We take a look at Italy’s Top 5 Castles.
1. Emperor Frederick II built the immaculately planned Castel del Monte near Bari in the 13th century. A masterpiece of architectural achievement, the castle’s octagonal theme is intrinsic to its design. The Italian government bought the castle in the 19th century and began the process of its restoration in the 1920s. Much loved and admired by the public today, 750 years after its conception, the magnificent Castel del Monte was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996.
2. With its stand-out iconic shape, the Castel Sant’Angelo on the bank of the Tiber River is one of Rome’s most famous landmarks. It was first commissioned by the Roman Emperor Hadrian and is now home to the National Museum of Castel Sant’Angelo.
3. Construction on the Castello Sforzesco in Milan began in the 14th century, but work started in earnest in 1450 under the military leader Francesco Sforza. This beautiful castle was damaged by bombing during the second world war, but now houses two of the city’s most important museums.
4. Built between 1856 and 1860 on a cliff just north of Trieste, the eclectic Castello di Miramare was designed by Carl Junker according to the wishes of the archduke Maximilian of Habsburg. The castle’s extensive park is on the seashore and was designed by the archduke himself.
5. The Rocca di Castell’Arquato in Emilia Romagna was built between 1342 and 1349 under the orders of Luchino Visconti, and passed to the Scotti family in 1404. In 1466 it became a part of the Sforza family’s estate, and in 1707 it became part of the Duchy of Parma and Piacenza.