Go to my journey

I declare that I have acquired the information provided in the informative report on the privacy rules and I give my consent for the purposes indicated below:


Forgot password? New user? Sign up

Medieval Fortress of Castiglione del Lago

Go to my journey


The Medieval Fortress, also known as Rocca del Leone or Rocca Medievale, is one of the most relevant monuments in Castiglione del Lago. For centuries this city wall represented the most important strategic point in the area. From here, it was possible to monitor the neighbouring territories of Trasimeno and Chiugi to counter external attacks.

Rocca del Leone was built by Fredrick II in 1247. Based on the ancient ruins on the wall, it is assumed that a former Etruscan Acropolis used to be there; it was destroyed and rebuilt by Friar Elia da Cortona, an important architect and personality of the time.

The fortress is shaped as an irregular pentagon with a tower at each corner. The fortified tower is triangular and 39 metres (128 feet) tall. There are also two round towers – built in the XV and XVI Century – that replaced the original ones to improve resistance against cannon attacks. The walls have Guelph-style battlements. Later, another section of wall stretching from the Palace to the fortified tower was built. Access to the palace was provided by wooden stairs which could be removed in case of attack.

This second portion of wall was erected to improve protection to the structure and the village, but unfortunately only a few ruins survived to this day.

Thanks to its layout and numerous improvements, the Rocca was considered one of the most impenetrable fortresses of XVI Century Europe. It was built to be part of the central defensive system which stretched out from Puglia to Northern Italy, crossing the whole peninsula.

The remains of a small pre-Christian church – erected in honour of Saint Philip and Saint Jack under Byzantine rule – were found inside the fortress. The church was later used as the fortress’ chapel.

The Rocca can only be accessed from the Palace of the della Corgna family, via a walkway built by the marquises in order to facilitate transfers in case of attack. The walkway was covered at the beginning of the XVII Century and equipped with defensive loopholes.

The reason why the fortress was called Rocca del Leone is uncertain; it is possible that its original name Castello del Leone (the Castle of the Lion, which was repeatedly destroyed throughout the centuries also by the Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV) later became the name of the village, Castillonem and finally Castiglione (del Lago).

At beginning of the XVI Century the fortress was owned by the Baglioni family, who expanded it, and later by the Della Corgna family, when the village became a Marquisate. In 1554 Ascanio I realised the beautiful Italian Gardens inside the walls, also praised by Cesare Caporali in his work The Gardens of MecenateAscanio I falso built the Doge’s Palace inside the fortress.

After the death of the last member of the della Corgna family, Fulvio II, in 1647, the poperty was administered by the Apostolic Camera. It was municipalised in 1860.

Currently the Medieval Fortress of Castiglione del Lago is used as an amphitheatres and is almost entirely visitable.

Successfully added to favourites.

Please provide us with more info to help us create your itinerary together: your preferred dates, number of people and your mood.