Located on a hill (“monte”) in the city of Andria in the Italian region of Puglia, the Castel del Monte was built in the 1240s under the particularly enlightened Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II. Its octagonal plan, classicizing elements, and lack of a moat were unusual for a fortress or citadel. The eight-sided structure has octagonal towers at each corner. Each of the 2 floors has eight rooms. Some architectural historians believe that instead of serving as a fortification or hunting lodge, it was simply an expression of architectural bravura. Buona visita!