Saracen Towers of the Amalfi and Sorrento Coast

The Saracen Towers of the Amalfi and Sorrento Coast are a series of ancient watchtowers mainly built during the medieval period.

They were part of a defense system, covering the southern Italian coast, aimed at protecting the population, the territory and valuable trade routes from the threat of Saracen raids and other pirate attacks. They were primarily constructed between the 9th and 16th centuries as observation and signaling points to enable timely countermeasures and the safekeeping of provisions and people in times of danger.

Their architecture is distinctive. They are typically built from local stone and stand on cliffs or rocky promontories, strategically spaced to allow for quick communication and the transmission of signals between them in case of emergencies. They have a square, rectangular or round base and are equipped with an upper observation platform, a terrace from which the distant horizon could be surveyed.

Punta Campanella Saracen Tower

The Saracen Towers owe their name to the Saracens, a historical term used to refer to Arab and Islamic peoples of the Middle Ages. The towers represent an important cultural heritage of the Amalfi and Sorrento Coast as witnesses to a long local history. Nowadays these ancient fortifications on their strategic position offer breathtaking views of the crystalline waters and amazing landscapes and are an enchanting remnant of a glorious past.

The defensive facilities are a fascinating convergence of diverse cultures, built during the Norman era and later expanded by the French and Spanish, governing the area until the first half of the 19th century. These imposing structures are an example of maritime military architecture and engineering that evolved over the centuries. As you explore these towers, you can almost sense the vibrant atmosphere of ancient times, imagining the stories of brave sailors and enterprising merchants who sailed these waters.

During a cruise along the Sorrento and Amalfi Coast, where the sea breeze caresses your face and adventure becomes tangible, you can admire many examples of this architecture. From the yacht, you can already glimpse the first traces of the Tower of Capo di Sorrento and then many other, nearly all the capes of the coast have a tower.

The towers stand majestically on the cliff, offering a breathtaking panoramic view of the sea and the surrounding coast. Imagine the guardians who, from this tower, watched over the territory, defending it from pirate attacks. Some of these towers, chosen as dwellings by famous people of the twentieth century have also conditioned contemporary culture.

The tower located on one of the “Li Galli” islets was inhabited first by Massine, famous choreographer then by Rudolf Nureyev, icon of ballet in the second part of the 20th century. The tower that stands to the west of “Fornillo” Bay near Positano in the first part of the last century was owned by Gilbert Clavel, Swiss architect, archaeologist and Egyptologist. The tower hosted personalities such as Marinetti, Picasso, Norman Douglas, and Cocteau.

Today, some of these towers have been restored and serve new purposes, such as tourist attractions or picturesque residences, while others have unfortunately succumbed to the ravages of time, carrying with them a millennia-old history. Rediscover these wonders of the past together with our staff, exploring the Saracen Towers and imagining the epic stories they tell. 

This is a unique opportunity to delve into the history of the southern Italian coast and discover the magic that still lingers within the walls of these ancient sentinels. To fully enjoy them, let our staff guide you, take a yacht ride and join in a sea excursion that will allow you to admire these ancient defensive structures on one side and splendid sea views on the other.

Our yachts are fully equipped and can accommodate up to 12 passengers. We offer charter leisure crafts fully authorized and insured, manned by a professional crew (STCW).

We can organize a yacht excursion tailored for you, click here for more details.

Positano Saracen Tower
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