Towering spires, romantic ruins, and incredible locations among seaside cliffs or verdant valleys—we’ve got to say, the castles of Italy have really got it all. The boot-shaped country boasts incredible fortifications up and down its coasts that have helped guard its residents for centuries. But we must say, some Italian castles just have a little bit more going on than others. On your next Italian getaway, consider making a pit stop at one of these particularly picturesque castles in Italy:
Looming high above the hilltop town of Assisi you’ll find the Rocca Maggiore, an impressive fortification that dates back all the way to the 1100s. The crumbling crenelations and pinkish glow of the bricks make this a handsome castle indeed—and the view from the top of the castle isn’t bad either. Tourists who make the trek up to the hilltop that Rocca Maggiore rests upon are rewarded with sweeping views of the lush Spoleto Valley below. The town of Assisi is famously known for being the birthplace of Saint Francis, so the Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi in town gets quite crowded. If you want to skip the crowds and queues, head up to the Rocca Maggiore; during the weekdays, you just might have the castle all to yourself!
When you think of the platonic idea of a romantic, crumbling castle, Belfort Castle near Spormaggiore is probably exactly what you imagined. Surrounded by verdant green hills, valleys, and forests, the castle lies in partial ruins today, but it was once an imposing fortress that was built to protect the districts of Andalo and Molveno. The castle’s tall tower and grey, weathered bricks will have visitors harkening back to a time of kings and knights in shining armor. Built way back in 1311 by the Count of Tyrol, Belfort Castle was actually burnt down in a fire in the 1600s before being reconstructed in 1670 by the Count of Saracini. After a long day of exploring the castle grounds, head to the nearby province of Trentino to taste the region’s unique dishes of German influence, including hearty traditional bread dumplings.
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