Coffee, eyeglasses, mechanical clocks and liquor are some of the medieval period inventions that I am very grateful for. Without these, I am sure that a lot of people wouldn’t be able to function, nowadays. Kidding aside, another thing that amazed me which they started back in the middle ages were castles.
Not to be mistaken as a palace, a castle is a fortified structure. It was built for the nobilities because of the need to protect their resources and all their wealth. Maybe you’re looking for a place to go to that is unreal? I kid you not, these are the places you should visit.
The 12th century castle is located in the city of Besenello in the region of Trentino Alto Adige, north-east of Italy. The castle had many owners and underwent renovations during its lifetime. Sometime in the 1500s, it caught fire and had to change its appearance from a medieval castle to a residence but still retaining its aesthetic as a fortress.
Every castle is protected by a wall or “curtain”. Originally, it was made of very thick mud and stones to and goes up very high. This hinders the enemies from climbing up the wall and invading the castle. As an added line of defense, archers go up the wall and shoot arrows towards the attackers.
A castle’s tower is one of its highest parts. The best place to spot the nemeses and fire your weapons. Most importantly, this gives you the best view. Wouldn’t you want to visit this castle with your partner and witness this marvelous view while singing the lyrics to Ed Sheeran’s “Castle on the Hill”? It’s very appropriate, after all.
The fortress is built in 1056 in the town of Este and was ordered by the Marquis Alberto Azzo II. The oldest known name of the castle was “Castello Marchionale ”, but was later changed to ” Castello dei Carrarese” given by the lords of Padua who rebuilt the fortress after the Marquises of Este had moved to another town called Ferrara.
One of the towers in Castelo dei Carraresi, aside from having a defensive function, was used as an accommodation for the army troops. To experience something like living somewhere with rich history, not to mention a castle, is sensational. Today, one of its wings is now used as a national museum, the Atestino Archaeological Museum.
The castle was built in the 11th century in the town of Monselice, Padua in the Veneto region. It is an architectural complex with four cores. The Romanic House and the Castelletto were the first residential part of the castle. Later on in the 13th century, the Ezzeliniana Tower was built for defense. In 1405, the Ca’ Marcello started construction used as a summer house by the owner during that time—an aristocratic family. Lastly, the library was developed on the esplanade in front of the Tower.
Thirsty for history? You can swing by the Council Hall for a rich collection of tools in the medieval and Renaissance Romanesque House. The Studiolo “of Petrarch” reconstructed with fourteenth-century furnishings and the Armory, a precious room that houses one of the most important collections of arms and armor in Italy. Amuse yourself with rooms filled with furniture, paintings, sculptures, tapestries and Renaissance ceramics in the Ca’ Marcello wing.
The Venetian Courtyard was enhanced by the current owners in the 17th century. However, the oewnership of the castle was passed on to different families. The coup de grace is inflicted by the Royal Italian Army which during the First World War used the Castle for military purposes. It was abandoned in 1919. In 1935, the property passed by inheritance to Count Vittorio Cini, hence the name of the castle. Since 1981, the castle has been the property of the Veneto region.
Castello di Marostica
We know that castles are huge, right? This one is so big it has an upper and lower part of the castle. The upper castle is perched on a hill while the lower castle is on the main square. It is guarded by a wall 1,800 meters long. If you are up for the challenge, you may opt to climb up the Pausolino hill with zigzags and steep paths. You can, however, choose to go there in a more relaxed manner using a car. I say, if you don’t have any medical issues, go for it! It’s not everyday that you get to visit a castle, right? I suggest to visit around the second week of September to witness Marostica’s Chess festival. Legends say that there was once a beautiful lady which had two suitors. Instead of fighting the duel, they did a
We know that castles are huge, right? This one is so big it has an upper and lower part of the castle. The upper castle is perched on a hill while the lower castle is on the main square. It is guarded by a wall 1,800 meters long. If you are up for the challenge, you may opt to climb up the Pausolino hill with zigzags and steep paths. You can, however, choose to go there in a more relaxed manner using a car. I say, if you don’t have any medical issues, go for it! It’s not everyday that you get to visit a castle, right? I suggest to visit around the second week of September to witness Marostica’s Chess festival. Legends say that there was once a beautiful lady which had two suitors. Instead of fighting the duel, they did a chess match. Whoever wins gets the hand of the beautiful woman and the loser will marry the younger sister. Every year, there are many participants in a medieval costume and even life-sized human chess pieces.
The castle is built on the southern bank of Lake Garda in the center of Sirmione. It was built for the Della Scalla family or also known as “Scaligeri”. They were the ruling family in Verona and mainland Veneto for 125 years. The castle’s original use was to guard and defend the town as well as the lake from any attack.
What sets this castle apart is that other castles typically have a moat—a ditch filled with water surrounding the castle meant to drown invaders. This one is built not on a man-made body of water. During the 13th century, without our machinery today, that is a miracle.
The world that we live in today is very fast-paced and technologically advanced. It is imperative to disconnect and take a moment to breathe. Look back and enjoy how we’ve come to this.
Tell us about another castle you have visited. What was your experience? Let me know in the comments! Till then, Ciao!