watch tower of the 16th century

watch tower of the 16th century

[ Oct.2017 ] The heel part of the boot of the Italian peninsula is called Salento in Apulia.

We got up at 3 am again and visited the town called Porto Cesareo which is located in the west side of Salento.

The main purpose was to visit a relative living here, but for my husband it was a nostalgic place where he went many times when he was a child.

It was a lovely relaxing town facing the beautiful sea with great seafood.

The sea water was too cold to swim as you might expect at the weekend of the early October, but apparently people swam until one week before.

In this Salento region, there are many watch towers built in the 15th – 16th century on the coast.

We went to one of those towers called Torre Chianca.

Here they told us that there are as many as 84 towers in Salento, every 5 km distance and they are often called Torre Normanna (Norman Tower).

They said that the towers were built to watch out for the Turkish forces attacking Italy, but according to the internet site, it seems that they do not know exactly who and why they were built.

Inside the Chianca, there was an exhibition about turtles on the ground floor.

In the past, the turtles mated around here and had eggs on Zakynthos Island in Greece where we visited recently, but because of the global warming, many cases were reported that the turtles lost the way and died from exhaustion.

In the exhibition, it was explained that people were helping them to survive.

On the first floor, there was a copy of a statue of a monkey.

Apparently a fisherman who were collecting sea urchins found this statue in the sea and gave it to his children to play with it, but later people found that this was a statue of Thoth, a god in Egypt made in the 4th century BC.

During the Roman era, Romans had the power over Egypt and they think that Romans stole this statue from a temple in Egypt.

In those days, Porto Cesareo was an important port, trading salt, wine and mullet fish which was as valuable as gold.

They told us that there are some Greek columns sunk in the sea around here while they were transporting from Greece to Rome, like the ones we saw in Sicily last summer.

From the top of the tower, we enjoyed the refreshing sea view.

The colour of the sea changed every moment depending on the light.

When the sun was high, it became very warm, so much so that we could stay with just a T-shirt. 

After visiting the tower, we had a nice lunch at a restaurant called Almanegra in the town.

The prawns I had for the main, which was called Gamberoni al Sale was very tasty including the tomalley.

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