To be honest, when you think of Italy, you don’t really think of castles. Thoughts of foods, rolling hills, monuments, beautiful villages and vineyards are probably first to come to mind when thoughts of Italy come a-brewing but its without a shadow of a doubt worth noting that Italy is not just made up of delicious gelato stands, historic monuments, and atmospheric churches – it’s also a place with some of the most majestic and inspiring castles in the world.

To that end, here are 10 amazing castles you have to visit when next you’re in Italy!

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1.) Scaligero Castle, Lake Garda

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Dating as far back as the 13th century, Scaligero Castle has long been an inspiration to artists and painters. The castle sits in the town of Sirimone on Lake Garda which means that you can enjoy some of the most stunning views of the land from the top.

2.) Castel dell’Ovo, Naples

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Literally meaning Egg Castle, there is a rather romantic legend about a magic egg that was used as a support under the foundations of this castle. Built in the 12th century by the Normans, there is no way of knowing if this is true, 😉 but the castle is magnificent nonetheless.

3.) Rocca Maggiore, Assisi

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A castle that dates from the 12th century, Rocca Maggiore sits atop the Assisi Hill. As such you can expect fantastic views that on a clear day stretch all the way cross Umbria and is definitely worth popping into when soaking in the amazing sights of Umbria.

4.) Fortress of St Nicola, Tremiti Islands

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This magnificent castle is actually set on a cliff top on the sun-drenched isle of Tremiti. Access to the castle is by boat, where you will be surrounded by the turquoise waters of the Adriatic Sea. Needless to say, this is another castle you should definitely visit for the view of the surrounds.

5.) Odescalchi Castle, Bracciano

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If you are visiting Rome and fancy a scenic day trip then Odescalchi Castle is a gorgeous castle from the 15th century. It is also most famous for being the former home of several prominent papal families.

6.) Aragonese Castle, Ischia

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Sitting on a volcanic island, Aragonese Castle is accessible from Ischia by a small bridge. Amazingly, it dates from the 5th century and was built to protect the area from pirates and still looks as dramatic now from the surrounding mainland.

7.) Castell’Arquato, Emilia-Romagna

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Built in the 8th century, this is a castle that also encompasses a town. The town, within the castle walls, looks much as it would have in days gone by so it is the ideal place to come if you want a flavour of how the Middle Ages would have felt.

8.) Castle of Fenis, Valle d’Aosta

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If you fancy a visit to the Italian Alps then Castle of Fenis is a great place to visit. It dates back to the 13th century but one of its best features are the views of the rather impressive mountains that surround it.

9.) Belfort Castle, Trentino

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Constructed in the 14th century, this castle is well known for being one of the most romantic in the region – part of the reason behind this of course is that rather than being well preserved, it has been allowed to crumble gracefully. I’d say less romantic and more amazing but hey ho… 😉

10.) Sforza Castle, Milan

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Smack in the centre of Milan is one of Italy’s more impressive castles. It’s within walking distance from the Duomo so you have almost no reason not to pop into this castle when you’re in Milan.

Image via 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10

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  • and here I always thought France was where they had all the castles! 😉 Great picks


    • HandLuggageOnly

      Haha! We often thought the same too Victoria! 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • You’re right – I definitely don’t think of castles when I think of Italy! They’re all so beautiful, I’m not sure which one I’d visit first!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Exactly, they’re beautiful aren’t they! 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • I have been to Italy many times but I have never seen any of these, so pretty!

    xx Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Yay! So glad we’ve introduced some new places to you Kelly! You’ll love them – there really are some gems to see.

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Mandira Adhikari

    We just came back from Italy and we did not visit any of these! Too bad!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      That just makes for an excuse to return, eh? 😉 Haha!

      Lloyd & Yaya

  • I’ve done three from your list: Sirmione, Naples and Milano

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Yay! We’re itching to get back to Italy now and discover the south coast beyond Naples. Such an incredible country!

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Elisa

    In Italy there are less castle than other nations because they built palaces instead. Can I suggest you my favorite? Castello di Miramare near Trieste. It was builtin the 1860 by the brother of the Emperor Franz Joseph (Trieste was Austrian for 5 centuries) and it’s very beautiful, a shinning white between the blue of the sea, the green of the park and the grey of the Alps behind.

    • HandLuggageOnly

      This is so true, there are loads of beautiful palaces aren’t there!

      Ohhhh, we haven’t visited Castello di Miramare! That’s it, we have an excuse to return now! 😉

      Thanks so much for introducing it to us Elisa.

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • number 1 and number 5 are GORGEOUS!
    amazing post. thanks for sharing =]

    Jade –

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks Jade! There really are so many lovely castles aren’t there!

      Italy rocks!!! 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx