The history of the fortifications of the island Ischia begins around the ninth century. They began to build them because of the frequent invasions of the Saracen pirates. But the fortifications, as we see them today, appeared only by the sixteenth century.
HISTORY OF TORRE TORONE
The Torone Tower is one of Forio’s fortresses on the island of Ischia. It was built in 1534 entirely from green tuff. The position of the tower is strategically important because firstly it is located directly by the sea, and therefore it serves as the first defense stronghold on land, and secondly the center of the town of Forio is also very close, what makes it easily accessible to the Forians, and in the event of an attack they could quickly hide behind its walls. The Torone Tower has an advantageous position because it is located next to two other towers, which made it possible to communicate easily and quickly at a distance by means of light signals.
Like most of the towers on the island, Torone has a cylindrical shape. Its walls are made of cobble stone fastened with lime mortar. The tower is two-storeyed with a rooftop platform enclosed with a toothed parapet. The ground floor was used as a storage for food and artillery stocks, there was also a tank for rainwater. On the second floor there was a garrison (about ten people), which monitored the approach of enemy ships to the island and was responsible for giving the alarm to citizens and preparing for defense. The platform on the roof of the tower was equipped with four bronze cannons, which, due to the round shape of the tower, provided protection from all sides.
Numerous barbaric raids and robberie committed by pirates, have influenced the history of the Torone Tower, as well of the entire island. One of the most tragic raids from which the inhabitants of Forio lived for decades in fear was the invasion of pirate Dragut, a friend of the famous pirate Barbarossa. Dragut was called the “storm of the seas” for his ferocity and destructive power. In June 1544 Dragut entered the island, and the damage caused by him was enormous: more than two thousand people have died and the island was completely conquered. The «storm of the seas» was able to conquer the tower Torone, it even became his home for a while.
Torone Tower today
Today the Torone Tower is privately owned, but its doors are often open to tourists during some island holidays.
Many visitors and those who stayed overnight in the tower, assure that they felt the presence and the breath of the pirate Dragut!
Living in the Tower is not only a unique experience and an opportunity to plunge into the story of the pirate Dragut, but also a pleasant acquaintance with the “spirit” of the tower! Read more here-> Our Guest
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