Amazing castles of Italy
Italy is a country with a rich history, so castles are available here in abundance. In fact, according to calculations, the country has 747 ancient castles. It is worth noticing that some of the castles today are no more than ruins, while others have preserved their grandeur and are in excellent condition.
The best castles of Italy
Castello di Fénis
Known for its superb architecture, Castello di Fénis is probably one of the most famous castles in Italy. Located in Valle d’Aosta near the Swiss and French borders, it was originally built as a home for the Challant family. Over the centuries, the appearance of the castle has changed considerably.
From 1320 to 1420, the architecture of the château underwent a major reconstruction: the area was enlarged and the structure took on a pentagonal form. Three of the five corners have round towers; the two largest towers face south and west. These towers are connected by a perimeter passage.
The courtyard of the castle is decorated with magnificent frescoes of prophets and sages. Most visitors come to the castle to see the excellent fresco depicting St. George slaying the dragon. The famous fresco is located at the top of the structure by the semicircular staircase leading to the castle balcony.
All three floors of Castle Fénis now house a museum that welcomes tourists from all over the world. Tourist groups are limited to 25 people and accompanied by a guide. The entrance fee is € 5,00.
Castles of Italy: Castello Sforzesco
Castello Sforzesco, located in the suburbs of Milan, has a very interesting history. The castle was built in 1360 by the Visconti family, widely despised by all the people of Italy. After the death in 1447 of the last member of the hated family, Filippo Mario, the local population destroyed the original castle in a rage.
In 1450 the castle was rebuilt by the Sforza family, making it a magnificent residence. When, in 1499, the French dictator Napoleon invaded Milan, the family home was confiscated from its owners and the French turned it into a fortified military garrison.
Then, during the Spanish occupation, additional fortifications were added to the structure, including sloping defensive walls and secret passages. In fact, at the end of the 16th century, the Spanish added a vast network of labyrinths and tunnels to the main building.
The castle now houses seven museums and has become one of the city’s main tourist attractions.
The Aragonese Castle, built on a volcanic formation in the gulf of Naples, looks out over the water surface near the island of Ischia.
Construction of the fortress on this site began as early as 474 B.C. Originally it was a pair of towers overlooking the sea. The ancient people of Naples took control of the building, then control went to the Romans several times. Eventually, in 1441, the reign of the castle fell into the hands of Alfonso V of Aragon, who built a stone bridge that connected the structure to the island of Ischia.
The exterior of the castle looks rather stark, its ancient walls and ramparts merging harmoniously with the grim structure of the cliff. Once you have climbed the 113 meters, it is easy to understand why it is the most visited attraction of Ischia: it offers a spectacular view. Anyone can climb up here, there is an elevator for people with reduced mobility.
The Castle of Aragon has its own attractions: the tiny chapel of San Giovanni Giuseppe della Croce (St. John of the Cross) and the Immacolata Church, built in 1737 in honor of St. Francis.
The castle is open to the public daily from 9:00 a.m. until sunset, admission costs €10.
Roccascalenia Castle of Italy
In the small town of Roccascalenia, in the south of Abruzzo, there is a wonderful castle. It offers amazing views of the hills surrounding the Sangro River.
Its 1,400 inhabitants are said to be descendants of the Lombards, a Germanic tribe from northern Italy, who ruled the country from 568 to 774.
When they began building the castle, the Lombards first built a tower from whose height they could watch the encampment of Byzantine forces.
Few historical documents relating to the castle have survived, apart from a brief record of its financial situation in 1320. But apart from that, its infamous legend of the right of the first night has also survived.
The legend refers to the feudal baron Corvo de Corvis. This baron created terror and fear in the hearts of the inhabitants of Roccascalenya. High taxes and cruel punishments were the order of the day for him.
But even that was not enough for him. In addition to other arbitrariness, he introduced the right of the first night – a medieval feudal custom, which meant that every bride of the city had to spend her first wedding night not with her husband, but with the baron in his castle.
The adoption of the shameful law infuriated the parish priest. He protested, for which he was executed. The clergyman’s corpse was hung at the entrance to the town as a warning to those who dared to disobey the local ruler.
Nevertheless, the baron failed to intimidate everyone, and his days ended very sadly. As legend has it, one winter night the insolent was stabbed to death by a young bride who had been brought to the castle to share a bed with the baron.
Some say it was a disguised bridegroom who went on a deadly feat for the sake of his beloved.
Legend has it that, as he died, the baron swore vengeance, and his bloody hands left his imprint on the walls of the bedroom. Despite numerous attempts to wash away the bloody handprint, it continued to appear until the tower itself collapsed, which was in 1940.
The castle was rebuilt in 1996. The town’s elders still swear they saw the ghostly red handprint.
Abruzzo is one of the most unique areas of Italy, often called the “lungs” of the country. It is a great place for tourists of all preferences.
Before we start. where to book a hotel? Bucking isn’t the only thing in the world that exists ( for the high percentage from hotels – we pay!). I’ve been using Rumguru for a long time, really more profitable than Bucking. And for tickets, go to airsales, as an option. It’s been known about for a long time . But there’s a better search engine – skyscanner – more flights, lower prices! . And finally, the main thing. How do you go on a trip without getting completely bogged down? The answer is in the search form below! Purchase a package tour. It’s the kind of thing that includes flights, accommodations, meals, and a bunch of other goodies for good money The form is below!
Abruzzo is one of the most unique areas of Italy, often called the “lungs” of the country. Protected areas on its territory are adjacent to the picturesque coast, and the ancient cities are replaced by mountain landscapes. This symbiosis of man-made monuments and natural beauty makes Abruzzo an attractive destination for tourists of all preferences.
Description of the Abruzzo region
The Abruzzo region is located in the heart of Italy – between the Adriatic Sea and the Apennines. Most of the land is occupied by mountains. Snow-covered peaks create an interesting contrast with the sandy beaches. No region of Italy can match Abruzzo in the number of national parks and protected areas. However, this does not prevent the development of infrastructure, transport links and tourism, both summer and winter. Abruzzo has very few industrial enterprises, but its olive groves are famous far beyond the region.
Map of Abruzzo
Abruzzo’s largest cities
Abruzzo is so quiet and stable that even the largest towns and cities retain a traditional atmosphere. Among the most populated towns is Chieti, which is called the “terrace of Abruzzo”. It is perched on a high hill, surrounded by mountains and the coast.
Chieti. Photo: AaronP65/flickr.com
Chieti is commonly divided into the old part, where ancient monuments are preserved, and the new part, the commercial center. The time spent in this town is remembered by tourists as the brightest moments of their stay in Abruzzo. It’s all about the abundance of attractions and museums. And Chieti has something to surprise guests – not without reason it is considered one of the oldest Italian cities.
Pescara. Photo: Roberto Taddeo/flickr.com
Pescara is another major city and cultural center of Abruzzo. Many people start their acquaintance with the region by visiting it, because it is the location of the international airport. Pescara is famous for its quality service: the city has equipped beaches, numerous restaurants and developed nightlife. Music and theater festivals are held every month, and several times a year – yacht tournaments.
L’Aquila. Photo: Roberto Taddeo/flickr.com
L’Aquila, the capital of the region, cannot be overlooked. Major earthquakes destroyed most of the city’s monuments. But that hasn’t stopped L’Aquila from retaining the charm of its elegant squares and basilicas. Abruzzo is worth visiting for a wander through the ancient streets and to feel the traditional atmosphere of Italy.
The region is characterized by a mild climate – Abruzzo is cooler than in the south of Italy, but much warmer than the northern regions. In summer on the coast the temperature averages +30°C, and the heat is easily tolerated. In the mountains the climate is cool, with snowy winters. The purest mountain air and favorable weather conditions allow to enjoy holidays in Abruzzo all year long.
Attractions in Abruzzo
Among the most important attractions in Abruzzo is Amiternum. This once prosperous Italian town has become an archaeological site. Today, Aminternum has many ancient monuments of interest: an amphitheatre, a Roman villa with frescoes and mosaics, an aqueduct and the remains of the thermae. And the sculptures found during the excavations can be seen in the Archaeological Museum of L’Aquila.
Not far from Chieti is Roccascalena Castle, built in the XII century on a rock. In the XVI century it was rebuilt: the walls were strengthened, the old towers were restored and new ones were built. The interesting thing about Roccascalenia is that its buildings and fortifications are on different levels and seem to be inscribed in the structure of the rock. Tourists can visit the courtyard, the chapel and several towers from different eras.
Since Abruzzo is known for its natural beauty, among the main attractions of the region are the national parks. In Lima Bianca tourists are offered horseback riding, bicycle tours and hikes. This reserve is almost untouched by civilization and is famous for its incredible number of rare animals. Mayella is another reserve for lovers of recreation surrounded by wildlife. There are museums for tourists, including a collection of archaeological finds from Mayella.
Abruzzo offers almost all kinds of recreation. Lately the region and the private sector have been investing in the development of health tourism. Abruzzo has it all: mountain air, clean environment, reasonable prices, proximity to the sea and of course, healthy waters. Spa centers offer recreation at thermal springs and dozens of procedures.
Beach recreation is what attracts thousands of tourists to Abruzzo. The resorts of Tortoreto, Silvi-Marina, Pineto and Pescara will delight you with their spacious beaches, quiet atmosphere and green scenery. Among the most popular resorts is Montecilvano. A small town will suit families and lovers of leisure. When choosing Abruzzo for a summer trip, it is worth taking into account the peculiarities of the landscape. The northern coast is rich with wide sandy beaches, while the southern coast is more rocky and stony, with small sandy coves.
The strength of tourism in Abruzzo is its winter recreation opportunities. There are well-equipped ski centers scattered throughout the region. Quality slopes are located in Roccaraso. The variety of choices will allow to have a good rest here both for professionals and beginners in skiing. In addition, Roccaraso attracts with ancient monuments and authentic cuisine. Scanno is no less interesting resort for winter holidays. Many hotels in the town have access to the slopes. Here work ski schools, rentals and health centers.
Shopping in Abruzzo
Shopping in Italy cannot be bad, and Abruzzo is no exception. Pescara is home to several good shopping centers with stores of Italian and international brands. Shopping lovers are advised to visit the town of Sant’Angelo, an outlet village with dozens of stores and year-round discounts. Every major town in Abruzzo has shopping streets where you can buy leather goods, accessories, clothing and antiques. As for traditional souvenirs, it is worth buying majolica ceramics, gold pieces from Scanno, known throughout Europe, or the finest textiles.
Do we book our hotel as usual on Bookings? It’s not just Bookings that exist in the world ( for the high percentage from hotels – we pay!). I’ve been using Rumguru for a long time, really more profitable than Bucking. And for tickets, go to airsales, as an option. It’s been known about for a long time . But there’s a better search engine – skyscanner – more flights, lower prices! . And finally, the main thing. How to go on a trip without getting completely bogged down? Buy a package tour. It’s the kind of thing that includes flight, lodging, meals, and a bunch of other goodies for good money .