Italian Castles

Italy's central location made this country an important bridge between Eastern and Western cultures. Stone strongholds were built on this land for centuries, starting with the Etruscans, Phoenicians, Greeks and the Romans.

This land is rich in architectural history, and is famed for magnificent ruins of arches, amphitheaters, tombs, temples, palaces and bridges. Many of these buildings had humble beginnings, and grew as the centuries progressed.

Many medieval Italian castles have their origins from feuding families, and quarrelsome aristocrats. Sometimes, entire cities would be walled to provide protection for its inhabitants. Wealthy families would construct residential towers for their relatives. Some excellent examples of Italian castles and fortifications constructed by Italy's merchant princes have been preserved in cities like Florence, Bologna, and Volterra.

Castles in southern Italy were influenced by invading Normans who ventured this direction to attack the Byzantines and Moslems. Large Norman towers can be seen in the towns of Apulia. Medieval Italian architecture is an eclectic blend of Norman, Islamic, and Oriental styles, which produced very unique fortifications, each adopting a blend of elements from each culture.