored St Nicholas church. Newly built in 1996–1997, it replaces the original 13th-century church that was destroyed in a fire. The new church is of 'prescribed cross' type, having doors on three sides. The internal part of the church is decorated with the frescos showing scenes both from the Bible and history of Georgia.
The fortress was established in the 4th century and it was a Persian citadel. It was considerably expanded by the Umayyads in the 7th century and later, by king David the Builder (1089–1125). Most of extant fortifications date from the 16th and 17th centuries. In 1827, parts of the fortress were damaged by an earthquake and demolished.