17 November 2021

"Torre dei Saraceni" and the other towers of Arenzano

Erected on the Costa Boera in a position that embraces the open sea, "Torre dei Saraceni" is one of the oldest symbols of Arenzano.
It promptly sighted the arrival of enemy ships to prepare the village to defend itself.

In its name, however, there is an historical error. In fact, the Tower was built between the 16th and 17th centuries for the defense of the Republic of Genoa coast from the attacks of the Barbary pirates, and not the Saracens, as the name suggests, who lived in the early Middle Ages.

The history of “Torre dei Saraceni” began with a pirate assault. In June 1559, Captain Amoret Rais carried out one of the most serious looting of the village of Arenzano, at that time an important village for trade and for the presence of shipyards.

Arenzano obtained from the Genoese senate funds to create works to defend the coast, houses and construction sites.

How did the towers communicate with each other? Manned, night and day in turn, they communicated with the other towers through the reflection of mirrors, fires or smoke with which they sent coded signals.

“Torre dei Saraceni” certainly did not have an easy life; the tower that can be admired today, in fact, is the faithful reconstruction of the original and dates back to the beginning of the 19th century.

Another small sixteenth-seventeenth-century watchtower still survives in Arenzano, while the other guard post located in the current Pineta area was demolished in 1968 to make room for the new design villas.

To admire "Torre dei Saraceni" it is necessary to climb a few meters behind the Sanctuary of the Infant Jesus and after a flight of stairs on the left, it can be seen, only from the outside, in all its ancient and austere charm.

The Tower is also the starting point for an evocative itinerary, suitable for everyone, which, in less than two hours, leads to the panoramic area of Curlo: the "Sentiero degli Inglesi", which crosses the forest offering breathtaking views.