Italy is world-famous for its incredible food, rich culture and vibrant, ancient past. While most imagine the Colosseum, Pompeii, and vicious Roman legionaries when thinking of Italian history, Italy also has a ton of Medieval history that lent it a beautiful landscape of castles. Which is why we put together this list of the most beautiful castles to visit in Italy to make your trip planning a bit easier.
7 of the Most Beautiful Castles to Visit in Italy
1. Scaligero Castle – Sirmione
Extending over two miles into the turquoise waters of Lake Garda, Scaligero Castle is one of Italy’s best-preserved and most breathtaking fortresses. The peninsula on which it’s built makes it look as if the castle was built brick by brick right on top of the water. Serving as an entrance into the historical centre of Sirmione, the castle itself dates to the 13th century and serves as a unique window into Italy’s Middle Ages.
2. Rocca Maggiore – Assisi
Perched high atop Assisi Hill in Italy’s enchanting Umbria region, Rocca Maggiore looks like something out of an Italian fairytale. Surrounded by lush green hills and winding valleys, the surrounding landscape alone warrants a visit. The castle was constructed in the 12th century and dominated the region for several hundred years serving as one of the area’s most important fortresses.
3. Odescalchi Castle – Bracciano
Just an hours drive north of Rome about halfway to Viterbo, will land you in the charming medieval village of Bracciano; a lakeside town known for its imposing Odescalchi Castle. Sitting on the shores of Lake Bracciano and dating to the 15th century, the castle in addition to its surrounding area is full of fascinating history and breathtaking beauty. Be sure to spend a morning or afternoon exploring the grounds and then see the rest of the town.
4. Aragonese Castle – Ischia
Sitting high on top of a volcanic island surrounded by the peaceful blue waters of the Gulf of Naples, Aragonese Castle is truly in a league of its own. Connected to the mainland only by a small bridge, this castle really is in a world of its own. Its stunning scenery and history dating back almost 600 years make it an easy place to want to explore all day. After exploring the castle grounds, opt for a hike to get the best aerial views of Aragonese Castle.
5. Fenis Castle – Fenis
Set in the Italian Alps with a history dating to the 13th century, Fenis Castle is easy to love. This stunning castle is famous for its architecture and is one of the most sought after destinations in the region. In addition to the beautiful snow-capped mountains, the history itself is mesmerising. Stop to explore the grounds for an afternoon and then spend the rest of the day driving the region.
6. Castell’Arquato – Castell’Arquato
Located in a village of the same name, Castell’Arquato is famous for its medieval charm. You’ll find it’s complete with romantic sandstone homes and narrow cobblestoned streets. Not only is the village itself stunning, but the surrounding Val d’Arda Valley in which it sits doesn’t hurt either. Additionally, be sure to carve out some time to explore the Romanesque church near the castle grounds.
7. Sforza Castle – Milan
Lastly, right in the centre of Milan, just a few steps from the Duomo, you’ll find Sforza Castle. Not only is it easy to access and explore, but it retains almost all of its original charm. Additionally, it’s complete with its own museum, sprawling gardens and imposing towers. You could easily spend an entire day exploring the grounds.