Italy is home to many castles. Every city and village once had its castle to protect it during wartime. Castles symbolized power and status for noble families. Many of these castles are now abandoned or damaged by attacks, but many remain beautiful and draw visitors from around the globe.
These museums can recreate the atmosphere of the past or serve as places to display paintings and other objects. What are the 20 most stunning castles in Italy We’ll be seeing some luxurious castles in Italy as well as some medieval castles.
20 Most Beautiful Castles of Italy
Let’s start our journey among some of the most stunning castles in Italy. This list will show you some castles that tourists shouldn’t miss while in Italy. Here you will find castles for all ages, as well as medieval and luxury castles throughout Italy. To visit Italy, you can also find free castles!
1. Miramare castle
Let’s begin our journey through the 20 most beautiful castles of Italy with Miramare. Construction of the building and its garden began in 1855. This beautiful place overlooks Trieste’s Grignano promontory.
It is a perfect blend of styles from Gothic, Medieval and Renaissance. It is a stunning setting and the interior is rich with red tapestries and decorations. It is one of the most stunning luxury castles in Italy.
2. Castello Sforzesco, Milan
Castello Sforzesco, one of the most well-known medieval castles in Italy, is Castello Sforzesco. It is centrally located in Milan’s historic centre. It is well maintained. Construction began in the second half the fourteenth century, thanks to the Visconti family. The castle was destroyed by the Visconti dynasty. However, Francesco Sforza I began work on its reconstruction in 1450.
He demanded many modifications inside the building. For example, he ordered construction of the median tower. Bramante’s and Leonardo da Vinci’s works made the castle one of Europe’s most luxurious locations at the close of the fifteenth century. It was bombed several times.
The castle was given the name “Sforzesco” in the 20th century. Castello Sforzesco, one of the most popular free Italian castles, is now open to the public. Only if you wish to enter the castle’s museum, will you have to pay.
3. Estense castle, Ferrara
Ferrara’s Estense castle is one of the most impressive medieval castles in Italy. The Estense Castle Ferrara, made of red terracotta bricks, is surrounded by a moat and has four towers. Niccolo II d’Este, Ferrara’s second governor, ordered construction of the Castle of San Michele, a formidable defense structure.
The covered passage connects the military building with the palace of marquises, which is today the Town Hall. The castle has roof terraces that rise above the towers and marble balconies. It also features a courtyard of honor with 16th-century lines. The stunning frescoed apartments are breathtaking.
This beautiful castle is a symbol for the splendor of the D’Este family. You can visit the castle’s courtyard for no cost if you are looking for Italy’s best castles to visit.
4. Buonconiglio Castle Trento
Buonconsiglio Castle is one of the most beautiful half-medieval castles in Italy. From the 12th century to the 18th, bishops lived here. The Buonconsiglio castle is one of the most beautiful castles in Italy and the largest and most significant monumental complex in the area.
It is located in Trento on a rock relief and is considered the most significant non-religious monument. Construction took place between 1239-1255.
The castle is made up of a number of buildings from different periods. Additionally, the castle is surrounded by a 16th-century city wall. The walls are reinforced by cylinder bastions that contain a beautiful garden. The tower of Augustus dominates all.
The castle houses the Provincial Art Museum (Castello del Buonconsiglio), which displays provincial monuments and collections since 1973. The museum houses many collections, including paintings, sculptures and graphic works.
5. Castello Aragonese Otranto
Italy has many beautiful castles that are either inland or at the sea. The walls surrounding Otranto, Puglia’s city, include the Aragonese castle in front of it. This is Ferdinand I of Aragon’s military architecture, built on the remains a 1067-year-old fortified building.
The fortress’s purpose was to defend against the threats from the sea, such as the Turk’s invasion in 1480. For example, the castle’s pentagonal plan is striking because of the Punta di Diamante bastion and its three towers Alfonsina.
After crossing the exterior walls, you will find yourself in the middle of a large courtyard. From here, you can reach the gallery, and the upper rooms via stone stairs. Castello Aragonese or the Aragonese Castle, is a medieval castle that you must visit when you’re in Otranto.
6. Castello del Valentino, Turin
The Valentino Castle is a beautiful castle in Italy. It is an Italian castle from 17th century, which was a magnificent building that the Duchess Christina of France used as her home for entertainment and recreation.
Valentino park is home to the Valentino castle. It is also the seat of the Faculty of Architecture of the Polytechnic of Turin. Saturday guided tours are available. The Valentino castle, a horseshoe-shaped structure with four corner towers that face the courtyard, is also known as the Valentino castle.
The loggia is located in the central portion of the main façade. It is flanked with paired masonry columns in bands. These columns are placed on a high platform and topped by statues representing the Four Seasons. The pavilion structure and the two fake attic floors are all clearly French references. The Valentino Castle is one of the most beautiful luxury castles in Italy.
7. Castelvecchio, Verona
Castelvecchio is one the most famous medieval castles of Italy! Castelvecchio, a stunning monument in Verona, is a wonderful attraction. This castle is located on the banks of Adige River and was built by Prince Cangrande I Della Scala between 1354-1356. It is comprised of seven towers at each corner.
The castle was actually used for military purposes, until 1926, when it became the home of the Civic Museum. Castelvecchio is a fascinating castle and one of the most beautiful in Italy. It has walkways that let you look up at Verona and take in the views.
8. Castello Scaligero di Malcesine
From the top of the village, on the shores of Lake Garda, stands the medieval castle. This bank may have been home to a fortification since the 5th Century. The castle was probably built in the thirteenth century, despite being a military structure.
The castle of Malcesine was declared a national monument in 1902. The tower offers a stunning view and you can climb it. However, the clock bell on the tower may wake you up. It rings every hour.
9. Rocca Scaligera di Sirmione
Visitors arrive at Sirmione, a beautiful lakeside town, to be welcomed by the Sirmione Castle. The Sirmione Castle with its 14-century dock are a rare example of a fortification built for port use. This is the castle that you should visit if you are visiting Sirmione.
Sirmione Castle, a medieval fortress built on water, is one of Europe’s most striking. In fact, it surrounds itself on all sides. The castle was also subject to many bloody and cruel battles over the years. Sirmione Castle is likely built on the remains of an ancient Roman fortification.
It was built to protect the village and keep the port under control. It is now possible to reach the castle via the drawbridge. The main courtyard, which is rectangular in shape and surrounded by high walls, corner towers, can be accessed from the castle.
10. Aragonese castle, Ischia
It is one of the most stunning castles in Italy and is frequently the subject of postcards and pictures. Alfonso fo Aragon, the patron of Ischia’s manor, ordered it in 1441. This Aragonese castle is located in Ischia and is one of the most beautiful medieval castles in Italy. It’s also one of the top castles you can visit in the Campania area!
Although the original castle was built in 474 BC, it has been reconstructed and refurbished over the past fifteen and sixteen centuries.
Four cylindrical columns are located on the top of the hill, separated from the prison by the vineyard. The entire castle was turned into a Bourbon detention center in 1823. The area to the south appears to be an agricultural village with cobblestone streets.
11. Forte di Bardi
The Fortress of Bardi, an exceptional example of an Italian Middle Age castle, is a remarkable example. It is situated in the Parma province and stands on top of a rocky spur. It was made into a refuge from possible invasions by the Hungarians in 898 by Everardo, bishop de Piacenza.
Ubertino landi purchased the Taro and Ceno Valleys from Piacentino municipality in 1257 and took possession. His family also transformed the old fortress into a luxury residence. The museum also houses an Archaeological Museum, as well as a permanent exhibit of art from the 20th century.
12. Castel Sant’Angelo, Rome
You can’t miss Castel Sant’Angelo on your trip to Rome. Construction of the building began around 125 AD. It was originally a fortified outpost. Later it became a prison.
The building was made papal property in 1367 and now houses the Vatican Archives and Treasury. The magnificent frescoed halls house a variety of collections. Castel Sant’Ango is one of the most beautiful castles it Italy has to offer. You should also check out our list of castles in Rome.
13. Torrechiara Castle
Torrechiara Castle is one the most beautiful medieval castles of Italy. It’s a wonderful combination of Renaissance and medieval elements. It was built on a hill that overlooks the valley of Parma stream. This position, which is suggestive of a panoramic view, was strategically chosen to maintain control over the territory. For the sake of Bianca Pellegrini, Pier Maria Rossi ordered its construction.
It is necessary to climb a steep and long staircase to reach the castle. However, the magnificent view of the surrounding area and the richness of the rooms will make up for the effort. Although the rooms do not have furniture, the frescoes, mostly from the 16th century, decorate the rooms with rich colors and strange figures. This is in keeping with the popular fashion of grotesque decoration at that time. The most intense emotion is found in the last room, which is the bedroom of the count.
14. Savoia Castle, Gressoney-Saint-Jean
Savoy Castle is one of the most stunning castles in Italy, and Queen Margherita of Savoy ordered its construction! It is located in Belvedere, and offers a stunning view of the Monte Rosa Valley. Moretti, an industrialist, purchased the Savoia castle in 1936. It became the property of the Autonomous Region of the Aosta Valley (AROA) in 1981.
Emilio Stramucci, a Neo-Gothic architect designed it. The castle’s central core is flanked by five towers of spire, each with its own unique characteristics. Additionally, the staircase is made from wood and decorated with griffins or eagles.
The interior’s elegant and refined design is a tribute its sovereign. The castle is surrounded by a fascinating botanical garden. The Savoy Castle is a luxury castle in Italy. It is a treasure!
15. Castello di Fenis
Fenis Castle, a beautiful medieval castle located 20 kilometers from Antey-Saint-Andre. It can be found downstream at a point without natural defenses. In fact, its purpose was to show off the wealth of the owners. The castle was first mentioned in 1242.
It was neglected for a long time, and then it was used as a barn. Then in the second half the nineteenth century, D’Andrade purchased it and restored it. You will find many furnishings and furniture displayed at the castle.
16. Battipaglia castelluccia
Although the date of construction is not known, we do know that the Castelluccia was purchased by the Archbishop de Salerno at the beginning 12th century from a Battipaglia family. The castle was the site of bloody battles in the 13th century between the armies of Henry IV of Swabia, and Frederick II of Swabia.
There were many restorations, but the largest (in 1920) nearly completely altered the original appearance. However, you can still see parts of the original walls. The exterior facade is enhanced by three quadrangular towers. Battipaglia’s ground floor has magnificent cross vaults made from bare stone. They date back to the year 1,000.
The large windows offer a stunning view of the bay of Trentova, reaching the Amalfi coast. Battipaglia is one of the most beautiful medieval castles you can see in Italy.
17. Rocchetta Mattei
Tourists will find Rocchetta Mattei on the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines in the Reno Valley. Design and construction dates back to the 19th century. It is one of the most beautiful castles Italy has to offer.
The building combines many styles: the Neo-medieval, Moorish, the Liberty, as well as rooms, courtyards and passages. It also features arches, painted vaults and towers that create a labyrinth. This place was chosen by Count Cesare Mattei with the intention of making it a cradle for electro homeopathy. This is a great place to go if you are looking for castles throughout Tuscany or the surrounding regions.
18. Rocca Monaldeschi della Cervara
The Rocca Monaldeschi dilla Cervara Di Bolsena offers a stunning view of Lake Bolsena. The castle was built by Orvieto magistrates in 1295. Ermanno Monaldeschi began the work to strengthen and complete the fortress in 1334.
As an outpost to the village and a dominion over it, the fortress’s position ensured its defense functions. The square-plan structure features four corner towers, and the entrance is located on the opposite axis to the village entrance. The territorial museum of Lake Bolsena is also located inside.
19. Ussel castle
It was completed between 1341-1345. It is the first monobloc castle of the Aosta Valley and marks a pivotal moment in the history feudal military architecture in this region.
The castle’s northern side shows its most grim face. However, it actually has square towers that symbolise the power of feudal lords.
Beautiful are the mullioned windows. Each window is unique in its arches and columns. The castle hosts exhibitions and displays.
20. Visconti Fortress in Castell’Arquato
The Visconti Fortress is one the most adorable medieval castles of Italy! Castell’Arquato, located 33 kilometers from Piacenza is also known for scenes in Ladyhawke. Construction of the Visconti Fort was completed between 1342-1349. Two parts of the building are connected by red brick.
An enclosed rectangular lower, wider, is arranged on two steps. A smaller, higher-aligned one is positioned higher. The whole complex stands 42 meters high and dominates the valley. You can visit free castles in Italy by heading to Piacenza to see Castell’Arquato. This is one of the most beautiful castles found in Piacenza Province!
The 20 most beautiful castles of Italy are listed.
We have seen some of the most beautiful castles in Italy. There are also luxury castles in Italy and free castles to be visited. You can find them perched high on mountains or surrounded by fairytale landscapes. The Italian castles are so different from one another, but they tell stories that transcend reality and legend.
You will feel ready to go on your next trip to Italy and take a tour of some stunning castles. These hidden beaches are a great way to see some of the lesser-known spots in Italy.