Puglia, Basilicata, and Calabria Sights

Castel del Monte

  • Castle/Palace/Chateau
  • Fodor's Choice

Published 11/12/2015

Fodor's Review

Crowning an isolated hill 1,778 feet above sea level in the heart of the Alta Murgia national park, this enigmatic octagonal fortress, built by Frederick II in the first half of the 13th century, has puzzled historians and researchers for centuries. The rooms are arranged in a seemingly illogical sequence through eight towers around a central courtyard. Recent interpretations suggest it was an elaborate cultural center conceived by Frederick to study the various scientific disciplines of both the Western and the Arabic worlds. Umberto Eco used it as his inspiration for the riddles in The Name of the Rose. It's worth hiring the services of one of the authorized tour guides here to get a deeper insight into the mysteries of this unique monument. Note that if coming by car between April and September you have to park in designated areas about a mile away, and then take a shuttle bus.

Sight Information


On signposted minor road, 18 km (11 miles) south of Andria, Andria, Apulia, 76123, Italy


0883-569997; 0883-592283-tour reservations

Sight Details:

  • €5
  • Apr.–Sept., daily 9–7.30; Oct.–Mar., daily 10:30–6:30. Last entrance ½ hr before closing

Published 11/12/2015


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