The Best Italian Castles You Can Actually Stay In

From lakeside to hilltop, you can feel like royalty on your holiday with a stay in one of Italys castles
From lakeside to hilltop, you can feel like royalty on your holiday with a stay in one of Italy's castles | Courtesy of Castello Banfi / Expedia
Mark Nayler

The next best thing to buying your own castle is spending the night in one – whether it’s in Sicily, Venice or Lake Como. From a medieval fortress in Tuscan vineyards to a former royal palace overlooking Mount Etna, these are Italy’s best castles to spend the night.

One of the most enjoyable ways to soak up Italy’s culture is to stay in its historic castle-hotels. Set in vast expanses of gardens, olive groves and vineyards, these storied properties are hundreds of years old, and instantly take you back to a time of louche elegance and refined hedonism. Here, we’ve brought together the best Italian castles you can actually book, including former royal residences, medieval hamlets transformed into luxury resorts, and country retreats surrounded by renowned vineyards.

Belmond Castello di Casole

Hotel, Villa

A suite at Belmond Castello di Casole with stone walls and luxurious furnishings.
Courtesy of Belmond Castello di Casole / Expedia
This impeccably restored 10th-century castle is set deep in the Tuscan countryside, an hour’s drive south of Florence. The site itself dates from the Bronze Age and comprises a game reserve with populations of hare, pheasant and deer, as well as a 25-acre (10ha) organic vineyard and 30-acre (12ha) olive grove. Sample Belmond’s private-label Si di Si wine along with Tuscan cuisine at the castle’s elegant restaurant, or with canapés at the Enchanted Table, an other-wordly spot in the surrounding forest.

Castel Monastero

Spa Hotel

The infinity pool at Castel Monastero with views of the castle behind.
Courtesy of Castel Monastero / Expedia
This rural resort consists of an entire medieval hamlet, complete with its own piazza and church. Situated 27 kilometres (17 miles) east of Siena, the village’s main building served as a monastery in the 11th century, before becoming the country seat of a wealthy Sienese family in the 13th century. Rooms and suites at this castle in Tuscany overlook Chianti vineyards and chestnut forests, and showcase original features such as wooden beams, antique furniture and terracotta floors. Modern add-ons include an outdoor pool, a spa and two restaurants.

Castello di Velona Resort

Luxury, Resort

Castello di Velona as seen from its luxurious pool area at dusk.
Courtesy of Castello di Velona Resort / Expedia

Open your windows onto one of the world’s finest wine-producing valleys at the Castello di Velona, a thermal resort in the Val d’Orcia, home to the prestigious Brunello di Montalcino varieties. Two types of accommodation are available in a restored 11th-century castle in Tuscany: Monumental Rooms, rendered in traditional Tuscan castle-style; and the contemporary Unesco View Rooms. Natural thermal water runs from the taps and the sunset can be enjoyed from private terraces. Take away a bottle or two of the hotel’s own wine, considered one of the best in the area.

Castello di Guarene

Luxury, Hotel

The impressive exterior of Castello di Guarene fronted by elegant topiary and a fountain feature set against a blue sky.
Courtesy of Castello di Guarene / Expedia

Italian royalty once holidayed at this Renaissance castle in Guarene, just an hour from Turin. Built by amateur architect Carlo Giacinto Roero in the 18th century, its entrance hall and 15 bedrooms are a historical attraction in their own right, featuring a display of traditional womens’ attire from the 17th and 18th centuries. Guest rooms and suites are just as grand, and look out over the Unesco-protected landscapes of the Langhe, the gardens or the Alps.

Relais Castello Bevilacqua

Independent Hotel

An ornate fourposter bed with silk curtains and decorative columns in a grand room with antique furniture at Relais Castello Bevilacqua, Italy
Courtesy of Relais Castello Bevilacqua / Expedia

The 13th-century Relais Castello Bevilacqua is one of the most storied castles in this list: originally a defensive fortress, it underwent significant restorations in the 16th and 18th centuries, served as a German command post during World War II and afterwards as a Salesian college. Restored by the Cerato family in the early 1990s, it now offers opulent period accommodations, hanging gardens and a restaurant specialising in Venetian cuisine.

Castello Banfi

Boutique Hotel

A view of the grand Castello Banfi with the rolling Tuscan countryside behind.
Courtesy of Castello Banfi / Expedia

The task of reimagining this medieval hamlet was entrusted to legendary Neopolitan designer Federico Forquet in the 1960s. Located an hour’s drive south of Siena, it’s surrounded by the award-winning vineyards of the Mariana family (producers of the Banfi brand), which you can explore on guided horseback tours. Sample the celebrated final product during tasting sessions in the historic cellars, or paired with Tuscan cuisine at on-site restaurant La Sala dei Grappoli. You’ll also have access to an 18-hole golf course.

Castello di Monterone

Boutique Hotel

A swimming pool and the exterior of the Castello di Monterone, Italy
Courtesy of Castello di Monterone / Expedia

Situated in the Umbrian countryside, 3km (1.8 miles) outside Perugia, the Castello di Monterone dates at least from the 11th century. There are 18 rooms in which minimalist decor highlights the property’s medieval charm, with beds and furniture handmade by specialist wood and iron artisans. For an immersive experience, book the Camera del Drago, a room with an original tile portraying a dragon. Overlooking the castle’s 13th-century well, it’s said to be the resident ghost’s favourite spot.

Castello di Vicarello


A conservatory dining room with taxidermy and candlesticks dressed on the table and vines creeping up and around the conservatory walls and roof outside at Castello di Vicarello
Courtesy of Castello di Vicarello / Expedia

Built over 900 years ago by the Republic of Siena, the Castello di Vicarello is set in 100 acres (40ha) of olive groves, farmland and vineyards. Each room has a unique feature, from panoramic views in the Suite Torre to a hot tub fashioned out of a huge wine barrel in the Spa Suite. Breakfast shows off ingredients from the estate’s gardens, bees and hens, while candlelit dinners are served on a terrace overlooking Tuscany’s Maremma countryside.

Castello di Spaltenna

Boutique Hotel

The landscaped lawn and sun loungers arranged around the pool in front of the grand exterior of the Castello di Spaltenna, Italy
Courtesy of Castello di Spaltenna / Expedia

Accommodations at Castello di Spaltenna are in rooms and suites in the castle itself, two private villas, and the self-catering Spa apartments, located a five-minute walk away in the walled medieval village of Vertine. All feature classic touches such as handmade Tuscan furniture, wrought iron or four-poster beds and richly embroidered fabrics. Explore the vineyards and medieval villages of the Chianti region. Dine at Il Pievano, the Michelin-starred in-house restaurant where over 500 varieties of wine are available.

Il Castello di Bibbione

Boutique Hotel

Il Castello di Bibbione lit up at dusk
Courtesy of Il Castello di Bibbione / Expedia

Situated in the heart of the Chianti region, this 9th-century castle was originally owned by the Machiavelli family. Tours of the property are followed by tastings, allowing you to sample Bibbione’s olive oil and Merlot and Sangiovese wines. Accommodation is provided by self-catered one- or two-bedroom apartments, some featuring antique fireplaces, or the Il Poggio villa, which sleeps up to twelve and has its own garden and pool. All guests have access to an infinity pool with Chianti views.

Castello San Marco

Spa Hotel, Hotel

A cream coloured suit with antique-style furniture at Castello San Marco Charming Hotel & Spa, Italy

Sicily’s Castello San Marco was built at the end of the 17th century for the Prince of Palagonia, and amazingly survived the earthquake of 1693, the biggest in recorded Italian history. It’s situated practically on the slopes of Mount Etna. The building houses rooms and suites that could sleep a pampered prince, set in fragrant gardens of lemon, orange and olive trees. On-site amenities include a pool, an illuminated tennis court and a Sicilian restaurant.

Eremo della Giubiliana


A hotel room and private terrace at Eremo della Giubiliana, Italy
Courtesy of Eremo della Giubiliana / Expedia
Luxury is the name of the game here. This stone estate dates back to the 12th century. It served as a convent, a monk’s cell and a country home, so this castle un Sicily has a fantastically mixed history. Quaint cottages are dotted between lemon groves, each with a private garden, fireplace and period furnishings. The hotel’s private beach is a slice of Mediterranean paradise. You’ll also get a taste of the island through the traditional Sicilian dishes, prepared with the organic fruits and vegetables produced right on the grounds.

Castello delle Quattro Torra, Siena

Bed and Breakfast, Apartment

a grand lounge and dining room at Castello Delle Quattro Torra, Italy
Courtesy of Castello delle Quattro Torra, Siena /

This beautiful four-towered castle in Tuscany is just a 15-minute drive from Siena and an hour from Florence. The place has been carefully restored to keep intact the beautiful brickwork, the high ceilings and terracotta flooring. There’s a welcoming, intimate atmosphere, and the staff are very helpful booking tours or day trips around the area. Make sure you book a table at the nearby farmhouse restaurant owned by the same family.

Ca'Sagredo Hotel

Hotel, Luxury, Independent Hotel, Bed and Breakfast

Deluxe double room at Ca’Sagredo
Courtesy of Ca’Sagredo /

You’ll feel like Venetian aristocracy when you arrive at this castle hotel in Venice by boat via the Grand Canal entrance. It was built during the 15th century as a nobleman’s house, during Venice’s wealthy empire era. Wander up the grandiose marble staircase into your magnificently furnished period suite. Art lovers will delight in discovering hidden masterpieces, and food lovers will be charmed by the restaurant, which serves up Venetian cuisine at its most refined.

Schloss Hotel Korb


The sun sets between the mountains on the horizon behind the grand tower of Schloss Hotel Korb, Italy
Courtesy of Schloss Hotel Korb / Expedia

In the northern region of the Südtirol, there’s a distinct culture that’s kind of a mix between Italian and Austro-Hungarian. This castle is a Tyrolese dream nestled in a pristine landscape. You’ll have views of the jagged peaks of the Dolomites and the little towns below. The hills around the castle are covered with vineyards, and the owners produce their own wine here, so be sure to pay the wine bunker a visit.

Castel di Luco


Castel di Luco, Italy
Courtesy of MARKA / Alamy Stock Photo
Immersed in the lush forests of the Marche region, Castel di Luco is a beautiful round castle that looks just right nestled in its rural setting. It’s owned and operated by the Amici family. They’ve lived here for about two centuries, so they’re truly part of the history of the place. Prices are on the affordable side of castle-living too. Lodgings are full of genuine medieval charm, located in an original 15th-century hamlet, just below the structure. The castle itself also has a restaurant, up a rock staircase, that serves local specialities.

Palazzo Confalone

Hotel, Villa

Grand columns hold up arches in the lobby of the Palazzo Confalone with its intricately tiled floor and long hanging plants cascading from above.
Courtesy of Palazzo Confalone / Expedia
With marble arcades and warm-coloured walls covered in flowers, this is a slice of paradise on the Amalfi Coast. Each room is well appointed, with names instead of numbers, and the building’s architecture nods towards North African design. When weather permits, the castle also maintains a private beach villa. The hotel produces its own wine under the Episcopio label, so you’ll have plenty of reason to conduct thorough tastings during your stay.

Villa d’Este

Boutique Hotel, Spa Hotel, Hotel, Villa

The gardens of Hotel Villa dEste. Stone statues and floral bushes flanking a paved stone pathway up to the hotel exterior.
Courtesy of imageBROKER / Alamy Stock Photo
Generations of the wealthy and fabulous have spent their leisure time here in this legendary villa, right on the shore of Lake Como. It’s decked out in all the accoutrements of a fancy period home: frescoed ceilings, grand marble staircase, priceless antiques and a five-acre garden that will give Versailles a run for its money. Lake activities and excursions in the region can be arranged, plus you can lounge by the pool, sip cocktails in the bar or enjoy the spa.

Castello di Petroia


Castello di Petroia, Italy
Courtesy of Castello di Petroia / Expedia
This beautiful fortress set in the Umbrian countryside is surrounded by a forest with winding footpaths and olive groves, perfect for exploring. Take a dip in the outdoor pool or head back to your own private in-room whirlpools (if you’re lucky enough to have one). The hotel offers activities like truffle hunting and horseback riding. It’s a medieval daydream, especially when the castle’s quirky owner, Carlo Sagrini, sits down to dine with you and tell stories of the castle’s past.

Ione Wang contributed additional reporting to this article.

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