Plan a route here

Castle of Montebello

Fortress · Bellinzona and Valleys · 315 m
Responsible for this content
Bellinzona e Valli Turismo Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Castello di Montebello
    Castello di Montebello
    Photo: Bellinzona e Valli Turismo
Bellinzona’s second castle dominates Castelgrande from above on Montebello hill, perched ninety metres above the city.

This is the starting point of the walls that once encircled the ancient hamlet until they encounter those descending San Michele hill. Two sections of these walls, which protected the flanks of the formidable fort, are still standing.The oldest section dates back to the thirteenth/fourteenth century and is believed to have been erected by the Ruscas, a wealthy family of merchants from Como, who kept it even under the rule of the Visconti. The external courtyards with their towers and the triangular fortress were built between the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, with their current appearance the result of Sforza construction work during the second half of the fifteenth century.

The castle was previously known as Castel Piccolo (“small castle”) (1457-1472), or Montebello Castle. During the Swiss occupation it was renamed Svitto Castle and after 1818 San Martino Castle.

The Ghiringhelli family acquired it towards the end of the eighteenth century. It was later acquired by the Canton in 1903 for the centennial of Ticino independence and restored.

Profile picture of Bellinzona e Valli Turismo
Bellinzona e Valli Turismo 
Update: June 27, 2022


2'722'578E 1'116'777N
46.191295, 9.026492
46°11'28.7"N 9°01'35.4"E
32T 502044 5115302
Show on Map
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike
Sorry, no results found.

Questions and answers

Ask the first question

Would you like to the ask the author a question?


Write your first review

Help others by being the first to add a review.

Photos from others

The Fortress of Bellinzona - UNESCO Heritage

  • My Map
  • Content
  • Show images Hide images
2D 3D
Maps and trails