Border castles
Border castles


Project for the enhancement of the fortified stretch of line built to protect the borders of the Veronese territory born from the collaboration between five public bodies

Enhancement of Scaligeri castles

On the occasion of the National Days of Castles 2024 the Regional Directorate of Lombardy Museums, the municipalities of Ponti sul Mincio, Monzambano, Valeggio sul Mincio and Villafranca di Verona relaunched the project "Border Castles. The Scaliger defensive system between the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries".

The Della Scala family was, between the middle of the thirteenth and the end of the fourteenth century, one of the most important families of northern Italy. In a narrow territory between the Venetian domains to the east, the Milanese Duchy of Visconti to the west and the Gonzaga to the south, the Scaligeri dominated Verona and its territory influencing the political and military events of those years. Between the end of the thirteenth and the first half of the fourteenth century, determined to defend their territories against possible invaders, the lords of Verona started a grandiose program of fortification of the borders that will bring, in a few decades, the construction of over 30 military garrisons around Verona. To complete the defensive system is then built the Serraglio: a wall 16 km long that should have been the extreme defensive line of the city of Verona to the south.

The close collaboration between five public bodies, hosting as many castles of Scaliger origin, has allowed to draw up a project to enhance the stretch of fortified line built to protect the west and south borders of the territory of Verona. This sequence of castles represents an exceptional testimony of medieval castle architecture, made through the use of standardized and repetitive construction techniques, which are masterfully adapted to the context in which the different castles are placed, first lake (Sirmione), then hilly (Ponti sul Mincio, Monzambano and Valeggio sul Mincio) and finally flat (Villafranca di Verona).

The project “Border castles” provides for the creation of a sequence of related multi-annual activities: after the creation, in the year 2023, of the information brochure and a guide accessible through Google Maps, with bike tours and a guide to the castles and the surrounding places of interest, this year a specific study on the five castles of the route is proposed. Using a direct link to Google Maps for each castle you are directed to a digital guide with photographs and other multimedia information.

Scaligeri castle of Sirmione:

Scaligeri castle of Ponti sul Mincio:

Scaligeri castle of Monzambano:

Scaligeri castle of Valeggio sul Mincio:

Scaligeri castle of Villafranca di Verona: