The castle Sabbionara d'Avio at the Adige
The Castello di Sabbionara is one of the most impressive castles in Trentino and the entire area of Lake Garda, and it overlooks the market town of Avio at the Adige.
The building was first mentioned in documents in 1053 and expanded and modified in the 13th century by Guglielmo II Castelbarco who was strongly influenced by the Verona of the Scaliger. It's why this castle, like many other castles on Lake Garda, has features characteristic of the Veronese style.
It was used for defence and as a residence. The complex, complete with a stately keep and Picadora, quietly joins the landscape underneath. The outer ring wall with its battlements and five towers surrounds the palace grounds and gardens.
Count Castelbarco was one of the sponsors of the Church of Sant'Anastasia in Verona. His tomb still stands today on the arch of the portal between the churches of Sant'Anastasia and San Pietro Martire.
Today the castle is accessible to visitors. An entrance hall leads to a series of buildings that cluster around the 11th century keep. Particularly worth seeing are the frescoes from the 14th century. In the Casetta delle Guardie - the house of the guards - they illustrate a series of medieval war scenes, the fight of St. George against the dragon and the castle of Avio. This fresco cycle is the oldest Roman cycle in Trentino.
In the tower of the donjon, in the Palazzo Baronale, there are many art treasures, as well as more peaceful and romantic frescoes in the Count's private rooms. The room, named Camera d'amore, was once supposedly completely painted with courtly love scenes. Today there are only subtle hints left of the colourful pictures: graceful walking ladies in lush gardens.