City towers of Ascoli Piceno
History and curiosities
There were two reasons for erecting the city towers. The first one was practical, as they were used as part of the defence of the city. The second motive was of a completely different nature, however. Building the towers allowed the rich and noble to show how rich and noble they were.
During the heyday of medieval Ascoli, the town had more than 200 towers, of which today – still a respectable number – about 50 remain. About half, 91 towers, were toppled by Federico II in 1252. Other towers were razed to the ground during feuds between the powerful factions of the city. Still others were lowered and converted into private dwellings.
The surviving towers are square in shape and average 40 metres high. The base is made of large blocks of travertine marble and the entrance is usually narrow and not very high.
The most famous tower is the Torre degli Ercolani.