War and courtly love at the Castle of Avio
The Castle of Avio is one of the oldest and most evocative castles in Trentino, and rises from a spur on Mount Vignola, over the last mountainous part of the valley crossed by the Adige. It is named after the small hamlet of Sabbionara d’Avio, where it is located, some 50 kilometers from Trento.
This grand complex belonged to the Casterlbarco family for almost its whole history (which is recorded by documents dating as far back as the middle of the 11th century). Today, it is property of Fondo ambiente italiano, which received it in donation over forty years ago from Emanuela Castelbarco, granddaughter of Arturo Toscanini.
Its three crenellated walls with towers – typical of the fortresses built to defend and watch over the Lagarina Valley – protect a verdant garden with vines and cypresses, and a complex of extraordinary 14th-century frescos that equally celebrate courtly love or war and the military arts, decorating the Room of Love and the Keep.
And all around the castle, is a lovely view with terraces held in place by stone walls, vineyards and slender cypresses.