Lazio is more than Rome. The magnificent castles dot the landscape. From the mountains to lakes, and down to sea. Hidden gems Surrounded by villages and hamlets rich in legends and history. We’ve reviewed the top 10 castles of Lazio. Learn why they are so beautiful and get inspired!
These are the top 10 most beautiful castles of Lazio
You can browse the gallery and read our tips before you choose your next destination. These beautiful castles can be easily accessed by day trips from Rome. This is great if you are looking to get away from the hustle and bustle. We also have lists of the most beautiful castles in Tuscany and the best castles throughout Campania.
1. Castello Orsini-Odescalchi, Bracciano (Roma)
On the south shore of Lake Bracciano is the castle OrsiniOdescalchi, which is a magnificent structure. 30 km north from Rome. This castle was built 15 years ago and served two purposes: it was a defensive structure and the home of the Orsini-Borgia families.
It is one of the best-preserved castles and most beautiful in Italy. It houses many important artworks. These include paintings, weapons, and furniture from ancient times. The rooms have beautiful frescoes.
It is the ideal setting for memorable events. Many celebrities from around the world, including Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise, chose to have their wedding at this beautiful location. The castle has been used as a setting for numerous films, TV shows and serials. Bracciano can be reached from Rome by train. This makes the Orsini Odescalchi castle one the most visited day trips from Rome.
2. Castello di Santa Severa, Santa Marinella (Roma)
Santa Severa, one of the most romantic castles of Italy, is located just a short distance from Bracciano. You can watch the sunset from the windows of this castle dating back to 14 century.
We recommend that you visit the Museum of the Sea and Ancient Navigation within the castle. The remains of Roman and Etruscan ships can be found close to the coast. You will feel like you are underwater because of the soft lighting.
Last but not least, don’t miss out on a visit at the local craft shops that live in the castle. Beautiful pottery and handicrafts are available, as well as many works by local artists. This is the ideal place to spend a day relaxing at the beach and visit an old medieval village. You can take the train to Santa Marinella. You can find the castle within a short distance.
3. Rocca Abbaziale, Subiaco (Roma)
The Rocca Abbaziale, also known as the Borgia Fortress, was built by Giovanni V at the end 11th century on a high hill. It is used for defensive purposes. It has a watchtower and a church. There are also fortifications and prisons.
Subiaco has been home to many notable people throughout history. Did you know that Rodrigo’s lover was also a guest at the fortress?
Vannozza De Cattanei was her name. In Subiaco in 1480, she gave birth to a beautiful girl, Lucrezia Borigia. Vannozza, Rodrigo’s illegitimate child, would be one of the most iconic figures of the Renaissance age.
Go rafting to make your trip memorable. The castle is just a short distance away, so you’re sure to have an adrenaline-pumping adventure. You won’t be the only one. The river guide guides the raft through the rapids. Are you ready?
4. Castello Caetani, Sermoneta (Latina)
One of the most well-preserved castles of Italy can be found in the medieval village Sermoneta. Castello Caetani, the magnificent castle, was built by the Annibaldi families in the 13th century. It was then acquired by the Caetani clan in 1297.
The castle was host to popes and emperors throughout history. It also suffered destruction and looting from the French and Spanish military. The Caetani family returned home to Sermoneta in the late 19th century and began extensive restoration work. You can still see the Maschio tower at 42 meters high and the Maschietto smaller tower.
You should also visit the Ninfa garden (in the photos). There are over 1,300 trees and plants, including ornamental and cherry apple trees as well as magnolias and marsh iris and a stunning variety of Japanese maples.
Sermoneta is a charming village with a rich culinary tradition. You should try some of the local specialties, including polenta with sausages and ricotta cheese pie and pappardelle w wild boar.
5. Castello Longhi De Paolis, Fumone (Frosinone)
This military fortress was built between the 9th to 10th centuries. It is 800 meters high.
It was the scene for cruelty and horrors over the centuries and repelled the besiegements of Henry VI and Frederick Barbarossa. The most notable episode, however, was the 1295 imprisonment of Holy Father Celestine VI. After a 30-month conclave, he became Pope at the age 86. This was due to his fame and the political contrasts that remained between the Orsini and the Colonna, the dominant cardinal families at the time.
The cardinals’ choice proved to be a mistake. After only a few months, he was in conflict with the Roman clergy, and decided to abdicate. The new Pope Boniface VIII quickly realized the legitimacy of his election, and decided to imprison Celestino VI in Fumone. He died 10 months later.
The beautiful hanging garden offers a stunning view. You can see hundreds of years-old trees as well as many different plants and flowers. Legend has it that touching the summit stone at 800-meters will bring you good fortune. It’s worth the effort!
6. Castello Rocca Sinibalda, Rocca Sinibalda (Rieti)
Rocca Sinibalda castle, one of the most mysterious and fascinating castles in Italy. The castle, which is a National Monument since 1928 and dates back to the 11th Century, is named after Sinibaldo, Count of Sabina. The next centuries were shrouded by mystery. There are few sources of documentation, doubtful authors, and de facto property that often contrasts with real rights.
The castle looks like an eagle’s nest with its folded wings. It is decorated with frescoes from classical culture, despite being sober and serious. Surprisingly the castle contains a collection modern art, including masks and totems made by Northwest Indians, African ritual objects, and recycled art.
Castles in Lazio – Castello Ruspoli’s garden
You can visit the gardens, courtyards and cellars all year.
7. Castello Ruspoli, Vignanello (Viterbo)
Castello Ruspoli, a 16th century castle in Vignanello is 70 km from Rome. It is well-known for its Giardino All’italiana, which is one of the most exquisite Italian gardens. Ottavia Orsini was the daughter of Giulia Farnese (creator Parco dei Mostri di Bomarzo), and Vicino Orsini. The garden’s plant sculptures wind and weave together to create an abstract geometric design.
You can visit the castle on weekends to see it host private events such as weddings or ceremonies.
8. Torre Alfina, Acquapendente (Viterbo)
Torre Alfina, one of the most famous historic dwellings in Lazio, is Torre Alfina. This medieval castle’s towers and crenelated walls are in excellent condition, as is its beautifully decorated interior. The stunning Italian gardens and the internal courtyard, which are protected by fortified walls overlook lush countryside at 360 degrees.
The Bosco del Sasseto is a mixed forest made up of centuries-old deciduous trees that extends around Torre Alfina’s castle and the charming village of Torre Alfina. It is more than 25 meters high. National Geographic called it “Snow White Wood”.
The castle is only open on weekends. However, the park is an excellent destination for regular visits and naturalistic activities.
9. Rocca Monaldeschi della Cervara, Bolsena (Viterbo)
Castles in Lazio – Rocca Monaldeschi
The castle is a landmark in Bolsena. The magnificent view from the top of the castle’s walls is breathtaking. It was built between 13th and 14th centuries. Later, it underwent many renovations. A small museum inside houses Roman and Etruscan finds.
After you have visited the castle, take a stroll through Bolsena’s narrow streets. This pretty village has dark stone homes. You can also practice fishing or swimming on the shores.
You can also enjoy the delicious whitefish caught in the lake in many local trattorias.
10. Civita di Bagnoregio (Viterbo)
Castles in Lazio – Civita di Bagnoregio
A dreamy spot, Civita di Bagnoregio, is just 15km from Bolsena. Although it isn’t exactly a castle we decided to include it in this list. Upon arrival, you will quickly understand why this was chosen. This fortified citadel, which looks almost like a castle in the sky from far away, is one of the most valuable gems of Lazio.
Civita di Bagnoregio, located at the top of a tuffhill, can be reached only by foot via a long pedestrian bridge. The citadel is a combination of medieval and Etruscan origins. The progressive erosion of tuffaceous rocks has led to it being called the “dead city”.
You will feel like time has stopped as you walk through the narrow streets. You can climb the Eastern Fortress to enjoy the views of Ponticelli, which are clay walls that have been eroded. It is stunning! You now know why Civita di Bagnoregio is one of the most loved day trips from Rome.
You will find bars, restaurants, bed & Breakfasts, local craft shops, and more within the walls. Enjoy your trip!
Have you enjoyed our gallery of castles from Lazio?
Lazio hides more than Rome. There are many castles to see. But there are beautiful beaches, towns, gardens, hiking spots and more. You can explore Lazio by following our recommendations for your day trip from Rome. Get ready to go!