Permanent exhibition on the fortifications of the State of the Presidi in Tuscany
A must-see for all who are interested in the history of the Monte Argentario area.
The Boutique Hotel Torre in Cala Piccola houses the permanent exhibition on the fortifications of the State of the Presidi in Tuscany within the Calapiccola Tower, built in 1589.
Visiting the exhibition, which opens on Saturday May 14th, means immersing yourself in history and discovering the purpose of the towers and fortresses that dot the landscape among the winding lanes on Monte Argentario.
After the fall of the Republic of Siena (1555), the Spaniards surrendered their land to the Duke of Florence, Cosimo I de’ Medici, but kept control of a small stretch of the Maremma coastline centred upon Orbetello, Talamone and Monte Argentario, with Porto Ercole and Porto Santo Stefano. It was the birth of the State of the Presidi in Tuscany (1557), which survived for around 250 years under various rulers, Spanish, Austrian, Neapolitan and French, until the Congress of Vienna (1815) when the tiny state was effectively absorbed into the Grand Duchy of Tuscany.
The towers were built in response to a need for security owing to frequent raids by Turkish and Barbary pirates. Their main target were unescorted merchant ships. Individual acts of piracy developed into a full corsair war when the Barbary flotillas were later joined by the ships of the Turkish fleet, thereby becoming a threat for the whole of western Christianity.
The pirates were led by captains who were both skilled sailors and masters of the art of war at sea, and who would quickly become infamous and much feared throughout the Christian world, in particular Hayreddin, who is better known as Barbarossa. The Turkish-Barbary threat to the Argentario area continued until the beginning of the 19th century.
The visit of the exhibition, laid out over the two floors of the tower, is introduced by a film telling the story of the towers and the area as a whole.
Visitors can admire arms, portraits and maps which are faithful reproductions of the originals.
The exhibition can be visited upon request from 10:30 to 12:00 and from 18:00 to 19:00.
To make a reservation, or for more information, please call +39 0564 825111
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