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Bracciano Castle (officially known as Orsini-Odescalchi Castle) is located in the historic town of Bracciano overlooking the pristine volcanic Lake Bracciano. It's so well regarded by travelers that we have included it in our Countryside Splendor Tour (day tour from Rome and Shore Excursion from Civitavecchia) and in our Pre Cruise Countryside Tour from Rome to Civitavecchia.
Initially built as a strategic defensive fortress in the Medieval times, by the Renaissance era it evolved into a magnificent livable fortified castle owned by some of the most powerful families in Italy’s history: Orsini and then Odescalchi. The Orsini family completed the residential fortress in late 1400’s, and then sold it to the Odescalchi family in late 1600’s.
The castle is still owned by the descendants of the Odescalchi family, and it is currently one of the few Italian castles open to the public for visits as well as cultural and social events (the wedding of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes was held here).
A visit to Bracciano Castle is featured in our very popular Countryside Splendor Day Tour from Rome and Shore Excursion from Civitavecchia, as well as our Pre Cruise Countryside Tour.
Braciano Castle is also included in the Charming Lakeside Villages Pre Cruise tour offered by our sister company Stefano Rome Tours.
Below are 10 Tips for visiting Bracciano Castle to help you make the most of your visit.
The first and more important of our 10 tips for visiting Bracciano Castle is wearing comfortable shoes for walking.
A visit to Bracciano Castle will take you through some 20 lavishly decorated rooms situated on 2 levels, as well as an outdoor atrium. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended when visiting this historic castle and its grounds. High heels and platforms are best avoided when visiting historic places as this.
The stairs that take you from the first to 2nd level of the castle are original stone spiral staircases.
There are also additional stairs to take if you wish to walk along the rampart along the castle walls for an unforgettable view of the volcanic lake and the lush countryside that surrounds the castle.
Visitors who have mobility issues and cannot climb the flights of stairs may enjoy the lower floor of the castle (with minimal stairs), as well as the atrium and the medieval kitchen.
As you make your way from beautifully decorated room with with original furniture and artwork, you will see information posted on the wall by the entrance of the room that explains the significance of the room, the artwork featured, and other interesting historical aspects as well as captivating legends surrounding some high profile occupants of certain rooms.
OR… better yet:
For an informative visit and insightful information about the history of the castle, the significance of many items inside the castle, and other “secrets” these castle walls hold the Castle offers private guided tours also in English that you may book in advance.
When you book our tours that include a visit to Bracciano Castle, we can book a private tour guide for you upon request, and make all the necessary arrangements.
Many people wander through the rooms without looking up. The ceilings themselves are masterpieces that should not be overlooked.
The castle kitchen was intended to feed the entire castle staff in addition to the Lords. The fireplace was large enough to roast a full size cow if needed.
The castle kitchen was also located outside and away from the main building. Aside from keeping kitchen smells away from the castle, in case fire broke out in the kitchen the castle would be safe.
The ramparts ringed the fortified castle walls and were originally built as part of the castle defenses. Soldiers patrolled along the ramparts and also fired their weapons from there against enemies attacking the castle.
Today, the ramparts offer a spectacular view of the countryside and the volcanic lake from the top of the castle.
The architecture of the castle is magnificent, and so are the views. These experiences merit being preserved in your travel photo album.
Visit the castle’s Website and familiarize yourself with the castle’s history, floor plans, and other helpful information to know in advance and see what you have to look forward to on your visit.
The last of our 10 tips for visiting Bracciano Castle is taking a walk around the outer perimeter of the castle through the charming ancient borgo of Bracciano and admire the centuries old architecture and narrow streets, and imagine what life must have once been like for Medieval locals living in the shadow of the mighty castle.
If you happen to be in Bracciano during lunch time, you will find some excellent restaurants next to the castle for a delicious lunch with a spectacular view.
Thank you for reading our 10 TIPS FOR VISITING BRACCIANO CASTLE travel blog.
If you wish to book your own Day Tour from Rome or Shore Excursion to Civitavecchia that includes a visit to Bracciano Castle, please visit our website or our sister company Stefano Rome Tours for tour information and to book online.
We look forward to showing you beautiful places in Italy!
The RomeCabs Team
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