Avalos Tower in Augusta

Avalos Tower in Augusta

Salvatore Cannizzaro - CC3.0

The Tower of Avalos is a watchtower and defense built on a rock outcropping to defend the entrance to the harbor of Augusta.
It was built in 1570 at the behest of the viceroy of Sicily and Marquis of Pescara, Ferdinando d'Avalos, for further increase the military defenses of the city of Augusta. At that time, in fact, two forts of Garcia and Vittoria had recently been erected, which led to the imposing Swabian castle strengthened by the Aragonese.
The tower has a semicircular architecture on two levels, and performed various functions: to contain al inside it 40 cannons that can be used in the event of a naval attack; guiding light for ships; and sighting place.
During the Second World War, three episodes were reconstructed that had Torre Avalos as a scenario: The first episode dates back to August 13, 1940, when some of the small British war boats mistook the tower for an Italian boat and they bombed it; the second episode occurred on 24 September 1942 when some British fighter-bombers machine-gunned the Torre Avalos signal station and wounded two sailors; the third episode occurred on July 12, 1943 when, following the Allied invasion, the Royal Navy gave the Greek fighter Kanaris the honor of entering the first Italian naval base conquered on metropolitan soil. Near Torre Avalos, the ship launched a motorboat with a squad of sailors who hoisted a flag on it, effectively marking the capture.

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