Italy Extravaganza~ Day IV, Part I

     This is it. My favorite day of the entire trip. We were in the mountains and we went hunting for a castle. A specific castle, that is to say. Italy is not so rife with castles this epic that we could stumble over one if we just went in any old direction. Today I’m going to post the pictures of the outside of the castle and then next post I will proceed to show you the inside. The castle itself was overlooking a very beautiful medieval town. This was the first time I had a chance to get out and get right up to the castle and take pictures of it. The very fact that I have to split this post up into at least two days should be an indicator of how many pictures of this castle I took. The other sight I saw was on the journey here. We found ourselves on the edge of a cliff overlooking the valley, countless towns dotting it into the distance beyond what my eye could see or my camera could capture. When we were at the cliff, my camera decided to die and refused to shut down in anyway. I was unaware that a camera could die while I was taking photos like that. We actually went to a nearby gift store and essentially bought loose batteries that they had lying around.

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     This is part of the front of the castle. Or at least part of the castle facing the town. That balcony looks pretty inviting. The crennalations on the top are, again, fairly sizable. Even the window on the right side, while stylish, gives me the impression of a fortress.100_0904

     This is a shot a little to the right of the first one I took. Trying to scale this wall would be a nightmare. Not to mention I believe that at this point we were inside the first courtyard. I think I took pictures of it on the way, but here is the basic idea. The wall around the courtyard leads to a big gate. The gate comes right into a small room with another set of doors. Getting through that puts you in the middle of an inside atrium with a staircase that winds up around three stories looking directly down at the invader. Again, this place would be a nightmare to try and take.

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     A brief diagram of the entire castle. The very front has the courtyard and the smaller wall.

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     This side of the castle was newer, a later addition by the family that lived here. The stonework is more uniform and many aspects of high medieval period castles are eschewed for more other defensive options.

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     This one was from just outside the front gate, I believe. I wanted to get an idea of the scope and size of the castle across before I went in a little further. I think we had some car trouble too. Also, Italians never put ticket booths where you would expect them to. I would put them at the entrance. Italians very often have them in entirely different buildings. Bwuh?

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    A slightly different view of the balcony and the surrounding wall. You can kind of see where the later additions begins on the other side.

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     Have I mentioned how much I love castles? I really love castles. Though, to be honest, it is not my area of expertise. If I’m wrong about anything, or if you can point me in the direction of better information on castles, please feel free to do so. The other problem is that Italy very often developed differently than say France or England, closer to my area of study, and I don’t know how far that extends into castle building.

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     This is a slightly different shot of those wooden things from a bit further back. I wanted to try and get the other side of the wall and the tower in the same shot as the wall on the front side.

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     This is a coat of arms in stone on the front of a wall near the castle. I don’t remember where it was in relation to where the other pictures were taken though.

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     Here is another shot of the castle from the front. I’m not sure what that thing in front is.

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     This is another shot of a coat of arms in stone on the wall. Again, not sure of the relation in space to the castle.

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     This is a gate I saw on the way to the castle. I like the cut of that gate. Or something like that.

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     Yet more political graffiti. I can’t quite read it from here and given the angle of the window, I barely managed to get a shot of it as we passed.

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     I think this is a totally separate castle. Sadly, we didn’t stop here but I got a few shots of it as we went on our way.

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     That looks like a tower pulpit. Or maybe something out of an Arthurian romance.

100_0882     This castle certainly is imposing. I think the reason I don’t recognize this is part of the castle we did walk around is the angle. We never saw it from the outside on the way. Though my first impression could be right as well. The crennalations are very different.

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     The town the castle was in was hardly the largest we went to, but I remember the parking being crap. The traffic was a nightmare too, matched only by perhaps Milan and maybe Florence. Venice wasn’t bad, if only by virtue of the fact that we took a bus most of the way in.

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     Ok, now I’m quite sure that this has to be the same castle. We ended up across the street and that car passing by gives it away. Also, you got the closer pictures first and the approach pictures later.

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     It certainly is an imposing structure.

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    I took lots of pictures from this mountainside. If you would like me to put up more, I will add a special post to enlarge this one later. Sadly, my camera is not very good and thus not suited for long range photography like this. Most of the others are blurry so I decided to add the best two.

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     This is the other one, since I wanted to give the impression of the mountains just going off into the distance as far as the eyes could see. The picture does not do it justice.

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     This was somewhere in the castle, I believe. A little preview of things to come.

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     I shall leave you with a shot of the mountains from my hotel. The cloudy day gave me a bit of leeway with picture taking. Next post, we do the inside of the castle. This day taught me two things. Italians don’t have a lot of parking and parking fines are obscene in Italy. Dad had to go and hunt down a police officer…which a kindly British man who lived in Italy suggested that we look at a Tobacco shop…to pay the fine before we left town. That took around two hours. Apparently we needed to pay for a ticket to park, but when dad asked it sounded like we needed no such thing. I’m not sure if that was miscommunication or the guy just gave an answer because he didn’t feel like talking to the American speaking broken Italian. Whatever the case, the castle was awesome. Next post? The inside of the castle

 

 

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