Puglia’s Historic Watch Towers Are Worth Preserving

Dotting the Adriatic and Ionian Sea coastlines of Salento stand a series of interesting structures that deserve more attention than they have been getting ‒ until now, the websites of Il Paese Nuovo and La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno report.
The structures are historic watch towers, some of which are believed to date back to the Normans. The towers were built within sight of one another as a coastal defense against invaders. On sighting approaching raiders’ ships, sentries would light fires atop the towers that would be seen and copied by other sentries manning the network of towers to warn inhabitants of Salento to prepare to fight off the attackers or seek shelter. This makeshift early-warning system was used through the medieval times, and more than 50 of them survive. Some are on public land, while others are privately owned.
In the centuries since, the historic towers have fallen victim to weather, vandals and, as one observer puts it, general indifference to their fate. But maybe that’s about to change.
A plan to restore and protect the towers as valuable remnants of Puglia’s past calls for linking the crumbling structures via a tourism route designed to attract travelers interested in learning more about the region’s history. National and regional tourism and preservation officials are on record as supporting the plan. Now it’s up to them to convince those who would finance and promote this effort that the often-neglected monuments to Puglia’s history are worth saving as historical, cultural and tourism resources.
You can learn more about this plan at these two websites:



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