Explore the rooms of this ancient castle, which has witnessed several invasions and stands proud at the entrance to Gallipoli’s historic center.
Gallipoli Castle (Castello di Gallipoli) is a stronghold that guards the entrance to Gallipoli’s fortified old town. It creates a striking first impression to a historic quarter punctuated by the rooftops of Baroque monuments. Visit Gallipoli Castle to glimpse inside well-preserved rooms, browse art exhibitions and enjoy panoramic views from the battlements.
Established as a Byzantine fortress in the 13th century, the Angevines, Aragonese, Messapians, Normans and Venetians have all left their mark on the castle’s appearance. It has a quadrangular shape with three crenellated circular towers and one standalone polygonal tower. Staircases and corridors lead to arcades, courtyards, a fresco-decorated chapel and reception halls. Pause to read the information signs in English, which explain the history and development of the castle.
Climb up onto the ramparts, stand at the edge of the towers and gaze across the town’s centuries-old rooftops. Spot the castle’s solitary Il Rivellino tower, the town’s low-lying wall and impressive Baroque spires. Watch as colorful fishing trawlers arrive at Gallipoli Port with the day’s catch. Come in the early evening to admire as the sun sets over the Ionian Sea.
The castle is also the host of temporary exhibitions. These range from art and photography displays to costumed parades and live music events.
Situated where the historic center meets the modern hub, the castle is a short walk from other major town attractions. Go for a walk through the twisting alleyways of the old town. Visit impressive landmarks, including the Cathedral of St. Agatha and the Church of St. Francis of Assisi. See an intriguing display of artifacts, such as fish heads and sculptures, at the Civic Museum. Parking is available at the Mercantile Port, if you are arriving by car.
Gallipoli Castle is open daily between April and September and from Tuesday to Saturday throughout the rest of the year. There’s an admission fee. Find the complete opening hours and a schedule of events on the castle’s official website. Bear in mind that the castle only opened to the public in 2014 and some areas are still undergoing development.