The Regional Park of Maremma, an earthly paradise that stretches for 25 km along the south coast of Tuscany, is an ideal place in the summer thanks to its crystal-clear sea as well as for walking and hiking all year round, since the central and southern part of the park is occupied by the Uccellina mountains, covered with Mediterranean vegetation, while the rest of the territory is covered by the Trappola swamp, fields, dunes and pine forests. Besides the natural beauty, there are also important and interesting relics of the past, which contribute to the charm of the place: the ancient defensive towers. In the fifteenth, and up to the eighteenth, century, the area was subject to repeated attacks by pirates who, at the time, infested the Mediterranean Sea. The most effective defensive principle, adopted since Roman times, was that of towers, in this case built by Cosimo I de’Medici, who sent his military engineers here. The towers were generally 10 to 15 metres high, they were small in size with a square base and the door facing the ground to afford greater protection. Are you ready to discover them?
- Torre della Trappola - Near the mouth of the Ombrone river, it was built in the Middle Ages in defence of a river port as part of a complex that also included salt mines, a few buildings (warehouses and customs houses) and a small church. The complex remained intact until the second half of the eighteenth century, when salt production ended and some of the buildings were demolished.
- Torre di Castelmarino - built during the Middle Ages, it is located on a hill where you can enjoy a beautiful view of the coast. The tower's importance declined in the sixteenth century, when the nearby Torre di Collelungo was erected. The tower’s slow and inexorable decay ended only recently thanks to a restoration project.
- Torre di Collelungo – Struck by lightning in 1847, which destroyed the upper floors, the tower is now perfectly restored: a square building, on three levels, with a characteristic set of stairs on the outside walls.
- Torre dell’Uccellina - Built in the fourteenth century, it is part of the religious complex that includes the nearby Monastery of Santa Maria Alborense, or Abbey of St. Rabano, a charming building, today roofless. The complex was abandoned in the sixteenth century, but recent restoration works have allowed good preservation.
- Torre di Cala di Forno - It was rebuilt by the Medici in the second half of the sixteenth century, probably in the same place as a pre-existing medieval building. From the summit it was possible to communicate with the Torre dell'Uccellina, to send messages in case of danger. Today it shows signs of decay.
- Torre di Bella Marsilia – The name of this tower comes from a legend, possibly an event that actually happened in 1543: during an unexpected pirate raid, the Saracen Barbarossa kidnapped the young and beautiful Margherita Marsili, called the "Beautiful Marsilia”.
- Torre Bassa - It is located in an area covered in Mediterranean vegetation, where there are ruins of other buildings, which probably constituted the Collecchio Castle, no longer standing, and of which the tower was a part.
- Torre di Poggio Raso - Unfortunately, there are no longer any traces of the original square tower, it was in fact razed to the ground in recent times and rebuilt in a circular shape.
- Torre delle Cannelle - Built during the fifteenth century, the tower held the military functions of defence and sighting until the late nineteenth century. It is the only tower with a hexagonal base on the Tuscan coast; it has a powerful structure on three levels and is surrounded almost entirely by a little fortress (a strengthening measure by Spaniards in the second half of the sixteenth century).
- Torre di Capo d’Uomo – Built in the Middle Ages to protect the bay of Talamone, it was abandoned in the nineteenth century and underwent rapid degradation, also due to its position, heavily exposed to the winds (and very scenic!). Its ruins are clearly visible from the coastal road.
- Torre di Mulinaccio - Placed high up on a hill, halfway between Talomone and the Torre di Capo d'Uomo, the tower is now only reduced to its circular base. The building was not actually part of the defence system, but was used as a mill instead.
- Torre di Talamonaccio - It is located outside the park, but was an integral part of the defensive system of the Bay of Talamone. Inside the building you can still view the kitchen, rooms, bathrooms, the armoury and, at the top, the oldest part of the structure: the tower.
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