Torre Scola: almost destroyed because of Napoleon, saved by a miracle
The fortification in front of Palmaria Island has a long story: built by the Genoese, almost destroyed by the British and saved from being demolished.Some italianise its name as “Torre Scuola” and some swear it was a prison, but the story of the Torre Scola is unique, and goes through the Republic of Genoa, Napoleonic times and British domination: ask Mr. Ubaldo Mazzini.
Destroyed in the battle between Napoleon and the BritishUntil 1800, the fort withstood the test of time and enemies. June 23, 1800, however, forever changed the tower’s story. At the time, the Gulf of Poets was under the control of Napoleonic France. In La Spezia waters a violent battle between the French and the English fleet was staged. The British gunfire damaged it severely, partly breaking it down and forcing its abandonment.
“Tear down the Torre Scola!”, or maybe notAt the beginning of the nineteenth century, the Scola Tower seemed useless for defensive purposes, as it was designed in the earlier centuries and as its structure had become ruined. So, in 1915 its demolition was planned. Apparently, it was the interest of the Local intellectual and Ministry of Public Education Ubaldo Mazzini that saved the fortification. The Tower’s standing out profile carries the signs of the shellings (in the course of the last century it was also used as a test target by the Marina Militare), but in the 1980s it has been subjected to consolidation measures that now allow it to stand firm in the middle of the Gulf, as a witness of centuries of local history.
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