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ziro

tower

trekking & the outdoors

History & Legend

Most "Scalesi" (Scala inhabitants), will always reccomend a treck to Ziro Tower. This tower is one of the many ancient towers dotted along the coast that were built as a defence against invasions from the sea. Over the centuries  Ziro Tower has been the location for many historical events, some of which involved murders that still haunt the older Scalesi. The 5km track along Mount Aureo is an easy walk that takes you deep into a varied woodland. There are two main points of interest: the tower itself and its belvedere that is higher up with even more spectacular views on Atrani and Amalfi.

From the hamlet of Pontone, Mount Aureo juts out to the sea and overlooks both Atrani on one side and Amalfi on the other (the larger town of the two). In the photo, you can see the circular Ziro Tower, hight above the two towns.

1937

ESCHER’S ART AND a matter OF POINT OF VIEW

Metamorphosis II is one of the Dutch artist’s most famous lithographs. The main church of Atrani is clearly recognizable by it's distinctive bell-tower. The view from the belvedere on Mount Aureo corresponds perfectly with the perspective of Escher's illustration.

1898 - 1972

Maurits Cornelis Escher

Artist and etcher of great mathematical culture, he was famous for his paradoxically geometrical work. In common with many of the Northern European intellectuals of his time, he was fascinated by the beauty of the Amalfi Coast. Many of his works from 1921 onwards are linked to the Amalfi Coast.

The tower and its defending walls located hight on the crest of the mountain, with the column of the Belvedere is visible in the background.

1544

BARBAROSSA, THE TERROR OF THE SEAS

After ransacking the islands of Ischia and Procida, the terrible corsair Barbarossa and his fleet threatened the population of Amalfi. Just as they were about to invade Amalfi, a miraculous storm caused the corsair's fleet to retreat. Every year since that day, the community of Amalfi gives thanks to their patron saint, saint Andrew, for the avoided danger.

1510

princess Giovanna

The ancient story tells of the tragic life of the Duchess of Amalfi. Giovanna who met her death in Ziro Tower. She was the daughter of the king of Naples and was married at the age of 12 to the Duke of Amalfi, but she was widowed young. Later, she married her beloved servant in secret. Guilty of marrying a man of lower social status, she and her 2 children were condemned to life long imprisonment in Ziro Tower.

1611

THE TRAGEDY OF THE DUCHESS

The story of the Duchess of Amalfi, was passed down to us by the italian writer Matteo Bandello, who also inspired later writers such as Françoise Belleforest and Felipe Lope de Vega. The most famous work is the masterpiece The Tragedy of the Dutchesse of Malfy a play written in 1611 by John Webster for the Elisabethan Theatre.

The name Ziro comes from the Arabic word "ctiri" which refers to a container of a cylindrical shape, just like the tower.
MASANIELLO'S CAVE

Not far from the Ziro Tower, the little white church in the photo is Santa Maria del Bando, and to the right of it a cave is visible, Masaniello's Cave. It was said that Masaniello was responsible for the Neapolitan Revolution of 1647 and that he often found refuge in the cave.

DIVE INTO THE BLUE

A separate path leads you to the Belvedere terrace. The interrupted view of blue expansive sea and sky is breathtaking.