- Art & Culture
Lombardy in 5 Castles
Impregnable fortresses, with enchanting lake views, legends of ghosts. Five castles in Lombardy to be visited
Magical places, where visitors can experience all the delights, art and culture. From Maplaga Castle in Cavernago (province of Bergamo) to Grumello Castle in Montagna in Valtellina
5 fotresses rich in history, art and culture to be discovered
1. Malpaga Castle - Cavernago
From the outside this castle is an impregnable fortress. Inside is ample evidence of a court which enjoyed the finer things in life, with a lively interest in art and culture.The Malpaga Castle is located in Cavernago, a small town within the Serio Nature Reserve.
It was bought in 1456 by Bartolomeo Colleoni, a condottiere originally from Bergamo – Captain general of the Republic of Venice. To this day the castle is surrounded by farmland and is the centre of many projects under the aegis of Permalpaga, an organisation aimed at innovating local agriculture, developing sustainable energy alternatives and restoring the ancient town centre as a hub of social life, events and cultural activities.
2. Padernello Castle – Rocca San Giacomo
It was built at the end of the 14th century by the Martinengo family, who owned it until the death of the last heir. After changing owners a few times, the castle was abandoned in 1961 until in 2006 the Padernello Castle Foundation started a long series of renovation projects.Today the castle hosts a variety of cultural, artistic events, food and wine tastings and is the seat of one of the two “Earth Markets” organised by the Slow Food Association in Lombardy.
3. Vezio Castle - Varenna
Vezio Castle is located on a cape at the centre of Lake Como, overlooking the town of Varenna.Surrounded by a beautiful olive grove, one of the most northerly in the world, gently nurtured by the mild climate of the lake, the castle’s atmosphere is magical: the beautiful views of the lake and surrounding area can be admired from different parts of the castle including the top of the tower.The castle is now home to a falconry centre, the perfect setting to learn more about this ancient medieval art – which has recently been granted status as an intangible heritage of humanity by UNESCO.
Castle of Vigevano - Vigevano
The Castle of Vigevano is considered one of the biggest fortified structures in Europe, occupying 70 thousand square metres. All the buildings within the walls are connected. The best way to explore the castle and to enjoy its magical atmosphere is to get lost in its
maze of rooms and halls. It is now home to the Lomellina National Archaeological Museum where visitors can admire archaeological finds from the many excavation sites in the region, alongside some pieces found by chance, and discover a very detailed history of the costumes and traditions of this area.
Grumello Castel – Montagna in Valtellina
Today there is very little left of the military outpost, but it is still worth a visit to admire the breathtaking view on the Valtellina Alps from the top of the hill and enjoy the solemn atmosphere of the imposing ruins. The castle formerly belonged to the Reschigna Kettlitz family, who revitalised wine-making in the Grumello area and who still organise wine tours, but since 1987 the castle itself has been entrusted to the FAI (Italian National Trust) which has overseen the partial renovations and uses it to host different types of cultural events.