All Castles

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    Castello Sforzesco

    Castello Sforzesco, one of the largest castles in Europe, was built in the 15th century by Francesco Sforza. Located outside the historical center of Milan, the castle was one of the main military citadels of Europe between the 16th and 17th centuries. Restored between 1890 and 1905, it is now home to cultural institutions and important museums.   SHORT HISTORY Between 1360 and 1370, a fortification was built on this place by Gian Galeazzo Visconti, the first Duke of Milan. The fortification was called Castello di Porta Giovia and had a defensive function. Castello di Porta Giovia was a square-shaped castle with 200 meters long sides and four towers at the corners, two of which were particularly imposing, and 7 meters thick walls. The building became a permanent residence of the Visconti dynasty, to be later destroyed in 1447 by the newborn Repubblica Ambrosiana, founded by the Milanese nobles. After the fall of the Ambrosian Republic, the new Duke of Milan, Francesco Sforza, began the reconstruction of the castle in 1450, to make it his residence. In 1452, the architect Filarete was hired by the Duke for the construction and decoration of the median tower, which is still called Torre Read more [...]

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    Castel dell’Ovo

    Castel dell’Ovo is the oldest castle in Naples and is one of the constructions that stand out the most when you approach the city from the sea. Its name derives from an ancient legend about the Latin poet Virgil, who hid an egg in the foundation of the fortress, saying that its breaking would have caused not only the collapse of the castle, but also a series of disastrous catastrophes to the city of Naples. During the 14th century, the castle suffered extensive damage due to the partial collapse of an arch and, to prevent the panic spreading among the population for the alleged future catastrophes that would have hit the city, the queen Giovanna I had to swear she had replaced the broken egg.   SHORT HISTORY In a document dating back to 1128, a fortification is mentioned on the island of Megaride, now a peninsula, the place where the Castel dell’Ovo will be built later. In 1140, Roger the Norman, conquering Naples, settled in this fortress. Castel dell’Ovo is further fortified in 1222 by Frederick II, who makes it the seat of the royal treasure and has other towers built, the castle becoming a palace and a state Read more [...]

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    Castello di Punta Pagana

    Castello di Punta Pagana is a castle located on the promontory of Punta Pagana, inside the private garden of Villa Spinola, in Rapallo. Together with the 16th-century Castle of Santa Margherita Ligure, located to the west, and the Castle-on-the-Sea from Rapallo, to the east, Castello di Punta Pagana it was part of a defense system built by the Republic of Genoa for the protection of the coast and villages on the western part of the Gulf of Tigullio.   SHORT HISTORY The construction work of the fortress started in April 1625, comissioned by the Republic of Genoa and the municipalities of Rapallo, Recco, Chiavari, Moneglia and Sestri Levante. The structure became necessary due to the open hostility between the Genoese republic and Carlo Emanuele I of Savoy, Duke of Savoy, and for the fear of a possible attack by sea. The works were carried out quickly and, by December 1625, the structure was almost finished. In 1627, the moat with the drawbridge was completed and three years later, on July 1631, the fortress was placed under the service of the Republic of Genoa. Although the fortress was equipped with weapons, ammunition and gunpowder necessary for a sudden attack, it never Read more [...]

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    Castello sul Mare

    Castello sul Mare (Castle-on-the-Sea) is a small castle in Rapallo, located on the waterfront Vittorio Veneto. The castle is the symbol of the town and was declared a national monument by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage.   SHORT HISTORY The decision to build a castle for defensive purposes was taken after the events of July 4, 1549, when Rapallo suffered the assault of the Turkish pirate Dragut, who looted the town and kidnapped 22 young girls. The building, based on a design by Antonio de Càrabo, was begun in 1550, and the works were completed one year later. With the construction of the Castle of Rapallo, the entire western area of the Gulf of Tigullio was completed with a defensive system, which included also the castles of Portofino, Paraggi, Santa Margherita Ligure and the nearby Punta Pagana. The new mayor of Rapallo, Benedetto Fieschi Raggio, was able to inaugurate the castle on May 10, 1551, and asked the Genoese Senate for the necessary artillery to defend the castle. In the following years, the castle was modified several times, expanding its structure. In 1608, it became the seat of the captainship of Rapallo. Here, the captain had his office, while in Read more [...]

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    Castle of Charles V

    The Castle of Charles V is a 16th century fortress in Monopoli, built during the Spanish domination of the city. The castle is located in the historical center of the city, on a promontory called Punta Pinna, near the Old Port of Monopoli.   SHORT HISTORY The castle was built in the first half of the 16th century by the Emperor Charles V, as part of the coastal fortification system of the area. The works were carried out under the supervision of the Viceroy Don Pedro of Toledo or, according to other versions, under the Marquis Don Ferrante Loffredo, and were finished in 1552. In 1600, the fortress was enlarged and restructured, both on the outside and inside, transforming the castle from a purely defensive structure to a residential one. In the first half of the 19th century, the castle became a prison, which was abolished only in 1969. After it was abandoned for some time, the castle was consolidated in the 1990s and is now used as a venue for important cultural events, such as painting and photography exhibitions.   ARCHITECTURE The plan of the castle is enriched by pentagonal bastions. The main entrance is found to the south, Read more [...]

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    Castello Tramontano

    Castello Tramontano is an imposing castle located on the Lapillo Hill, overlooking the historical city center of Matera.   SHORT HISTORY Although the new King of Naples, Ferdinand II, promised to the Materans that he will not give the town to another feudal lord, the Count Giovan Carlo Tramontano obtained Matera and the surrounding area in 1496. The castle, with a large central tower and two small ones on the sides, was built by the count, in Aragonese style, starting with 1501. In debt, the count collected numerous taxes from the population, and became unpopular to the people of Matera. For the construction of the castle were spent as many as 25,000 ducats, and this weighed even more on the population. Tired of the continuous abuses, some citizens murdered the tyrant on December 29, 1514, as he was leaving the Cathedral of Matera, in a street which was later eloquently called Via della Riscatto (Street of Redemption). The castle remained unfinished. Since 2008, the castle, together with the surrounding park, is undergoing restoration.   TIP: In 2019, Matera will be the European Capital of Culture, and if you have not visited the city until now, the moment has come. To Read more [...]

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    Fortino di Sant’Antonio Abate

    Fortino di Sant’Antonio Abate is a fort located on the eastern edge of the Bari Vecchia, the historical center of Bari, in front of the Pier of Sant’Antonio.   SHORT HISTORY The fort was built for defensive purposes in 1440 on the remains of a tower from 1359. The fort was erected by the Prince of Taranto, Giovanni Antonio del Balzo Orsini, who left his coat of arms on the portal. After the death of the feudal lord, the fort was destroyed by the people of Bari, and then rebuilt between 1501 and 1524 by Isabella of Aragon, Duchess of Milan, and Bona Sforza, Queen of Poland, as part of the renewal of the defensive system of the city. Later, the fort was demilitarized and, in 1847, it was taken over by the Municipality. During the following years, the structure was neglected and continued to deteriorate, falling into a state of semi-ruin. The fort was later definitively restored by the Municipality, and today it can be admired in all its splendour. Its spaces are currently used for cultural events.   ART A graceful wooden statue of the Saint Anthony the Abbot, also known as Saint Anthony the Great, to whom Read more [...]

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    Castello Normanno-Svevo

    Castello Normanno-Svevo (Norman-Swabian Castle) is an imposing fortress in Bari, located on the western edge of the Bari Vecchia (Old Bari), the historical center of the city.   SHORT HISTORY The medieval fortification dates back to 1132. The castle was built at the behest of the Norman King Roger II, and was destroyed in 1156 by King William of Sicily, nicknamed the Bad, when he razed the entire city to the ground, except for some places of worship. The fortress was rebuilt in 1233, when the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II ordered its reinforcement. The castle underwent numerous transformations in the Angevin period, when Charles of Anjou carried out an extensive restoration involving the north wing of the castle, under the guidance of the architects Pietro d’Angicourt and Giovanni di Toul. Then, the castle became property of Duke Ferdinand of Aragon, who donated it later to the ducal Sforza family. The latter disposed the enlargement of the fortress, which shortly after passed into the hands of Bona Sforza, Queen of Poland, who died there in 1557. During this time, the castle underwent radical transformations to adapt to the new demands dictated by the development of heavy artillery. Later, the building Read more [...]

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    Castello di Riomaggiore

    Castello di Riomaggiore is a castle located in the upper part of the historic center of Riomaggiore. The castle, with a quadrangular structure and two stubby circular towers, was used originally for defensive purposes, and later converted into a cemetery. Today, the castle is used by the municipality as a conference hall and cultural center.   SHORT HISTORY According to historical sources, the castle was built by the Turcotti Marquises in 1260, lords of the village of Ripalta, near Borghetto di Vara, on the ruins of a pre-existing fortress. After the domination of the Count Nicolò Fieschi, a new castle, located on the hill that divides the valley of Rio Maggiore from that of Rio Finale, was finally completed by the Republic of Genoa between the 15th and 16th centuries. During the French domination of Napoleon Bonaparte, the internal area of the fort was filled with earth and destined for the burial of the deceased locals. At the end of the 20th century, the whole complex underwent a general recovery, being converted into a cultural center.   HOW TO GET THERE The Castle of Riomaggiore is located about 450 meters away from the Riomaggiore train station, or about 10 minutes on Read more [...]

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    Castello dei Doria

    Castello dei Doria is a castle located on a rocky ridge about 70 meters high, in Vernazza. The castle was named after the Doria family, originally from Genoa, one of the most important noble families in the history of Italy.   SHORT HISTORY The first informations about a castle in Vernazza dates back to the 13th century, but it is believed that the first nucleus of the building dates back to the 11th century, and that it was built during the domination of the Obertenghi, a family of Italian nobility descended from Count Obert I of Luni. In particular, the cylindrical tower, which currently stands in the middle of the castel’s terrace, and which was restored during the 20th century, is the oldest part of the fortification. In the 12th century, the castle and the village of Vernazza passed to the bishops of Luni, to the Da Passano family and then to the Fieschi in the second half of the century. Occupied in the same century by Pisa, in the attacks related to the Battle of Meloria, in which also sailors and ships from Vernazza participated, the castle soon returned into the hands of the Genoese. During the crucial phases Read more [...]

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    Castello della Dragonara

    Castello della Dragonara, known also as the Castel Dragone, is a castle in Camogli, located in Via Isola, near the Church of Santa Maria Assunta.   SHORT HISTORY According to some historical sources, the castle was probably built in the first half of the 13th century. In the second half of the 14th century, the castle, to ensure the safety of the fishing village of Camogli, was repeatedly reinforced, receiving the necessary weapons from the Republic of Genoa. In the 14th century, the Dragonara Castle was attacked several times. Well documented are the assaults made by Gian Galeazzo Visconti, Lord of Milan, and the one made by Nicolò Fieschi in 1366. Between 1428 and 1430, the castle was considerably enlarged and reinforced, especially the adjacent watchtower. In 1438, the Duchy of Milan besieged the castle, destroying its walls. A few years later, the inhabitants of the seaside village built new walls around the castle. In 1448, due to a conflict between Camogli, Recco and Genoa, the Republic demanded the immediate destruction of the castle. The castle was destroyed, but it was rebuilt again only six years later and given to the Doge of Genoa. In the 16th century, the castle Read more [...]

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    Castello Doria

    Castello Doria is a castle located on a rocky hill overlooking the seaside village of Portovenere, one of the great examples of military architecture of the Republic of Genoa.   SHORT HISTORY An ancient fortress already existed in this place when, in 1139, the Republic of Genoa gained control of the village of Portovenere, with the help of the local lords of Vezzano. In 1161, the castle was rebuilt closer to the Church of San Pietro, and the new building was virtually annexed to the old fortified structure, including two identical watch towers. In the 13th century, the castle was the center of the struggles between Genoa and Pisa for the conquest of the surrounding lands. In the second half of the 15th century, Genoa decided to demolish the castle and rebuild it in a modern style, according to the architectural and military canons of the period. The rebuilding works continued in the 15th and 16th centuries, but the fortress took its current appearance only in the 17th century. During the French domination of Napoleon Bonaparte, at the beginning of the 19th century, the castle was used as a prison, without altering its architectural forms. Today, the ancient Genoese fortress Read more [...]

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    Castello Ursino

    Castello Ursino is an interesting castle in Catania, former seat of the Sicilian parliament starting with the 13th century and residence of the Aragonese sovereigns until the 15th century. Since 20 October 1934, the castle is home to the Civic Museum.   SHORT HISTORY The Ursino Castle was built in the 13th century by Frederick II of Swabia, King of Sicily and Holy Roman Emperor, as part of the defensive system of the eastern Sicily, which also included the Maniace Castle of Syracuse and the Swabian Castle of Augusta. The project was entrusted to the military architect Riccardo da Lentini. In 1296, the castle was taken by Robert of Anjou, King of Naples, and subsequently was conquered again by the Aragonese. The King Frederick III of Sicily inhabited the castle from the end of the 13th century until his death, in 1337. In the early 15th century, the castle was surrounded by various buildings, and Martin I, King of Sicily, cleared the space around it, to obtain a square named today Piazza Federico di Svevia. In the 16th century, a bastion called San Giorgio was built to defend the castle and some changes were made in the Renaissance style. Starting Read more [...]

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    Castello Maniace

    Castello Maniace is one of the most important monuments of the Swabian period, a magnificent example of the military architecture of the Roman Emperor Frederick II, located on the tip of the island of Ortygia, in Syracuse. The name of the castle derives from Giorgio Maniace, a Byzantine general who, in 1038, regained the city of Syracuse from the hands of the Arabs. The castle has a massive quadrilateral structure of 51 meters per side and about 12 meters high. At the four corners of the building are four cylindrical towers. The average thickness of the walls is about 3.5 meters.   SHORT HISTORY On the place where the castle stands today, strategically important for the defense of the harbour, there were fortifications since the time of the Greeks. The building of the castle is attributed to Emperor Frederick II, who entrusted its construction to the architect Riccardo da Lentini, shortly after returning from the Crusade in the Holy Land. The construction took place between 1232 and 1239. In 1266, the castle passed to the Angevins and, in 1282, it was conquered by the Syracusans in the revolt of April 11. In 1325, Peter II of Sicily, the son of Read more [...]

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    Castello Brown

    Castello Brown, formerly known as the Castle of San Giorgio, is an ancient military fortress placed in an elevated position, that dominates the small town of Portofino. The castle is surrounded by a Mediterranean garden full of cypress trees, flowers and pergolas.   SHORT HISTORY During some excavations in the area, in the place of today’s castle were found traces of an ancient Roman watchtower dating back to the 3rd century AD. The first official information on the current structure dates back to 1425, when Tomaso Fregoso, Doge of the Republic of Genoa, occupied the village of Portofino. In the 16th century, several restoration and expansion works were made. Between 1554 and 1557, the castle was extended by a new platform towards the port, after a design by the engineer Giovanni Maria Olgiati. In 1624, new works strengthened the castle, and in 1728, other works were carried out, enriching the armament and arranging the interior of the fortress. The fortress passed under French rule in 1797, when Napoleon Bonaparte conquered Liguria. After Napoleon fled and the town was included in the Kindom of Sardinia and subsequently in the Kingdom of Italy, the military fortress was completely disarmed starting with 1867. Read more [...]

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    Castello Murat

    Castello Murat (Murat Castle) is an ancient fort built in the 15th century in Pizzo. The castle is named after Joachim Murat, King of Naples and brother-in-law of Napoleon Bonaparte, who was imprisoned here and sentenced to death by shooting in 1815.   SHORT HISTORY The castle was built in two different historical periods. The Mastia Tower (Torre Mastia), the largest tower of the castle, part of the defensive system implemented by the Angevins, dates back to the end of the 14th century. The tower was built for defense against the Saracen raids. About 100 years later, the castle was completed by Ferdinand I of Aragon, for the same purpose – to reject the Saracen attacks. The castle in Pizzo is one of many fortifications built under the Aragonese rule, in towns like Crotone, Cariati, Corigliano, Belvedere and Reggio Calabria. To the already existing Angevin tower, it was added a massive rectangular body, equipped with a tapered tower and a watchtower overlooking the Marina. The works lasted from 1481 to 1485. In 1505, it was ceded by Ferdinand the Catholic to the De Mendoza and later, by succession, to the De Silva, Dukes of the Infantado, who kept it until Read more [...]

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    Aragonese Castle

    The Aragonese Castle is an ancient fortification located in the homonymous Piazza Castello, in Reggio Calabria. Together with the Riace Bronzes, it is considered one of the main historical symbols of the city.   SHORT HISTORY Under Emperor Justinian I, during the war between the Goths and the Byzantines, Belisarius entered Reggio to free it from the barbarians and found the city devoid of fortifications, so the general immediately ordered the restoration of the city walls. As a consequence, a castle was built around the 6th century. In 1059, the fortress passed from the Byzantines to the Normans, and in 1266 to Charles I of Anjou. Since the Normans, who established the court there, the castle was modified and enlarged several times. A substantial part of the work took place during the reign of Frederick II of Swabia, when the imperial authority built a state defense system for the Kingdom of Sicily. The Swabian part of the castle, a building with a square plan, with four corner towers, also of square shape, remained standing until after the earthquake of 1908. The castle was restored in 1327, after the repeated wars between the Angevins and the Aragonese, then fortified in 1381 Read more [...]

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    Ruffo Castle

    The Ruffo Castle, known in Italian as Castello Ruffo di Scilla or Castello Ruffo di Calabria, is an ancient fortification built on the promontory of Scilla, on the southern shore of the Messina Strait, being one of the most characteristic elements of the Calabrian landscape.   SHORT HISTORY The first fortification built on the rock of Scilla dates back to the beginning of the 5th century B.C.. During the tyranny of Anaxilas, the city of Reggio assumed a considerable importance, and in 493 B.C., to put an end to the raids of the Tyrrhenian pirates who had a secure base in Scilla, defeated them and started the building of the fortress. The fortress will become for Anaxilas an important outpost for controlling the sea routes. The fortification was under the rule of the tyrants of Reggio, often engaged in clashes with the pirates, until 390 B.C., when Dionysius, the tyrant of Syracuse, conquered the fortress after a long siege. Fifty years have passed from that moment, until the regaining of the independence of Scilla, favored by Timoleonte di Corinto, who destroyed the tyrannical power of Syracuse in the year 340 B.C.. In 1060, during the siege of Reggio by the Read more [...]

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    La Rocca di Cefalù

    La Rocca, locally called u castieddu (the castle), is a fortified cliff 268 meters high overlooking the beautiful town of Cefalù, rising on the Tyrrhenian coast, one of the most important reference points for navigation between Palermo and Messina. The relief of La Rocca has at its base a triangle with the ridges facing east, west and south. On all sides, the Rocca is characterized by very high cliffs that are practically inaccessible. The complex of fortifications (lower walls, upper walls and the castle on the top) is therefore adapted to the extraordinary topography of the site, constituting a real acropolis. The lower western part of La Rocca is characterized by the ruins of a series of mills and pipelines that collected and exploited the water that descended on the slope. On this side, the path fortified in the Middle Ages climbs to the top of the hill. The perimeter halfway to the top is surrounded by crenellated walls dating back to the Middle Ages and completed, in the recent part, in the 15th century. On the western side of the walls, opens the access gate to which the path leads. Still halfway up the hill, about 150 meters above Read more [...]

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    Zisa

    Zisa is a castle in Palermo, part of the ancient Norman hunting resort known as Genoardo, included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2015.   SHORT HISTORY The construction of the castle started around 1165, during the reign of William I of Sicily, and was completed by his son, William II, in 1175. The castle was not substantially modified until the 17th century. Significant restoration work took place between 1635 and 1636, when Juan de Sandoval, knight of Alcantara, bought the castle. Another floor was added, closing the terrace, and a large staircase was built. Subsequently, in 1806, Zisa came into the possesion of the Notarbartolo princes, representatives of the old Sicilian nobility and heirs of the Ducal House of Sandoval de Leon, who made it their residence, carrying out various consolidation works. In 1955, the building was expropriated by the Italian State, and the restoration work, which began immediately, was suspended shortly after. After fifteen years of neglect, in 1971, the right wing collapsed. The project for the reconstruction was entrusted to Professor Giuseppe Caronia, who, after about twenty years of passionate work, in June 1991, gave back to the world one of the most beautiful buildings of Read more [...]

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    Rocca Albornoziana

    Rocca Albornoziana is an imposing fortress standing on Colle Sant’Elia, the highest point in Spoleto, strategically towering over the valley.   SHORT HISTORY The construction of Rocca Albornoziana started in 1359, of the order of Pope Innocent VI. The project was entrusted to the Spanish Cardinal Egidio Albornoz, who commissioned the works to Matteo di Giovannello da Gubbio, also known as Il Gattapone. The fortress was finished around 1370. Rocca Albornoziana became the main point of the defensive system of this valley, and later the residence of dukes, city governors and papal legates. In 1816, Rocca Albornoziana was turned into a prison, and was used like this until 1982.   ARCHITECTURE Rocca Albornoziana has a rectangular shape with six imposing towers. Inside, it has two courtyards, the Cortile delle Armi (Courtyard of Arms), the headquarters of the troops, and the Cortile d’Onore (Courtyard of Honour), reserved to the administrators and the governors. The two courtyards are connected by a vault, decorated at the end of the 16th century with frescoes representing the six cities of the States of the Church. Salone d’Onore (Hall of Honour), the widest space of the fortress, was destined for ceremonies. Camera Pinta (Painted Room) hosts Read more [...]

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    Palazzo d’Avalos

    Palazzo d’Avalos is an imposing fortress on Procida, overlooking the sea, part of Terra Murata, the fortified village on the highest point of the island.   SHORT HISTORY The palace was designed by the architects Cavagna and Tortelli at the end of the 16th century, for the Cardinal Innico d’Avalos. At the same time, the entrance to the village of Terra Murata was built, from an order of the same Cardinal d’Avalos. Since 1734, after the domination of the d’Avalos family ended, the palace was confiscated by the Bourbons, and became the royal hunting retreat for both King Charles III and King Ferdinand IV, before the construction of the Royal Palace of Capodimonte. In 1815, the building changed its destination into a military academy. Later, in 1830, it was converted into a prison with two parts, an old one (Palazzo d’Avalos) and a new one, and the penitentiary functioned until the Italian unification. Following the downfall of the Italian Social Republic, between 1945 and 1950, the prison held the fascism nomenclature. In 1978, the old prison was closed, and ten years later, in 1988, the new prison was also disbanded, the place remaining abandoned. Today, Palazzo d’Avalos can be visited Read more [...]

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    Old Citadel

    The Old Citadel (Cittadella Vecchia) is an ancient fortress built on the Arno river, in Pisa, where, a few hundreds years ago, it was the outer wall of the city. Near the Citadel, it was the Republican Arsenal, where the ships of the Marine Republic of Pisa were built, ships that contributed to the city’s rise as a Mediterranean power in the Medieval times.   SHORT HISTORY At the beginning of the 15th century, the shipyard was enlarged and transformed to what will be later known as the Old Citadel, in opposition to the New Citadel (Cittadella Nuova), built in 1440 on the other side of the city. About the same time, the Guelph Tower (Torre Guelfa) was built. At the beginning of the 1900s, the area was called Piazza d’Armi and housed the 7th Artillery Regiment divisions, the 22nd Infantry Regiment and a small theater. In 1944, during the Second World War, the whole area was badly damaged by bombing, and the citadel along with the Guelph Tower were completely destroyed, with the exception of the Republican Arsenal. In 1956, the tower was rebuilt and the area of the citadel was recovered, after a project of Giovanni Michelucci. Today, Read more [...]

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    Rocca Maggiore

    Rocca Maggiore is a majestic, imposing fortress from the 14th century which dominates the town of Assisi from above, offering magnificent views and charming panoramas of the surrounding valley below, from Perugia, in the north, to Spoleto, in the south.   SHORT HISTORY The initial fortress was built, perhaps, before the year 1000, in the time of the barbaric invasions, but the first information about Rocca Maggiore dates back to 1174, when Assisi was conquered by the imperial troops led by Christian of Mainz. In 1198, Rocca Maggiore was destroyed by a riot, to prevent it from falling into the hands of a papal governor, but it was rebuilt later, in 1365, by Cardinal Egidio Albornoz, as a lookout. In the next centuries, the fortress was enlarged and modified by various occupants – by Biordo Michelotti between 1395 and 1398, by Piccinino in 1458, by Pope Pius II in 1460, by Sixtus IV in 1478 and by Paul III in 1535, reaching a massive structure. From the 17th century, Rocca Maggiore was abandoned, but it remained intact until the present day.   HOW TO GET THERE If you are in Assisi, you are probably seeing, somewhere above, the fortress. It’s Read more [...]

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    Castel Sant’Angelo

    A beautiful monument in Rome, Castel Sant’Angelo has been guarding the banks of the Tiber for nearly 2000 years. Throughout the centuries, Sant’Angelo was, in turn, a mausoleum, a fortress, a castle, a prison and, today, a museum.   SHORT HISTORY In the year 135 AD, the roman emperor Hadrian commissioned a mausoleum for himself and his family, a monument worthy of the Antonine dynasty. To link it to the Campus Martius area, he built also a bridge, Pons Aelius, the current Sant’Angelo bridge. In 401, the mausoleum has been partially destroyed, after its conversion to a military fortress and due to the inclusion in the Aurelian Walls. Beginning in the 14th century, the papacy converted the mausoleum into a castle and connected it to St. Peter’s Basilica by a fortified corridor. Later, the Papal state will use Castel Sant’Angelo as a prison, Giordano Bruno or Benvenuto Cellini being among its guests. Today, the castle is a museum, the “Museo Nazionale di Castel Sant’Angelo”.   HOW TO GET THERE The nearest Metro station is Lepanto, on Line A, 1.2 kilometers from Castel Sant’Angelo or 16 minutes of walking. If you want to reach the castle on foot, use the map Read more [...]