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Wonder
Wonder  }  Architecture

The Norman Tower of Pietramontecorvino

Stories of soldiers and an unhappy love that still endures

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Where is

Puglia

Via Arco Ducale, 71038 Pietramontecorvino FG, Italia (446m s.l.m.)

Directions
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What it is and where it is

In the heart of the historic center of Pietramontecorvino, the Norman Tower silently awaits us. An architectural jewel from the medieval period, from the height of its 30 meters it towers majestically over the historic center of the town. As you get closer, however, you discover that its silence is only a mask. The air carries echoes, subtle vibrations, reflections from the building's stones quivering with the desire to tell their story. Indeed, plural: their stories!

Why it is special

Its solid and imposing structure is the first to tell of a warrior past. In fact, this tower clearly had a defensive function. When you enter its interior by moving through its four floors, you seem to hear the heavy footsteps of soldiers, their voices harsh and excited as they announce the arrival of the enemy. Yet, there is something else. One does not quite identify it until one reaches the second floor, with its elegant mullioned windows with two lights. And it is at that sight that the picture comes together: rustling silks and brocades, festive voices and music: this is where the nobility of King Charles of Anjou's court gathered for a time.

Not to be missed

In its simplicity, this Tower captures you to dive into a surreal dimension in which time seems to have stopped. To keep the feeling intact, if you do not have motor difficulties, there is one detail that you absolutely cannot miss: the old spiral staircase made from a single block of wood dated 1218 and composed of 116 steps. As you ascend, you can still smell the scent of living wood, the fear of the soldiers who manned it, and the slow steps of the noble inhabitants who lived there. The effort of the climb will be repaid by the view from the crenellated terrace. Pure poetry.

A bit of history

The earliest records we have of the tower date back to 1209 when Pietramontecorvino, then called "Castel di Pietra," was a fief of two soldiers. Even then the tower was quite dated, lower than its present height and had essentially defensive functions. In the Frederician era this tower became part of a system of watchtowers that would serve as defensive points of the castle of Lucera and that of Castel Fiorentino, where Frederick II himself found death there in 1250. Only with the Angevins did it become a noble residence with the addition of mullioned windows, balcony and crenellated terrace.

Trivia

It is said that the Tower was for a long time the home of a sad princess. A few days after her marriage, the young woman saw her beloved depart in battle. The prince left her with a solemn promise "However it goes I will return to you. And if I should die I will join you in the guise of a raven." Days, months, years passed, and then, one night, the princess was awakened by the cry of a raven flying over the terrace of the Tower. And then she understood. Such was her grief that she decided to join him by jumping from the small balcony of her room. Since then, crow cries have been heard coming from the majestic Tower at night. It is the prince, still calling to his beloved.

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Elvira Scibinico

From up here you cannot miss the view of the village at sunset or late in the evening, the atmosphere is almost surreal and the deafening silence fills your heart, the only noise you can hear is that of the wind tickling the clouds.

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