Torre Astura: Medieval Stronghold on the Shores of Italy

Located in Rome, Torre Astura is a medieval stronghold on the coast of Latium. It shares the same name with the peninsula it is on. Both the peninsula and the stronghold have a rich history going back to the Roman times. This rich history is visible at every part of the peninsula although some of it is under the sea. Due to its value for the Italian history, Torre Astura attracts a lot of local and foreing tourists. However, to protect the integrity of this relic of a structure and region, visitors are only allowed for 2 months, between July and September.

torre astura

One of the most interesting aspects of Torre Astura is that it stands over the ruins of Roman villas. According to historical sources, these villas existed nearly 1000 years ago before the strongold.

torre astura from above

When Rome was just a kingdom, they were expanding throughout Italy. These expansions would always lead them to have series of battles with different groups too. One of these series of battles were fought against the Latins between 600-300 BCE. An interesting fact about these battles is that the last of them, the deciding battle between the Romans and Latins, took place in Torre Astura. After the victory, some Romans started to settle here, the most famous of them being Cicero. Hence, the ruins of villas below water, near the tower.

torre astura and the sea

While the ruins are ancient, the tower on the coast goes back to the Medieval times, roughly the 12th century. The first accounts of the tower are highly scandolous to say the least. In the 13th century, Torre Astura belonged to the Frangipani family. After a harsh war, the last member of Hohenstaufen dynasty, prince Conradin, came to the tower for protection. However, the Frangipani family betrayed Conradin and handed him over to the French.

torre astura shore

Aside from the historical aspect of the tower, Torre Astura is a good example of medival architecture of Italy. It consists of a singular watch tower surrounded by walls and connected to the mainland by a narrow bridge. The inside of the castle is not accessible to the public due to the excessive looting that happened during the 1970s.

torre astura walls
torre astura exterior
stronghold on the shore
the stronghold from far away