The fortress of Malcesine dates back to the last centuries of the first millenium B.C. even if some other well-founded sources maintain that the first to build the castle were the Longobards around the half of the first millenium A.D.
The castle was destroyed by the Franks in 590 A.D. and then rebuilt. In 806 the building hosted king Pepin, who came to Malcesine to visit the Saints Benigno and Caro and, after the Hungarians invasions, it was included in the episcopal feud of Verona.
It was under Alberto della Scala’s and his family’s control from 1277 to 1387.
During this period the Scaliger renovated the fortress which started to be referred to as “Scaliger castle” and it was occupied by the House of Visconti from 1387 to 1403.
Two years later, it was incorporated into the dominion of the Republic of Venice and remained under its control until 1506 when it was conquered by the Empire. The castle changed hands several times: it was owned by the Republic of Venice once again from 1516 to 1797, then by the French, followed by the Austrians which accomplished significant strengthening works inside the building and remained here from 1798 to 1866.
From that year on, it became a Venetian’s ownership.
On 22 August 1902 the castle was declared a national monument.