The Coastal Towers of the Gargano

Due to the constant threat of raids by Saracen pirates, in 1563 the construction of ten towers was established in correspondence with strategic places on the Gargano coast, almost all in visual connection with each other, within a large coastal fortification project commissioned by the viceroy don Pedro Afan de Ribera, which played a fundamental role in the reconstruction of the castle of Vieste.
The guards, sighted one or more enemy ships approaching, gave the alarm by lighting a fire on the roof. The smoke during the day and the light of the fire at night allowed the other towers to receive the danger signal and in turn send a further signal up to the fortified village where the population could find refuge.
The transmission system was very simple, a tower had to send a greater number of signals (puffs of smoke or flashes of fire) as the number of enemy ships sighted increased. It only took a few minutes from the first sighting to alert all the Apulian towers.
The towers, with a quadrangular base, measure about 11 meters per side and have a height of about 12 meters. They are on two floors, with a room on each floor and with an opening onto the terrace for supplying weapons and for signalling. The ground floor was used as a warehouse and the upper one as a home. The walls have a thickness of about two meters at the base and are in local stone.


In the surroundings of Vieste we find:

    • The Garlic tower, from which you can observe an enchanting panorama
    • The tower of San Felice, from which it is possible to admire thenatural arch.
    • The Gattarella tower, inside the homonymous resort
    • The tower of Portonuovo
    • La Porticello tower
    • The tower of Finalize it (halfway between Vieste and Peschici)
    • The tower of Monte Pucci, between Peschici and San Menaio, marina of Vico del Gargano

Instead, the tower of Molinella, the tower of the Testa del Gargano were destroyed, while the tower of Pugnochiuso o della Pergola became the base of the lighthouse.

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