You’ve probably heard of the saying when in Rome, do as the Romans did. But, did you know alongside their battles that the Romans built many castles to protect their beloved city?
In Rome or in a short distance from it you can visit castles like ; Castel Sant’angelo, Castel Gandolfo, Cecchignola castle, Castello Di Torescena, Santa Severa Castle, Castello di Tor Crescenza, Castello di Lunghezza, Castello di Decima.
These defensive structures have unique architecture and should not be missed off your list when visiting Rome.
What are the best Castles in Rome?
You can find many top castles in Rome, which are the following:
Castel Sant’angelo is referred to as the Mausoleum of Hadrian. It was initially built during 123-139 AD to serve as a tomb for the famous emperor Hadrian.
Since it was built, it was used as a tomb, fortress, castle and now stands as a museum. You can find this former castle in Parco Adriano, Rome.
At one point, this castle even served as Rome’s citadel! This castle is renowned for its round tower and medieval Bastians. It’s open most days, 9 AM-7 PM.
Castle Gandolfo is also the Pope’s summer residence and is full of religious paintings. This castle is situated around 25km from southeast of Rome in Italy’s Lazio region.
Its name derived from a fortification in the 12th century but was later reconstructed in the 16th century.
Castle Gandolfo also has some fantastic scenery surrounding it; it’s sat on top of a volcanic crater and faces a serene lake. Plus, if you want to have some food, there are some brilliant pizza places nearby to eat.
This castle is situated in the Giuliano Dalmata district and is first mentioned in historical documents in 1217.
Today it stands as an extensive library with beautiful grounds you can visit.
The estate has two large courtyards, a tower, a farmhouse and a small church. This former castle has neoclassical architecture and baroque style elements.
The Castles tower is 45 metres high and has notable 13th, 18th and 19th-century architecture signs.
Castello Di Torescena
Castello Di Torescena is situated a few kilometres away from Rome and is stunning to visit.
This castle was built in 1100 to protect the city from attackers and enemies. At first, it only stood as a tower and then began expansion over medieval times.
It has a medieval drawbridge, guesthouse, noble rooms and more to see.
Many famous painters such as Jean Baptiste Carrot, Nicolas Poussin and Claude Lorrain found their inspiration at this castle. Today you can even have receptions, weddings, ceremonies and private events there.
What Castles in Rome take less than a day to visit?
While there are many fantastic sights to see in Rome, sometimes you can only visit the best ones based on your time restrictions.
To help you see some of the castle cultures, here are the following castles which you can visit in less than one day.
Castel Sant’ Angelo
Castel Sant Angelo is nearby Rome, and you can visit in less than a day. The best thing to do is skip the queue and buy a ticket in advance.
It costs around $21.73, and you can go straight to the entrance. Such tickets allow you to see the visiting exhibitions also. On average, this castle takes about 1.5 to 2 hours to visit.
Santa Severa Castle
If you wish to travel a bit from Rome, there’s a castle you can visit which would take 4 hours to see including travel time. This medieval castle is on the north coast of Rome.
It’s a stunning medieval fortress in the shape of a rectangle overlooking the sea. It also has an attractive old stone courtyard.
This castle is located in the province of Rome, and it will take you less than a day to visit. It was built in the 15th century and situated on the shoreline of Lake Bracciano.
It has a military defence structure and is one of the best-maintained castles in Italy. The castle has undergone many renovations and has beautiful ceilings and friezes.
This castle appears in many famous films such as Coco Chanel, Othello, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Masters of Florence and more.
Did Romans build any castles?
Romans did not build castles; in fact, they built fortresses. So it’s no surprise that Roman Castles made later do have similarities to Medieval Castles to stop invasions. Roman fortifications would have a square layout on flat ground in comparison to castles. Most of their forts were built on hilltops and would have a distinctive design.
They had forts because Rome had a military and a strong state and far fewer noblemen to live in Castles.
Therefore a lot of the military would commonly reside in the fortresses. So a lot of the Castles in Rome you see today have been modified from Roman forts.
If you’re planning on visiting Rome, you should pay a visit to some of the epic castles situated on the inside and outskirts of the city.
While you can see major attractions like the Vatican, the castles are something you should not miss out on.
Often a lot of these castles have been built from fortresses and have a lot of history surrounding them.
Some castles you can visit are Castle Saint’ Angelo, Castle Gandolfo, Santa Severa Castle, Orsini-Odescalchi Castle and more.
You will find some of them take less than a day to explore. While castles are not as famous as the main sights, you should still not underestimate their visitors.
It’s best to book online in advance to skip the lines and allow you to squeeze in as much as possible.
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