The defense towers

Via Parasco, 11, 16016 Cogoleto GE, Italy

Simona Bertolaso



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The historic center of Cogoleto does not hint at its past as a fortified fishing village, formed as it is by a double row of houses within which Rati and Colombo streets develop. The intervening transformations have made it difficult to read the ancient garrison, of which a few towers remain, only partly recognizable, absorbed into the urban building fabric to the point of becoming a complement to the buildings to which they are leaning, apparently without an individuality of their own.
These Towers were in fact used to spot approaching vessels and prepare in time to deal with pirate invasions.
There are five of them and they all stand on the same inner street, three of them are before the railway station, one is just across the street while the last one is located just before the Church of St. Mary Major.
The towers, spaced about 60 meters apart, rose slightly above the buildings in front so that they could be observed well without being spotted.
Recall Torre Solaro, located on Via Mazzini (facing Piazza Europa), and historically called Torre Giare because there were numerous furnaces and houses in that area. The Solaro family probably had it built and and and maintained it for over two hundred years. Today the west facade has been absorbed by new housing.

Parasco Tower, built in the early decades of the eighteenth century. This Tower is perhaps the one that has most maintained its original appearance; in fact, the "gattoni" that crown it can still be seen.
To it was later united the bastion that descended to the sea to act as a defensive fortress on the edge of that marshy territory that was crossed by the Rio Rumaro and Rio Arrestra,but on which there was the ancient route that led to Varazze after descending from Sciarborasca to the fortress itself.
It can be seen on Parasco Street, near the outdoor movie arena.

Torre Isolata, which is one of the oldest and is very similar to the Solaro Tower. Named so because it was one of the few isolated towers in the Cogolese countryside and remained so until the first decades of this century. Today it is known as Dr. Chiappe’s Tower, visible from Via Mazzini.

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