Montebello castle thrones at almost 300 feet above the city of Bellinzona in the Swiss Canton of Ticino. The fortification was declared UNESCO World Heritage in 2000. The triangular complex is surrounded by remains of the ancient city walls. The outer courtyards with their towers were built in the 14th and 15th century by the Sforza, and still characterise the outlines of the castle today.
Inside of Montebello, visitors can find the regional archaeology museum. And even just the view from the castle hill is a sight in itself. From up here, you can see the neighbouring castle of Castelgrande, and all the way over Magadino plain to Lago Maggiore. If you want to go even higher, you can visit the last of the three castles, Sasso Corbaro.
The oldest remaining pieces of Montebello's walls are dated to the 13th or 14th century. Its characteristic towers follwed in the 14th and 15th century. Under the reign of the Eidgenossen, the castle came into the property of Schwyz, whom it wsa named after for a while. In 1818, its name was changed to San Martino. After having been owned by the Ghiringhelli family for some time, the Canton of Ticino bought the castle in 1903, when it was first restaurated.
- The day pass at Montebello in Bellinzona is €5 making it one of the 3 cheapest tourist Attractions in Switzerland.
How to get there
You can walk to Montebello castle from Piazza Collegiata or Quartier Nocca. Alternatively, you can drive up the road from Viale Stazione.