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Castles in Italy

By Contributor on 11-16-2011 in Italy

By Dot Anderson

After travelers soak in the culture of Italy’s major cities such as Rome, Venice, and Florence many are ready for a new experience in Italy. Tuscany is the hot spot in Italian countryside vacations, but there’s more to see than just Tuscany and one very interesting way to stay far from the maddening crowds.

Italy’s castles provide accommodations embedded with history. It’s one thing to tour a castle which is like touring a museum and quite another to actually wake up in one, to dine in one and to be able to tell friends about your experience. Castles are a great place to stay for history buffs as well as the hopelessly romantic.

In fact, one of Hollywood’s most romantic marriages took place in an Italian castle. Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes were married in Castello Odescalchi in Bracciano on the southern shores of Lake Bracciano in the Italy’s Lazio region. Recently, it was the venue chosen by Croatian heiress Petra Ecclestone to businessman James Stunt. The reported $5 million wedding ranks it ahead of Kate Middleton and Prince William’s nuptials as well as those of Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries.

Castello Odescalchi is about one hour by car from Rome and can also be reached by a commuter railway line that runs between Rome and Viterbo. Castello Odescalchi is one of the most beautiful feudal mansions in Europe. Although it does not operate as a hotel, but rather as a museum, it offers tours of the castle and is a spectacular venue for weddings and receptions. The bride and groom can spend their first night there.

Italy has some 200 castles including those privately owned and sometimes open to the public for special occasions. Of course, not all of these castles have overnight accommodations and some of those that do are quite off the beaten path and require a car to reach. Others, however, can be conveniently reached by public transportation from major hubs. Denise Otero, Managing Director and Travel Consultant for Your Friend in Italy, suggests the following three castles in Italy as being interesting, welcoming and convenient to other points of interest in the Tuscany, Veneto and Umbria regions of Italy. Moreover, each of these castles provides a storybook setting for getting married in Italy. She should know. She was married at Castel Brando.

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