Promontorio e Torre di Punta Pagana, Rapallo

Promontory and Tower of Punta Pagana

A cliff-edge Saracen tower in Rapallo

Promontory and Tower of Punta Pagana eng


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Just a few minutes from the centre of Rapallo, immersed in the greenery of the Mediterranean maquis with the blue of the Ligurian Sea below, a promontory plays host to a cliff-edge Saracen tower dating from the 16th century, which retains its original rooms and fixtures.

Donated to FAI by the De Grossi family in 1981


Between San Michele di Pagana and Prelo beach there emerges a promontory covered in maritime pines, within which nestles one of the few Saracen towers in the Liguria region that has not been surrounded by urban development or debased by inappropriate use. Erected in the second half of the 16th century, the property – a massive stone sentinel serving as a guard-tower – documents a period in which the Ligurian coasts were under continual risk of raids by corsairs. The sudden, fateful landing on the morning of 4 July 1549, with the subsequent pirate assault on Rapallo carried out by the Turkish admiral Dragut, forced the terrified inhabitants of San Michele to request that the village be made more secure. On 16 May, 1562, a contribution of 600 lire was set aside for the construction of the tower by the mayor of Rapallo, Gerolamo Giustiniani, on the recommendation of the Senate of the Republic of Genoa.

In the 1980s, the tower was donated to FAI, which decided to restore it and to attempt to ensure the survival of the trees in the area. The conservative salvage operation saw the restoration on the roof level of the “camera della bombarda” (cannon room), and the rediscovery of the original offset brick floor, while the 17th-century plasterwork was preserved and the missing parts reinstated. Today the promontory and tower of Punta Pagana are an oasis of peace, available to anyone who wants to undertake a tranquil trip into nature and history, savouring the delightful view of the sea.

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