The best castles in Tuscany Italy dot the marvelous hills and make the scenery even more charming. In Tuscany the beauties are endless! Between enchanted villages, dream landscapes, and cities of art, this region is the ideal destination for a memorable holiday in Italy. Moreover, the medieval past has left Tuscany a heritage of magnificent castles and fortresses, that are worth a visit.
Castles evoke the imagination of knights, drawbridges, and dark forests and push those who visit them to fantasize about medieval duels or Renaissance revenge, however, castles are not always as we imagine them. Sometimes they are just huge and sumptuous buildings. And castles in Tuscany have both characteristics.
10 best castles in Tuscany Italy
There are many castles in Tuscany, however, we tried to make a mini ranking of the 10 castles that are worth to be seen. We’ve also got covered the most beautiful castles in Lazio, and castles in the Campania region as well! Discover some of the best castles in Tuscany Italy, along with some highlights such as the castle of Sammezzano in Reggello Tuscany!
1. Valenzano Castle
Valenzano castle is located in Subbiano near Arezzo. Its origin dates back to the Lombard domination between the end of the 9th and the beginning of the 10th century. The original castle belonged to the Subbiano lords.
Thus at the beginning of the twentieth century a patron, fascinated by the walls of the castle of Brolio, decided to build his dream castle in perfect neo-Gothic style. The result of this dream is the castle of Valenzano in the form we can see today. As it is one of the most beautiful castles in Tuscany, it is used for events and weddings.
2. Vincigliata Castle
Vincigliata Castle is one of the best castles in Tuscany Italy. The complex dates back to around 1030. The castle was hit by great decay and only in 1850 when it was bought by the wealthy Englishman John Temple Leader began the renovation process which lasted about 10 years.
During the Second World War, the castle was used as a prisoner of war camp. In addition to the magnificent structure, the gardens are of overwhelming beauty.
3. Fosdinovo Castle
The construction of this imposing fortress began in the mid-twelfth century. It is the classic fairytale castle with a quadrangular plan and four rounded towers, walkways above the roofs, and a central internal courtyard.
Fosdinovo castle has a large entrance hall, a dining room with an 18th-century fireplace, and a trap room with a torture room underneath. The exterior appears so mighty due to the presence of towers and bastions, however, the interiors are a refined stately home with frescoed rooms.
As one of the best castles in Tuscany Italy to visit, Fosdinovo houses a museum, a cultural center dedicated to contemporary arts, a residence for artists and writers, and a small bed and breakfast. The Castle organizes workshops, medieval re-enactments, Dante’s readings, and visits managed by historians and archaeologists.
4. Poppiano Castle
It is a fascinating castle in Montespertoli, Chianti region. Poppiano is a place full of history, in addition, families can enjoy a lot of activities. Tourists love the tradition of good food and wine, and of its famous vin santo. A castle was built around the year 1000. It is now the property of the Guicciardini family.
The Castle played a part in the defense system of Florence and for this very reason, it was attacked and almost destroyed during the famous siege of Florence in 1529. The Castle is on a hill, overlooking the medieval village. It has a crenelated tower that tourists can visit, with the historic vinsanteria inside, where Vinsanto Guicciardini wine is still produced.
5. Meleto Castle
Benedictine monks owned the Meleto castle. We have evidence of this castle from the early 1100s. It stands on the border between Siena and Florence. The castle was also the scene of furious battles between the Guelphs and Ghibellines in the past.
It was the site of the Aragonese invasion of Chianti in 1478 and was also besieged during the Medici war. Meleto Castle is another of the best castles in Tuscany Italy to visit!
6. Poppi Castle
The Poppi Castle is located in the municipality of Poppi, in the province of Arezzo. Built roughly around the year 1000, then it went through a renovation in 1274, in addition, this castle has historic importance because was the location of one of the most famous battles between Guelphs and Ghibellines in 1289.
Also, Dante Alighieri participated in the fight. The victory of the Guelphs in this battle paved the way for the hegemony of Florence over the whole of Tuscany. With its shape, it appears almost suspended in the void at the sight of those who observe it from below.
It is unthinkable to leave the Poppi Castle without visiting the Rilliana Library with its heritage of 25,000 ancient volumes. Instead, there are 104 steps to climb one by one to reach the belfry at the top of the castle tower. Is it worth walking them? Yes, to discover the ancient and surprising clock mechanism and to enjoy the view.
7. Sammezzano Castle
The castle of Sammezzano in Reggello Tuscany, is famous for its Moorish and eccentric architecture, in addition, it is a unique place for its decorations. The main building is an eccentric construction in orientalist style, the result of the nineteenth-century renovation.
Unfortunately today the castle is closed and not accessible, moreover, the entire property including the park is in a state of neglect.
8. Brolio castle
What castle would it be without a ghost legend? It also happens with the Castello di Brolio which for over 10 centuries has dominated the valleys in the southern part of the Chianti. In fact, a local legend tells that on full moon nights the ghost of Baron Bettino Ricasoli roams around the castle.
The castle we see today is the result of the reconstruction commissioned by Bettino Ricasoli in the nineteenth century. The owner’s family still lives in the castle.
Among the best castles in Tuscany Italy, this one is a good choice if you visit it with your family. Visitors have several options. Firstly, the double visit to the gardens and the museum, secondly the guided tours. Brolio4Kids, for instance, promotes activities for children aged 3 to 12 years.
9. Boccale castle
The Boccale Castle is located in Livorno. The castle cannot be visited and dates back to the second half of the 19th century when it was built over a Medici tower in 1595. Boccale Castle is one of the most amazing castles in Tuscany to take romantic pictures of.
It was one of the many watchtowers that protected the coast in a complex defense system. It was in charge of reporting the dangers coming from the sea. Boccale Castle is definitely one of the most beautiful castles in Italy!
10. Volpaia Castle
Among the best castles in Tuscany Italy, we find the elegant Volpaia. It is a fortified medieval village in Radda in Chianti. The Mascheroni Stianti family, the owner of the castle, has preserved the ancient traditions. They respect the agricultural vocation of the area, linked to wine, oil, and gardens.
Consequently, families with children who visit the Volpaia Castle and perhaps decide to stay for one or more days in one of the restored farmhouses can find an ideal world.
Wrapping up the 10 best castles in Tuscany Italy
Such as the castle of Sammezzano in Reggello Tuscany, and other beautiful castles in Tuscany to explore we’re now at the end of the topic. Castles are fascinating places and often full of mysteries. They occupy our imagination and our dreams. Luxurious castles and defensive castles, castles scenes of sieges and battles: in short, there is space for anyone’s fantasies.