Castello di Passirano in Franciacorta

Tour of Brescia’s castles

Brescia is a land of never-ending surprises. With dozens of castles, the province of Brescia is the place to be to learn about medieval fortifications, historic battles, and local aristocracy.

While some castles are in ruins, several fortifications can still be visited today: come with us to discover Brescia’s castles!

Castles in Franciacorta and Lake Iseo

Several tourists choose Franciacorta as their relaxing holiday destination. In addition to the renowned Franciacorta DOCG wine and the gentle hills dotted with vineyards, Franciacorta attracts tourists thanks to its food&wine offering and stunning views of nearby Lake Iseo. This area is a true treasure trove for visitors.

Not-to-miss visits include numerous local castles like Castello di Bornato, Castello di Passirano and the ones by the lake like Castello Carmagnola in Clusane, Castello Oldofredi in Monte Isola, and Castello Lantieri in Paratico. Ancient walls and mighty towers define the horizon and create evocative scenes.

Castello di Passirano in Franciacorta
Castello di Passirano
Castello di Bornato in Franciacorta
Castello di Bornato

Camonica Valley’s castles

When you mention castles in Camonica Valley, your mind immediately goes to Castello di Breno. Initially, it was a combination of towers and manor houses which was subsequently turned into a military fortification. The visit to the main tower is very interesting; it reaches a height of 20 m and is the best preserved element of the structure.

Castello di Breno in Valle Camonica
Castello di Breno

Always in Camonica Valley, other noteworthy castles are Castello di Cimbergo, in an exceptional position perched over a stream, and Castello di Gorzone.

Castello di Cimbergo in Valle Camonica
Castello di Cimbergo

Castles and fortifications in Valtènesi and Lake Garda

One highly recommended activity off the coast of Lake Garda is the Valtènesi Castle tour. The area boasts several medieval sites nestled in charming old towns, vineyards, and olive gardens with stunning views of Lake Garda.

Castello di Padenghe in Valtènesi
Castello di Padenghe

In addition to the remains of Rocca di Manerba – located in a splendid position on a spur where a cross was also placed and which represents one of the best panoramic spots in lower Lake Garda – the surrounding areas are full of interesting sites such as Padenghe, Moniga, Soiano, Polpenazze, and Puegnano castles. Just south, Castello di Pozzolengo is equally noteworthy. This majestic fortification protects the ruins of the church dedicated to St. Lawrence Martyr.

Rocca di Manerba a Manerba del Garda - lago di Garda
Rocca di Manerba

Other southern Lake Garda highlights are Castello di Desenzano, the Visconti-Venetian-style fortification which dominates the town of Lonato del Garda, and Scaligeri Castle in Sirmione, in a strategic position at the entrance to the historic centre.

Sirmione, lago di Garda_@visitbrescia
Sirmione con il castello e la darsena

Castles and fortifications in Brescia’s plain

The tour continues in Brescia’s plain, where in addition to famous  Castello di Padernello you have other important sites: Castello Martinengo in Villachiara, Castello di Villagana (in a Villachiara hamlet) with Renaissance portico, tower, and loggia, and Castello di Barco, famous for its Italian gardens and fountains with water games.

Castello Martinengo, Villachiara
Castello di Martinengo, Villachiara

Other cultural and historical heritage landmarks in Brescia’s plain are Castello Bonoris in Montichiari, built in the 19th century on the ruins of an old medieval fortification, Rocca di Orzinuovi, today hosting an exhibition centre and the civic library, and Castello – Rocchetta and Torre del Popolo in Palazzolo sull’Oglio

castello-bonoris-montichiari
Castello Bonoris, Montichiari

Brescia’s Castle, the symbol of the city

Our tour ends in Brescia, with its castle dominating the city and the surrounding area from the top of a hill. In a strategic position on Cidneo hill and easily reachable with a 15-minute walk from the old centre, the “Falcon of Italy” is a favourite destination for relaxing walks and numerous cultural initiatives. Mastio Visconteo, the main tower, hosts Luigi Marzoli Arms Museum. But there is more: have you seen the two stunning model train displays?

Give yourself the gift of this exciting tour of Brescia’s castles!

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