of towers located in strategic positions, designed to control shores and
coastal roads, still survive in Molise. These towers, which are visually
connected with each other and with lookout points, bear witness to an
impressive defence system activated at the end of the 16th century
in order to protect all the coasts of southern Italy against attacks by sea,
but also to control the production activities in the interior. The results, in
truth, were not impressive, so these defences were soon abandoned. The models
adopted were simple (square towers with scarp and counterscarp, with a raised
entrance accessible through a stair) and reproduced with few modifications.
The surviving towers on the Molisian coast are those of Petacciato and of
Sinarca, while the tower built at the mouth of the river Trigno and the tower
of Campomarino have disappeared. They are all well documented in the report
made by the Marquis of Celenza to the Viceroy of Naples (1594) and preserved
in the National Library of Paris.
In addition to these towers there are two artefacts which date back to
different periods and have different structural characteristics, but which may
have contributed at some time to further strengthen the defences : the tower of
Montebello, built on a hilltop two kilometres from the coast, and the Meridian
tower (cylindrical and tapered), which is the reference point for the
intersection of the 15th meridian and the 42nd parallel.