Castello di Avio
Emanuela di Castelbarco Pindemonte Rezzonico's donation, 1977
The Castle is closed from 24 November to March 2015
From Wednesday to Sunday, and on public-holiday Mondays and Tuesdays 10am-6pm from March to September. 10am-5pm October, November and the second half of February
Also open on working Tuesdays during August
The Castle is closed from December to mid-February
Last entry half an hour before closing time
An impregnable fortress guarding the River Adige
Robust boundary walls, five towers, a Baronial Palazzo and an imposing keep: from the outset, in its role as the defensive outpost of the valley, Avio Castle served as an impregnable fortress stretching along one of the hillsides that surround Sabbionara. Strategically situated, and protected from behind by Mount Baldo, the castle has loomed over the lower Val Lagarina, through which the River Adige flows, since the 12th century. The main core of the fortress complex – the keep – dates from 1100, to which were subsequently added the fortified
boundary wall (the upper castle) and then the larger southern wall (the lower castle). Today, it is one of the most impressive and evocative castles to be found anywhere in the South Tyrol.
Illustrious guests, from the Longobard Kings to the Habsburgs
By following the cobbled path that meanders its way between the lush vineyards, you come to the castle walls, which to this day conserve traces of the tormented history of the complex. Over the centuries, the castle has been an impenetrable bulwark against enemy attack.
A stone giant with an artistic heart
While it is certainly an imposing complex, Avio Castle also has an artistic side, which is visible both inside and out. A great example of this aspect is the Baronial Palazzo, which was begun in the late 13th century and completed in the 14th. It displays the Veronese Gothic technique of using stone and brick to achieve pleasing contrasts in the play of light, with a view to alleviating the severe geometry of the raised sections. In the Guard House, which is owned by the Trento provincial authority, there is an extraordinary cycle of 14thcentury
frescos depicting scenes of war that celebrate the military glories of the Castelbarcos, who were the historical owners of the castle. Last but by no means least, the fourth floor of the keep plays host to the so-called “Love Room” (“Stanza di Amore”), where delicate secular frescoes reveal the private function of this wing of the castle, immersing the visitor in the atmosphere of medieval romances.