If you travel through Italy, there’s a region you simply cannot miss: Tuscany. Known worldwide for its exciting past and cultural significance, its history dates back to ancient times. Set right between the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Apennine Mountains, it has been an important hub of commerce and culture ever since pre-Roman times. Later, during the Middle Ages, Tuscany played a major role in Italian politics and the rise of the city-states. This time has been characterized by the rise of powerful families, such as the Medici in Florence. They used their influence at the time to build numerous castles all over the region. These structures served not only as defenses. They were also symbols of wealth, power, and influence. Today, you can visit some of these castles in Tuscany and get a peek into the heart of Italian politics.
These castles in Tuscany are well worth a visit
Situated in the middle of lush green hills and vineyards, the castles of Tuscany are remainders of centuries of power and influence. From the medieval atmosphere of Nozzano to the stunning views from Vicopisano, you’re in for an exciting journey through the ages. Discover why these “old monuments” are so popular with visitors from around the world.
Castello di Nozzano (Lucca)
Located on the outskirts of Lucca, the Nozzano Castle is a destination that not many people know about. With roots tracing back to the 10th century, this structure still exudes medieval charm to this day. Here, visitors have the chance to take a peek at what the life of a noble family was like back in the day. As if that weren’t exciting already, this castle has reportedly seen its fair share of interesting visitors. For example, Dante Alighieri, the famous Italian poet, is rumoured to have spent part of his time in exile here. But Nozzano has more to offer than just a window to the past. Today, its courtyard is used to frequently host cultural events and performances. This combination of past stories and modern entertainment makes Nozzano an ideal destination for families or solo-travellers alike.
Address: Via di Nozzano, 54016 Nozzano (Lucca), Italy
Opening Hours: unknown
Rocca di Vicopisano (Pisa)
When you hear Pisa you’ll probably think of its famous leaning tower. While that structure is certainly worth a visit, it’s not the only attraction in the area, far from it. Another hidden gem is Vicopisano Castle. Towering over the hillside, visitors can enjoy views of the surrounding countryside. This well-preserved fortress used to be a noble homestead, in part because of its strategic location. If you’re visiting with your family, you’ll have the chance to dive into the medieval atmosphere and explore the castle’s towers and secret passages. Just like Nozzano, Vicopisano Castle also has a world-famous connection: it was once home to the mathematician and physicist, Galileo Galilei.
Address: Via del Pretorio, 56010 Vicopisano (Pisa), Italy
Opening Hours: Sat 3pm – 6.30 pm, Sun 10 am – 12 pm, 3 pm – 6.30 pm
Castello dell'Imperatore (Prato)
If you’re looking for a really imposing structure, Castello dell’Imperatore, or the Emperor’s Castle, is the place to visit. In the heart of Prato, this fortress is a stunning example of medieval grandeur and military architecture. Built by Frederick II in the 13th century, it has hosted illustrious guests such as Pope Alexander IV and Charles of Anjou – or so rumours say. Nowadays, families can wander through the castle’s towers or enjoy breathtaking views on its panoramic terrace. Whatever you prefer, you’ll find a calm escape within the city.
Address: Piazza Santa Maria delle Carceri, 59100 Prato PO, Italy
Opening Hours: Wed-Mon, 10 am – 4 pm
Castello dei Vicari (Lari)
Right by the quaint village of Lari, Castello dei Vicari is a Tuscan heritage site. Once a Medici residence, its origins date back to the 11th century. This fortress has witnessed plenty of historical events, offering visitors an exciting journey through time. The castle’s dungeons and towers promise an adventure for the whole family. If you’re in need of refreshments after your visit, the cobbled streets and artisan shops of Lari are just around the corner.
Address: Via del Castello, 1, 56035 Lari (Pisa), Italy
Opening Hours: Sat-Sun, 10:30 am – 12.30 pm, 3 pm – 6 pm
It's time for your historic Tuscany adventure
Despite Italy’s changing political landscape throughout the centuries, Tuscany’s castles have endured. Today, the architectural legacy of these castles is a testament to the region’s influence, culture, and Tuscany’s beautiful landscapes. Now is your chance to explore everything the region has to offer by booking your exclusive holiday home in the heart of history. Our selection of villas and apartments ensures that you can enjoy a luxurious stay as well as Tuscany’s cultural treasures. Book your retreat today and create lasting memories in this extraordinary piece of Italy.