The 5 Most Breathtaking Castles in Italy

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3. Aragonese Castle

Atop dramatic whitewashed cliffs that plunge into the deep blue sea thousands of feet below sits the utterly picturesque Aragonese Castle, near the Italian island of Ischia. The castle was actually built upon a large volcanic rock; today visitors can make their way to the castle via a 720-foot-long bridge that crosses over the water from Ischia. Built in 474 BC by Hiero I of Syracuse, Aragonese Castle served as a fortress that protected Ischia from the fearsome pirates that trolled the surrounding waters for centuries—although many of the churches, ramparts, and walls that dot the castle’s island were built between the 14th and 17th centuries. Today, the castle is Ischia’s most popular tourist attraction, with good reason. It’s hard to resist the romance of a cliff-top castle in the sea!

Aragonese Castle Italy

2. Castel dell’Ovo

Okay, we can’t talk about Castel dell’Ovo without talking about how the castle got its funny name—in Italian, “Castel dell’Ovo” translates to “Egg Castle”! Legend has it that Roman poet Virgil, who purportedly was pretty good at casting a spell, placed a magical egg in the castle’s foundations to support its fortifications. Well, the castle is still standing today, so maybe Virgil’s old egg trick had something to do with it! Today, visitors can explore the castle as it stands on the peninsula of Megaride in Naples. After exploring all the nooks, crannies, and cannons strewn about the castle grounds, head over to Borgo Marinaro, a small fishing village that first popped up beyond the castle’s walls in the 1800s, for a fresh meal of seafood at one of the village’s quaint, delicious restaurants.

Castel dell’Ovo Italy
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