“In the first half of the 16th century, a reorganisation of the defence system began on all the coasts of the ancient Kingdom of Naples to deal with enemy incursions”.
The Ravaschiera Tower is located almost on the banks of the Ancinale River, precisely in the area of Satriano Marina, about one kilometre from the sea.
It is a quadrangular structure dating back to the middle of the 16th century, built in defence of the Saracen invasions in Calabria.
It was part of a large system of watchtowers built all along the coast, and was in fact one of 337 towers scattered not only in Calabria, but throughout the Kingdom of Naples.
Along with all the other towers, it was called ‘cavallara’ because it housed the ‘cavallari’, i.e. sentries on horseback who, in case of danger, would send out rapid warning signals using their horns or, more simply, by firing shots.
Access to the upper floor of the tower was via a small drawbridge, later replaced by a staircase.
After some research, it was discovered that the original name of the tower was actually Turri Misolinari.
In fact, it was only after the period of the Ravaschieri Principality of Satriano (around 1818) that the tower took on its new (and current) name.
“The name Ravaschieri or Ravaschiera with which the old watchtower ‘Misolinari’ is indicated, could perhaps be explained by the fact that one of the princes of Satriano of the Ravaschieri family may have built a residence in the marine area near the tower, so that many years later both the tower and the whole area took on the name Ravaschieri or Ravaschiera”.
The Italian Environment Fund (F.A.I.) has recently put the Ravaschiera Tower at the top of its list of national assets to be protected.
It is currently privately owned and subject to the constraints of the Superintendence.
By Francesco Tirinato
Giulio De Loiro, Gente Nostra. Uomini e donne dalle mani operose, veri protagonisti della storia di Satriano.