Castello Grimani-Sorlini

Montegalda, Italy

The undisputed symbol of Montegalda is the ancient castle which dominates the entire plain, one lucky survivor of the three manors, two of which stood in Montegaldella and Cervarese S. Croce. The building changed over the years and in the 18th century it was transformed from a military facility into a Venetian villa. Its foundation dates back probably to 1176 but in the courtyard a foundation of the Roman period was found, which anticipates that construction. The castle is undoubtedly impressive, marked by three towers, a keep and the crenellated ring-shaped walls of the Guelph form, which would host the famous 'trabocchetto' (trap door) to thwart the invaders. After the tyrant Ezzelino da Romano in 1300, the domain of the castle passed to the dominion of the Scala family of Verona and later, in 18th century it was transformed into a Venetian villa. The castle of Montegalda now seems to have regained its former glory thanks to a meticulous restoration, reflecting the still incredible charm and mystery.


Your name


Founded: 1176
Category: Castles and fortifications in Italy


4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Claudio Tonello (8 months ago)
It is a marvel, it must be valued and made known for its beauty and history.
Beppe Ceccon (11 months ago)
Beautiful structure which in fact is an example of stratification of interventions from the third century (it seems) to the Renaissance. Congratulations to the owner who takes care of such a place.
mirella Falchi (12 months ago)
A lovely place!
Valter Montagnin (13 months ago)
Unfortunately it cannot be visited except on some special day. It is private
flavia Battistutta (15 months ago)
Very beautiful. The castle is fascinating and both the park and the Italian garden are dancing. The excellent guide, revived the various historical periods.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Broch of Gurness

The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.

The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick. The tower was likely inhabited by the principal family or clan of the area but also served as a last resort for the village in case of an attack.

The broch continued to be inhabited while it began to collapse and the original structures were altered. The cistern was filled in and the interior was repartitioned. The ruin visible today reflects this secondary phase of the broch's use.

The site is surrounded by three ditches cut out of the rock with stone ramparts, encircling an area of around 45 metres diameter. The remains of numerous small stone dwellings with small yards and sheds can be found between the inner ditch and the tower. These were built after the tower, but were a part of the settlement's initial conception. A 'main street' connects the outer entrance to the broch. The settlement is the best-preserved of all broch villages.

Pieces of a Roman amphora dating to before 60 AD were found here, lending weight to the record that a 'King of Orkney' submitted to Emperor Claudius at Colchester in 43 AD.

At some point after 100 AD the broch was abandoned and the ditches filled in. It is thought that settlement at the broch continued into the 5th century AD, the period known as Pictish times. By that time the broch was not used anymore and some of its stones were reused to build smaller dwellings on top of the earlier buildings. Until about the 8th century, the site was just a single farmstead.

In the 9th century, a Norse woman was buried at the site in a stone-lined grave with two bronze brooches and a sickle and knife made from iron. Other finds suggest that Norse men were buried here too.