Belforte Tower & Castle Doria

Castle and Tower in Vernazza

Belforte Tower Castle Doria Vernazza

Easily visible from both the sea and the inland areas, the Doria Castle in Vernazza proudly occupies a rocky promontory of the town that extends over seventy meters above sea level. Mentioned as far back as the thirteenth century, although traces of an earlier defensive structure were already present, the castle passed through the hands of various owners, including the bishops of Luni, the Da Passano family, and the Fieschi family. In the thirteenth century, the Fieschi family relinquished control of the village to the Republic of Genoa, which eventually regained stable ownership after a brief period under Pisa.

Adapted to the contours of the rocky promontory it occupies, the castle boasts an irregular layout that ensures protection from all sides. Access has always been limited to a lengthy and steep staircase. The nearby Belforte Tower, serving as a lookout point, complemented the castle’s defences. Today, remnants of the walls remain along with the central high cylindrical tower, the oldest section of the fortress, which underwent restoration in the twentieth century. Unfortunately, the castle’s chapel dedicated to St. John the Baptist has been completely lost.

During the latter part of World War II, the castle was repurposed by German forces as an anti-aircraft post. Presently, the castle is open to visitors for a fee and hosts various cultural exhibitions.

The Belforte Tower & Castle Doria appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Vernazza!

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Visiting Belforte Tower & Castle Doria


€ 1.50

Duration: 20 minutes

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