15 February 2007

Ascoli Piceno - Tower City

Ascoli Piceno - Cento Torri

Ascoli Piceno boasts to having close to one hundred towers in the centro storico. Many of these are hard to locate as they have been incorporated into buildings or made into bell towers for churches and public buildings, while others are obvious above the skyline. We seem to discover a new one each week as we will be walking in town and notice a building which is obviously a converted tower.

These were a common item in the middle ages, sort of a status symbol to see what noble family could have the biggest tower. They also provided some defensive look-out purposes. The history of Ascoli Piceno claims that there had been as many as two hundred towers at one time but that in 1242 Frederic II made the city cut down half of these.

Most of these towers are of travertine stone and primarily in the western half of the centro storico. Unfortunately none of these have been opened to the public, which would provide a wonderful view of the city.

For tours of Ascoli Piceno visit Panorama Italy.

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