Michelangelo’s Tower

Between history and legend

History and legend help create even more fascination around the Guevara tower. Commonly referred to as “Michelangelo’s” or “St. Anna’s,” it is a turreted house built on the stretch of the island’s East Coast. Among the most enchanting places on the island,the tower is a terrace over the beautiful Bay of Cartaromana, which can be observed while enjoying the spectacle of the Aragonese Castle in the background.

The tower’s construction was due to King Alfonso of Aragon, who from 1433, in an organic measure, arranged for greater defense of the islet, including the building of towers along adjacent stretches of coastline. This is the context for the choice of a fortress house, owned until the early 1800s by the Guevaras, dukes of Bovino, after whom the tower is named.

History marries, however, with legend, and there are more famous names by which the tower is known. The name “Michelangelo’s” is due to the presence of Vittoria Colonna on Ischia Castle and her friendship with the famous Italian artist. News of the connection in more recent times has morphed into the legendary belief that the great Michelangelo stayed in the Guevara Tower for a love correspondence with his beloved. The purpose of corroborating the presence of the great artist in Ischia has had the effect of obfuscating an already accredited toponymy, that of “tower of St. Anna“, due to the presence at the site of a small church dedicated to it, which came into use when the Guevaras abandoned the estate and was transposed by the same nineteenth-century cartography.

Articulated on three levels, the first of which is a scarp level concluded with a live stone torus, the tower presents an image of subtle, sophisticated elegance, thanks to its square layout and the geometry of the openings, framed by texturesof volcanic stone, so much so that it has come to the attention as a significant work of the Neapolitan Renaissance.

In recent years, the site has been enhanced and today the outdoor area hosts numerous cultural events and private ceremonies, initiatives that are compatible with the preservation of the asset.


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