Castle Odescalchi tells its six centuries of history through old weapons, fittings and paintings, books and manuscripts, decorations and frescos.
After popes and kings, weddings and sieges, the prince Baldassarre Odescalchi and the architect Raffaello Ojetti began a long campaign of restorations at the turn of the century in 1900 giving the old stones their beauty back, the halls their splendour, the gardens their quiet and elegance.
Open to the public since 1952 by the will of Livio IV Odescalchi, today the Castle in Bracciano is a dynamic reality which conciliates its own museum vocation with the organization of events which are necessary to improve the value and create a virtuous circle that permits to carry on a wise and steady work of preservation and restoration.
The painstaking administration of the princess Maria Pace Odescalchi assures a wise preservation and a full usability without interruptions which allows welcomes visitors who are motivated by the curiosity of the tourist and also by the interest of the scholar and researcher.
From the castle, you can walk downhill about 1.5 kilometers to the Lake. You can also take a bus if you can figure out the schedule - they are not frequent and we walked most of the time. You see much more of the town, the shops, and the locals if you just meander along.
I'm posting this especially for my friend, VT member, BarryAir. This museum of military aeronautics is a must-see for anyone interested in aircraft. This year 2009, Italy celebrates the 70th anniversary of their School of Flying. In Bracciano, 25 kilometers North East of Rome, the Museo Storico Aeronautica Militare – Italian Air Force Museum, is the most important and extensive aviation museum in Italy.
On any visit to Braccianco a trip to the lake is essential sightseeing. It is a huge lake with a nice sandy beach, very safe for children to swim or paddle. It was an October Sunday the day we visited, fall / autumn, but children were still running through the water, the breeze was up and the sailing boats were busy on the water. The restaurants were busy and gelato was favoured by those not wanting to dine.
We found it very interesting to walk the narrow and very old streets, the houses were extremely old but you could see that their owner looked after them as though they were nearly new.Everywhere you walked you could catch a glimpse of the Castle which must have been the foundation of the town hundreds of years ago. We found the centre of town to be very busy on the Monday morning, cars everywhere, much noise and locals chatting in groups along the footpath. Much the same as happens in our homeland, however there was a much older background, character everywhere. It was interesting to look inside the small shops and enjoy one of the local coffee bars.
We walked to the Castle several times but never went inside as we were running out of time. It is something we regret as we have since learnt it is well worth viewing. It is a very old castle located on the highest ground, from the streets around the castle you get a magnificent view of the town, lake and surrounding landscape, it would be much better from inside the castle.The castle looks beautiful at night, well lit and even better on a clear moonlit night.
Back in 1989 we took a day trip to Bracciano. That time of the year vines covering walls of the Castle looked so beautiful I could never forget. We walked to ancient part of the town and climbed to the edge of hills overlooking county side.