On the hill above the Barone Ricasoli Winery tasting room sits Brolio Castle. Although the castle itself isn't open to visitors, the gardens can be visited and the castle seen from the outside. There are great views from the castle and there's a small but interesting castle museum in one of the towers that's open to the public. After the seeing the castle, go down the hill for wine tasting or dine in the very good Osteria del Castello.
Poppiano Castle is a small castle in the Florentine Hills of the Chianti wine region. The owners produce wine and visitors can taste wine at the castle. Poppiano Castle is in walking distance of Le Torri Holiday Apartments (read review).
Castel dell' Ovo, or Egg Castle, is the oldest castle in Naples. It sits in a beautiful position in a little island in Naples' harbor where the original city was founded in the 6th century BC. The castle is used for exhibitions and concerts and is a popular place for weddings. The Castel Nuovo, or new castle is a huge castle erected in 1279-1282. Inside it is the Civic Museum with 14th-15th century frescoes and paintings, silver, and bronzes from the 15th century to present. Naples Pictures
on Europe Travel includes pictures of both castles.
© Steve Parode
The southern Italy region of Puglia, known as the Heel of the Boot, is home to many castles and fortresses including the unusual octagonal Csstel del Monte, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Here are six of the top castles to see in the region.
Castello della Manta is a Gothic castle in the Piemonte region south of Turin. Inside are stunning freeoes from the early 15th century.
Martha Bakerjian, licensed to about.com
Rapallo, on the Italian Riviera near the Cinque Terre, has a tiny picturesque castle in the sea. It was built in 1551 to guard against pirate attacks. Rapallo also has a small historic center that's interesting to walk around.
by Secret Gardens Italy
Ruspoli Castle, in northern Lazio region near Viterbo, was built in the 9th century and has beautiful formal gardens dating from the 17th century. Princess Claudia Giada Ruspoli owns the castle. Past guests include the composer Handel who spent time at the castle writing music.
Sarzanella Castle is in Liguria near the border of Tuscany. Sarzana, a small walled town famous for its antique shops, has two castles - one in town and this picturesque castle in the countryside overlooking Sarzana. From the castle are views of picturesque hill towns nearby.
Rocca dei Rettori stands at the high point of Benevento, a town in the inland part of southern Italy's Campania region. The tower was built in 871 by the Lombards in a spot that had been an important defensive position in Roman times when it overlooked two major Roman roads. The more modern Palazzo dei Governatori (now the Palazzo dei Prefettura) was added by the Popes in the 1320s and has a museum of contemporary art.
Nancy Parode takes a look at castles in the Abruzzo capital of L'Aquila, Sermoneta's castle south of Rome, and a castle in northern Italy's Trento region in her photo gallery, Castles of Italy.
Some castles have been converted into very nice hotels, vacation apartments or bed and breakfast inns. I stayed in an apartment in Castello Ripa d'Orcia a few years ago and would recommend it as a good place to stay when visiting Tuscany. a castle that's been converted into weekly vacation apartments and a small B&B. From the castle there are great views of the beautiful Orcia Valley. Here's a sampling of Castle Hotels in Italy, including Castello Ripa d'Orcia.
Here's a roundup of the of some of the world's most romantic castles, including medieval castles and modern-day recreations of castle architecture, from Jackie Craven, our guide to Architecture.