Italy’s turbulent past has left many impressive castles and fortresses, here is our list of the most romantic citadels to visit on your luxury honeymoon in Italy.
These castles were built by rich noble families in order to protect themselves from local uprisings, bellicose neighbors and foreign invaders. Today, some of the castles are reduced to majestic ruins while many have been restored and turned into stunning museums and hotels, perfect destinations for a luxury honeymoon in Italy!
Castello di Tornano, Tuscany
Among wooded Chianti hills stands this 1000-year-old castle hidden from the view of curious passers-by. Romantic richly decorated rooms with canopied beds are named after famous lovers (Lancelot and Guinevere, Romeo and Juliet) or great women from the past (Catherine de Medici, Lucrezia Borgia). Candle-lit dinners, strolls in the castle’s vineyards or chilling out in the open-air rooftop Jacuzzi will make your visit unforgettable.
Odescalchi Castle, Lazio
Located a short distance from Rome, this 15th-century Odescalchi castle has been the residence of two powerful families, the Borgias and Orsini. Nowadays, it serves as a venue for lavish celebrity weddings: Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes were married here, as well as Petra Ecclestone, daughter of billionaire Formula One magnate Bernie Ecclestone. The castle is also home to a museum that has an excellent collection of ancient weapons, furniture and paintings, books and manuscripts, frescoes and decorations covering over six centuries.
Castello di Gabiano, Piedmont
This charming 8th century castle, only an hour’s drive from Milan, is famous for its huge labyrinth on the grounds, one of very few left in Europe. The owners, Marquises Cattaneo Adorno Giustiniani, have done a great job turning a part of the fortified complex into luxurious suites for guests. Guests can visit the castle’s peaceful vineyards and enjoy excellent Barbera wine, the Gabiano Reserve that has been produced in the estate since the 18th century.
Castello Bevilacqua, Veneto
What can be more romantic than a castle near Verona, the city of Romeo and Juliet?! In the 14th century Bevilacqua Castle you can walk through frescoed salons, admire the roof-garden, arcades, the hidden passage with a chance of meeting resident ghosts. After the visit stay in the castle’s elegant restaurant “All’Antica Ala” for a dinner in sophisticated Venetian Gothic surroundings.
Photos via Flickr by: Michele Piccardo, Luca Cerabona.