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Astura Tower

What to see in Nettuno, Roma, Lazio


The Astura Tower is a coastal tower of the maritime village of Nettuno. The Roman Astura was a landing at the mouth of the homonymous river located along the via Severian, seat of villas already from the I century B.C. a between these was Cicero, and Astura was the scene of the last stages of his pointless escape from Marco Antonio. The site was built between the end of the Republic and the beginning of the imperial age, a villa structured in part in the mainland and partly on an artificial island, equipped with a wide Peschiera, the remains of which are still partly visible (on masonry in the sea was then made the fortress). Starting from the roman age Astura was in fact the extension and the border to the east of Cologne of Antium; for its amenities was a place loved by the Roman nobles, who chose to build their villae of otium.

Received around 1140 to Ptolemy of auditors of Tusculum for having misused to the monastery of Sant'Alessio on the Aventine Hill, in 1193 the site was in possession of the Frangipane, that to protect themselves from Saracens built there a fortress at sea with a tower with a pentagonal plan, surrounded by water and connected to the mainland by an arched bridge in brick. In 1268 Corradino of Swabia, defeated at Tagliacozzo, took refuge at Astura in the eponymous tower, but John Frangipane, lord of this land, gave him back to Charles of Anjou King of Naples, so that was beheaded in Moricino Field, the current market square of Naples. In 1426, after being feud of the Caetani and Orsini, the fortress passed under the column which the restructured, giving it the current aspect, and sold in 1594 to Pope Clement VIII Aldobrandini. From these, Estintasi the Aldobrandini family, passed to the Borghese, from which it was transferred to the municipality of Neptune in the seventies of the twentieth century.

From Astura Tower the gaze sweeps from the Circeo to todays Anzio. Up to reclaim the site remained immersed in swampy forest that occupied the Agro Pontino, immediately behind the coastal dune. As noted Gregorovius in 1854, "with Nepttuno ceases the human civilization on this coast, because immediately behind the town begins the desert pontino. The stain extends up to Terracina". This position, together with the wild nature of the places inhabited and habitually frequented only by poor farmers, cowboys and buffalo, robbers and henchmen, strongly urged the imagination of the few travellers writers who traveled in the XIX century. You must to Gregorovius and Gabriele D'Annunzio fascinating descriptions of the place in the second half of the century. In times closer to us the fortress was used as the setting for several movies (among which stand out Pinocchio television, arcidiavolo and Brancaleone the crusades with Vittorio Gassman); it was also used in some scenes in television drama of 1975, the bitter case of Baroness of Carini, written by Daniele D'Ance and Lucio Mandarà and directed by Daniele D'Ance, as well as for the film 'Salvo d'Acquisto' of 1974, directed by Romolo Guerrieri, with Massimo Ranieri in the garments of the protagonist.

  • Strada Provinciale 106b, 2626, Nettuno (Roma)
  • Castle, fortress
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