Italy is a country rich in history that transpires from every single monument. But thinking about ancient history, what better than the castles scattered in each region can tell the story of distant times ? Here then we want to propose the second stage of a short tour to discover castles in Lombardy!
Bergamo between the castle of San Vigilio and the Rocca
For years, a symbol of power today, the Castle of San Vigilio , albeit reduced to ruins, still reminds citizens and tourists of its former magnificence.
Located at 496 meters high , on the top of the hill that gives it its name, it allows you to sweep your gaze across the entire Bergamo area. Visiting it today means finding yourself among the four towers but also walking the secret passage that connected the castle with the Fort of San Marco.
Another point of particular importance is the Rocca di Bergamo . Composed of a quadrangular plan and four square towers, it offers a view that reaches as far as Milan. Today the fortress is part of the Museum of the Histories of Bergamo which also includes the Campanone, the Palazzo del Podestà, the Donizettiano Museum, the tower of the fallen and the Convent of San Francesco.
Rocca di Soncino and the nearby Pandino Castle
Not far from Milan meet the villages of Soncino and Pandino which both boast two particularly well-preserved castles.
In Soncino there is the Rocca Sforzesca , one of the most classic and best preserved examples of Lombard military architecture . Visiting the complex today means finding an imposing defensive castle surrounded by a moat and defensive towers on each side, one of which is cylindrical.
Inside the small courtyard with a well and, between the promenade that joins one tower and the other, the frescoes of the Milanese Stampa family are still visible . Climb up to the highest tower and lose yourself admiring the surrounding countryside from the small openings, you will certainly not be disappointed!
Pandino, for its part, presents a Sforzesco Castle which is still today one of the best examples of 14th-century Visconti architecture . Built around 1355 at the behest of Bernabò Visconti who wanted a country residence, it has a square plan with corner towers, like many complexes of the time.
Today, walking through its arcades allows you to admire some original decorations with floral and geometric motifs or come across the many events or exhibitions that take place in its rooms.
The castles on the lakes: from Desenzano to Rocca Borromea
For those looking for an unforgettable glimpse of the lake , do the northern lakes allow different places to choose from? A few examples? How about the Vezio Castle , just above Varenna? And again the Castle of Desenzano or the Rocca Borromeo in Angera ?
These last two sites in particular are placed not only as strategic points on the lake, but also as border places between Lombardy and Piedmont for the Rocca and Veneto for the Castle.
The Rocca Borromeo in particular is overlooking Lake Maggiore and from its rooms you can see unique views. Also not to be missed is the Doll and Toy Museum which showcases specimens from the 18th century to the present day.
The Castle of Desenzano, on the other hand, offers a unique view of Lake Garda from its keep and from the patrol walkway which is still practicable today.