Built in the 14th century by the Scaliger clan who ruled Verona in the Middle Ages, Castelvecchio was a seriously paranoid, moated fortress designed to keep out the people and give the family an escape route if the revolt should occur. Eventually their worst fears came to pass and the family escaped to Germany while the Venetians took over the city, followed in the 18th century by Napoleon. Napoleon made the Veronese so angry they stormed the castle and left it devastated. Bombings in World War II were a final insult to the building.
Come the 20th century and visionary architect Carlo Scarpa was given the job of turning the building into a museum during the 1960s. He combined glass panels, concrete, and metal grills with the medieval stonework and made a wonderful home for artworks by Bellini, Tiepolo, Veronese as well as temporary exhibition spaces for work ranging from Renaissance painting through to modern craft and design.