The Malcesine Castle or Scaligero Castle is one of two most important tourist attractions of the Malcesine town on the Lake Garda. Its beautiful architecture, exhibition rooms, and especially the incredible view from the fortress walls make this castle one of the most visited tourist destinations on the Lake Garda.
It is believed that the castle Scaligero in Malcesine was built by the Lombards around 500 B.C. Around 590, the Franks conquered and partially destroyed the castle. However, soon afterwards the Franks started the restoration of the fortress which hosted even their king Pepin in 806. In the 13th century the castle passed into hands of della Scala (rulers of Verona) family together with other areas of the Lake Garda. Della Scala family rebuilt the castle together with other castles on the lake, which is why these castles were named Scaligero (referring to Della Scala). This often confuses tourists since there are several Scaligero Castles on the lake, for example in this town as well as in Sirmione.
Scala family controlled the castle from 1277 to 1387 when it passed into the hands of the Visconti family, from Milan. In 1405, the Scaligero Castle fell under the rule of the Venetian Republic, a part of which it stayed for 4 centuries. From 1797 onwards, the castle changed hands several times. It was occupied by French troops, after which it passed under the rule of the Austrians and only in 1866 it became part of the kingdom of Italy.
The Museum of the Scaligero Castle in Malcesine
Nowadays, Scaligero Castle in Malcesina is a museum that consists of the Museum of Natural History, the Armoury Room, room called Scaligero Residence and the conference room.
The Museum of Natural History offers to its visitors a peak into the natural world of this area of Italy. You will have a chance to see numerous stuffed animals, learn about their behaviour, hear their typical calls and learn about the natural history of this region in general.
Next, you can visit the armoury room constructed during the Austrian rule, which today hosts sketches of the lake and the castle made by famous German writer Goethe during his visit to Lake Garda. Further down the trail, a beautiful terrace opens up – it is called Rivellino and civil marriages are organized here. At the entrance to the great tower of the castle there is a room called Scaligero Residence where Museum of Venetian Galleys dedicated to local history and customs is located. The next room is called a Conference Room and it has been recently opened in order to host temporary exhibitions and conventions.
From here a climb to the 31 meters high tower of the Malcesine Castle starts. From the tower, visitors will have a great chance to enjoy a magnificent view on the Lake Garda, Malcesine town and the surrounding area.
(!) There is a bell on the top of the tower which was installed in 1442. This bell is still used and if you happen to be on the tower when the bell rings it may be really uncomfortable and you should cover up your ears.
Ticket prices for the Castle Scaligero in Malcesine
Regular ticket price is: 6 Euros (€).
Reduced ticket price is: 5 Euros (€), (adults over 65 years old and students).
Price for children up to 6 years of age: 2 Euros (€).
There is also a cumulative ticket which includes the visit to the castle as well as a ride on the Malcesine cable car. This ticket can be purchased at the entrance to the castle.
Cumulative ticket price is 22 Euros (€).
Working hours of the Castle Scaligero in Malecesine
From Easter to the end of October working hours are: Monday -Sunday from 9:30h to 19:00h.
From December to January 7th working hours are: Monday-Sunday from 11:00h to 17:00h.
From January 7th to Easter working hours are: Saturday and Sunday from 12:00h to 17:00h.
Closed: entire month of November, December 25th.