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In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age of 38. Now, into their 4th decade of this financially independent lifestyle, they invite you to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.

Swabian Castle of Brindisi

Brindisi, Italy

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

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I'm going to guess that in your home town, there are no Medieval ruins, Roman villas or castles from various invaders.

There certainly weren't any in Ohio where I was born!

But we're in Brindisi, Italy, and these above mentioned treasures are everywhere!

Today we take a tour of the Swabian Castle of Brindisi, built in the year 1227 by Frederick II.

These days, it is the center of the Naval Command in this historical harbor town.

Entrance to the gounds of the Swabian Castle of Brindisi Brindisi, Italy

The Entrance to the castle

This location used to be a Norman Castle but it lie in ruins when Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II built on top of it.

It was to serve as a military stronghold and residence for the emperor and his troops.

Frederick II was a charismatic emperor from a German dynasty also known as the Swabians, hence the name of the castle.

Billy and Akaisha at the moat of the Swabian Castle of Brindisi Brindisi, Italy

Billy and Akaisha in front of the moat at the Swabian Castle

Over the centuries, the castle has been modified and expanded by various rulers.

There were the Aragonese rulers from northeastern Spain who added an outer wall and moat during the 15th century to strengthen the castle's defenses.

More currently, during the 19th and 20th centuries, the Italian Navy used the castle as a base, and this castle is still an active military stronghold.

During both World Wars, this castle functioned as a crucial naval base for the Italian Navy. Gratefully, it avoided direct bombardment or damage during these conflicts.

The moat at the Swabian Castle of Brindisi Brindisi, Italy

A better view of the moat and the various types of stone to construct the castle





The base of the castle is made from the durable and erosion-resistant yellow Lecce limestone.

Further up the walls a volcanic rock called Tufo - formed from ash and debris - was used. It was lighter in weight than the Lecce limestone so it was easier to transport.

In the interior, which you don't see here yet, red bricks were used from nearby regions.

Around window frames and decorative moldings is a purer white limestone to create contrast and intricate carvings.

Inside the Swabian Castle of Brindisi Brindisi, Italy

Inside the castle

We began the tour on time just at the entrance of the castle. It was given in Italian, so we didn't know what the tour guide was describing or the significance of most things inside the castle.

But a lone Naval officer - who could see our confusion - sort of adopted us. Speaking broken English in a whisper from time to time in order not to disturb the tour, we chatted about Italy, the US, and  the various wars our countries have found themselves in.

We told him we had gone to the WWII Beachhead museum in Anzio and also the military graveyard there just outside of town. We made clear how much this history meant to us, as both of our Fathers served in that war. He was most grateful for our recognition of the military's sacrifices.

This photo shows you how thick the walls are inside the castle.

The archways show the skill of the masonry involved.

On the left of the first archway is an iron gas torch used for lighting and towards the right in the photo you can see the open courtyard in the center of the castle.

inside the courtyard at the Swabian Castle of Brindisi Brindisi, Italy

The courtyard

The courtyard was a wide open square space in the center of the citadel.

The thick walls, archways and heaviness of the stonework make a readily visible statement of the impregnability of this castle.

The Italian flag is on a pole at the right.

The officer who sort of adopted us kept us close by so we wouldn't go wandering off somewhere we weren't supposed to be. Billy and he had a very respectful conversation together. These were memorable moments in our tour.

military parapheranalia at the Swabian Castle of Brindisi Brindisi, Italy

Various flags and naval equipment

On the left is a red flag with a yellow lion and is the flag of the Italian Navy. The yellow lion is the symbol of the Republic of Venice, which once had considerable influence in the region.

The center green, white and red flag is the national flag of Italy, and the blue flag with the stars is the flag of the European Union.

Plaque at the Swabian Castle of Brindisi Brindisi, Italy

A lion and a navy man

We saw the symbol of the lion all throughout the museum display.

This carving in Italian reads: "When the lion lifts his coat, all the beasts shed their hair" which is their saying showing respect for and the power of the Italian Navy.

The lion, after all, is called the King of Beasts.

Naval equipment from the Etna ship at the Swabian Castle of Brindisi Brindisi, Italy

Artifacts from the Etna Ship

These are artifacts from the Naval ship Etna.

When Italy surrendered to the Allies in September 1943 the hull of this ship was 53% complete.

Although this vessel and another one were sabotaged before being captured by the Germans, some construction work was able to be completed before abandoning the project.

The Etna was scuttled in Trieste harbor in 1945.

various military uniforms at the Swabian Castle of Brindisi Brindisi, Italy

Various mannequins displaying military uniforms

The castle was turned into a penitentiary before it was officially delivered to the National Marine in 1909.

It became the most important naval base during WWI.

During WWII, for a short 6 months, the castle became the residence of the King of Italy Vittorio Emanuele III. Here the government was administrating and commanding, which made Brindisi the capital of Italy for one year.

military men and an officer at the Swabian Castle of Brindisi Brindisi, Italy

Military men and an officer

After the tour was over we all walked out into the inside courtyard.

A Naval Officer is discussing something with his men as we look on.

The officer came over to speak with us. His English was excellent as he explained he has been involved with the US military and NATO.





military naval ship at the harbor Swabian Castle of Brindisi Brindisi, Italy

Navy ship in Brindisi Harbor

As we walked outside the castle, we looked over the wall and saw that this Navy ship was conducting a tour.

Although we wanted to participate in the next tour, apparently, that one was the last for the day.

Church of Santa Maria del Casale, Swabian Castle, Brindisi, Italy

Outside the church of Beata Vergine Stella Maris

Not far from the castle is this simple church. It was originally built in the 12th century and stands on a scenic cliff overlooking the Adriatic Sea, offering stunning views.

The tradition of blessing of the sea dates back to 15th century Italy. It has since become a custom in coastal cities throughout Europe and the United States.

Church of  Santa Maria del Casale, Swabian Castle, Brindisi, Italy

Inside the Church

For mariners and coastal communities, stars were crucial navigational tools. In this way, Mary became associated with a guiding light, leading people safely through the perils of life's "sea."

She is the patron saint of seafarers, fishermen, coastal communities, and various other groups who seek her protection and guidance.

Naval military ship in the harbor at Swabian Castle of Brindisi Brindisi, Italy

Naval ship in Brindisi Harbor

After visiting both the castle and the Church of Mary, Star of the Sea, we came back to ground level and saw the navy ship which was giving the tour.

Have you ever been on a Naval ship?

Naval miliary zone at Swabian Castle of Brindisi Brindisi, Italy

Outside locked gate

Brindisi's history and importance all relate to its location on the sea.

The military of ancient peoples such as the Romans and various invaders during the Medieval Ages have all utilized this harbor for international trade and the protection of the Motherland.

If you are visiting Brindisi, take time to go through the Swabian Castle and visit some functional history of the past.


Swabian Castle of Brindisi

Castello Svevo di Brindisi, Via dei Mille, 4, Brindisi


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About the Authors

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance, medical tourism and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their award winning website, they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since 1991. They wrote the popular books, The Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible available on their website bookstore or on


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