Vernazza Castle

Vernazza, Italy

Vernazza Castle was built in the 15th century as a lookout tower to protect the village from pirates. It's now largely a ruin except for the circular tower in the centre of the esplanade. 


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Founded: 15th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Italy


4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Derek Stewart (7 months ago)
Yet another epic coastal town in Italy!
Lesley Turner (10 months ago)
I loved hiking over from Coniglia. The views were spectacular. Once I got to Vernazza it was very crowded with tourists but the architecture is splendid
David Schmitt (11 months ago)
I thought this area was wonderful! It was an adventure just climbing the narrow pathways to get to it and then the view was unbelievable!
Michael F (12 months ago)
Don't come here for the view, take the hiking trail up behind the town for a FREE, much better view. Closes at 7pm before the sun even sets, missing out on a lot of potential income. We would have paid the €1.50 entry fee if we could have stayed up during the sunset.
Michael Guitard (13 months ago)
This place is 5 out of 5 ONLY if you stop at the Monkey Art Bar, a PHENOMENAL 'hole-in-the-wall' bar with AMAZING cocktails. The BEST negroni I had in Italy was here. Just follow the signs up towards the castle and you'll see the giant monkey head sign.
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Kisimul Castle

Dating from the 15th century, Kisimul is the only significant surviving medieval castle in the Outer Hebrides. It was the residence of the chief of the Macneils of Barra, who claimed descent from the legendary Niall of the Nine Hostages. Tradition tells of the Macneils settling in Barra in the 11th century, but it was only in 1427 that Gilleonan Macneil comes on record as the first lord. He probably built the castle that dominates the rocky islet, and in its shadow a crew house for his personal galley and crew. The sea coursed through Macneil veins, and a descendant, Ruari ‘the Turbulent’, was arrested for piracy of an English ship during King James VI’s reign in the later 16th century.

Heavy debts eventually forced the Macneil chiefs to sell Barra in 1838. However, a descendant, Robert Lister Macneil, the 45th Chief, repurchased the estate in 1937, and set about restoring his ancestral seat. It passed into Historic Scotland’s care in 2000.

The castle dates essentially from the 15th century. It takes the form of a three-storey tower house. This formed the residence of the clan chief. An associated curtain wall fringed the small rock on which the castle stood, and enclosed a small courtyard in which there are ancillary buildings. These comprised a feasting hall, a chapel, a tanist’s house and a watchman’s house. Most were restored in the 20th century, the tanist’s house serving as the family home of the Macneils. A well near the postern gate is fed with fresh water from an underground seam. Outside the curtain wall, beside the original landing-place, are the foundations of the crew house, where the sailors manning their chief’s galley had their quarters.