With a rich history and surrounded by superb landscapes, castles in Italy become part of a fairy tale holiday that’ll transport you back to the days of knights and maidens. Discover hilltop fortresses offering panoramic views and magnificent towers tucked away in valleys, all showcasing exquisite architecture. Visit ancient ruins, as well as redeveloped chateaux from different eras that represent some of the most beautiful castles in Europe. Many are home to fascinating museums giving an insight into an inspiring history, while some have been remodelled into classy hotels.
Castel Sant’Angelo, Rome
Built between 123-139 AD, Castel Sant’Angelo in Rome is one of the most popular Italian castles. Originally built as a mausoleum by Hadrian in ancient Roman times, it has been fortified and connected to the Vatican via a passageway in the 13th century. Today this architectural and historical monument is an interesting museum offering fantastic views of Rome and the Vatican.
Miramare Castle, Trieste
This beautiful 19th-century castle is idyllically situated on the Gulf of Trieste. Visitors can discover original ornate furnishings, ornaments and décor, highlights of which include the impressive throne room. Outside, visitors can enjoy a cliffside seashore park designed by the original Austrian Archduke.
Castello Sforzesco, Milan
One of the most famous castles in Italy, Castello Sforzesco is one of the main symbols of Milan and its history. Built in the 15th century, and despite being damaged in World War II, the castle has been reconstructed and now holds several of the city’s museums and art collections.
Another must-see on any Italy castles list is the best-kept secret that is Castell’Arquato, nestled in the hills of northern Italy. Inside the 8th-century castle, visitors can step back in time to the Middle Ages and learn about its remarkable history. You can also climb the tower for stunning views of the picturesque countryside below.
Castel del Monte, Puglia
This 13th-century citadel originally built by the King of Sicily is today protected as a World Heritage Site. It is made up of a crown-shape ring of rooms and buildings featuring a fusion of European, Gothic and Islamic styles displaying classic antiques. Interestingly, it was once used as a plague refuge and prison.
Aragonese Castle, Ischia
Explore centuries of history in one of the most interesting castles in Italy and the most visited monument of the island. The medieval castle dating back to 474BC is built on a rocky volcanic inlet and accessed via a causeway from Ischia. It was once captured by Romans and Parthenopeans, and the history is retold from within its ancient walls.
Rocco Maggiore, Assisi
This beautiful 12th-century medieval castle in Umbria is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors will admire its appealing architecture and elegant interior, alongside its spectacular Assisi hilltop surroundings.
Castel Nuovo and Castel dell’Ovo
Castel dell’Ovo or Egg Castle comes from the legend that Virgil put a magical egg into the castle’s foundations to support it. It is today one of the oldest fortifications in Naples and located on the Megaride peninsula. Castel Nuovo is a medieval castle and one of the main architectural landmarks of the city. Both feature a fascinating history and are some of the most popular Italy castles.