History, Art & Culture in Ravello and Amalfi Coast
Historical place in the Amalfi Coast
The Tower of Scarpariello was built in 1533 by the University of Ravello and commissioned by the Viceroy Don Pedro of Toledo as part of the coastal fortifications for the Amalfi dukedom against the invasion of turkish pirates. The sloping defensive walls were built to deflect on-coming cannon fire, thereby reducing the damage. They were much more effective than just verticals walls. The watchtowers were characteristically designed on a quadrangular layout with the defensive wall being ten meters wide and twenty meters high, and the thickness of the slope increasing from three to four meters. The design of these walls made them unscalable. Furthermore, the main entrance was defended by a drawbridge. The towers usually consisted of three levels, which often were covered and connected to each other by an internal staircase.One level was used as a store room, another was used as accomodations for up to ten soldiers and the third level housed the cannon and signal devices used to give advance warning of the enemy's approach. The main purpose was to defend the coast and to warn the local population as early as possible of the imminent arrrival of pirates. The inhabitants could take shelter on higher ground or hide in the numerous caves and ravines which characterize the coastline. Located on the main road to Amalfi, the Torre dello Scarpariello has witnessed many historical events. It was home to the Princes of Marsicanovo, the Barons of Compagna and King Vittorio Emanuele III and Queen Elena, who lived there in 1944. It was also where the King abdicated in favor of his son Umberto during the government of Salerno. The Tower now belongs to Prince Luigi d' Angerio di Sant'Agata who, over the years, has hosted many illustrious guests: actors, minister and ambassadors.
The Prince has exquisitely combined his taste for hospitality with his passion for interior design. Today, the Tower with its newly refurbished bedrooms and living areas, is decorated with precious antiques, statues and columns of the period. This fifteenth century pearl of the Amalfi Coast is characterized by its loggia overlooking the sea and swimming pool, richly decorated halls, and its bedrooms excavated in the cliff face. One cannot but marvel at the period furniture and weapons, and admire the family portraits which the Prince has personally selected in order to create the perfect ambiance. One can appreciate the rare beauty of this medieval home, from the authentic tower to the well appointed guests' bedrooms, as well as from the perfumed flower garden embraces it. Having parked one's car on the upper road level, one can descend towards the swimming pool, or proceed to the boat jetty where fast speedboats will take one on a scenic tour of the beautiful coastline. Many guests have wondered whether they were actually seing these beautiful sights or perhaps, were they in fact only dreaming? Although the Torre dello Scarpariello offers primarily apartments, one can also book sumptuosly furnished double rooms. The numerous publications describing Scarpariello attest of the style and taste of the building.
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Torre dello Scarpariello (Marmorata di Ravello, Costiera Amalfitana).
The announcement of an official visit in Italy of the President of the United States has a great importance in the society news because the gentle lady Jaqueline Kennedy is going to come again in Italy. In the society club of Ravello they make various suppositions, they wonder whether the First Lady will still return in the town which proclamed her honorary citizenship, in fact it seems that the lady Kennedy with her little Caroline has particular enthusiastic memory of her stay in Ravello, she would like to introduce to his husband the place where she spent her summer holiday in August 1962. Also the little Caroline left Ravello with regret, and it particularly seems for an ancient Norman tower brought to new shine by the owner Prince Luigi d'Angerio of Sant' Agata, and called Tower O' Scarpariello. It was here that Caroline together with her little Prince cousins Radziwill guided by the little Alfredo di Sant'Agata, walked around for the streets of the ancient castle, discovering undamaged medieval armors, precious items of the past and a whole small world of the authentic old Europe jealously preserved almost as in a beautiful and ancient tale.
This authentic memory is in extraordinary autographed letter that the First Lady of America sent to the d'Angerio Prince about her italian holiday, she declared that the visit to the Scarpariello Tower was the most beautiful Caroline's memory. Subsequentely the President Kennedy sent a polite letter to the owner of the Tower adding in it also a photo with personal dedication, and as he underlined that he agreed with the enthusiasm of his daughter. The Ravello people expect that the "couple number one" is going to renew the pleaseant stay to enjoy the heat of south Italy and visit again the Tower of Scarpariello. The Castle welcomed Vittorio Emanuele III and the Queen Elena in the 1944, besides the greatest names of the politics, culture, high finance and of the art and it keep welcoming guests according to his hospitality heritage.