In medieval times, the mouth of the Astura river, 7 km from Borgo Sabotino, the town was inhabited and the site of an ancient Roman port. From the sea surface cropped up the remains of a fish pond of 15,000 square meters. On the remains of the fish pond,
in 1193, the Frangipane, the lords of the place, to defend Astura from the Saracens, they built the tower, 30 meters wide by 15 lesser of the current. tower-astura_anticaRomaPlinio describes Astura like an island, and the news is confirmed by the remains of a bridge that connected the island to the mainland. The table Putingeriana reminds Astura as one of the Appian Way Station. Cicero, who had there one of his villas, describes the place: “Astura quidam locus amoenus, in ipso seas, here ab Antio et circejs auspices possit”. The Romans had built a port and an imperial palace whose ruins remain. They stayed there probably Augustus, Tiberius and Caligula.
In 1268 Conrad of Swabia, defeated at Tagliacozzo, took refuge in Astura, but John Frangipane, lord of this land, and gave it to Charles of Anjou, King of Naples and the ‘last of the Swabians was beheaded in Piazza del Carmine in Naples. The tragic incident was deeply moved in the traveler and the German historian Ferdinand Gregorovius, who in the mid nineteenth century he visited these places and spent two moving poems in Nettuno and Torre Astura.
For Gregorovius, Astura Tower “is the star of Romanticism, is the tower of the German poets in Italy and Germany should be declared national property.” After being a feud of the Brown and Orsini, in 1426 Astura passed to the Colonna, who, in the mid-sixteenth century, rebuilt the castle, giving it its current appearance. Elegant Renaissance style were added over the years to the Roman works and the rustic medieval.
Of an ancient “Astura Forest”, later called “Selva di Brick”, remain today the modest, albeit lush, testimonies of Astura pinewood forests Foglino and Crosses. The place has inspired writers and poets throughout the centuries. “The forest at Astura is beautiful – is the story of Ferdinand Gregorovius, written in 1854 – the florahere is a tropical splendor, ivy clings to the majestic oaks “. And again Joseph Brovelli Soffredini in 1887. “the immense, imposing and magnificent garden, where the soil was carpeted by a sparkling green in the sunny spots and a green turchinoccio under the shade of age-old oaks.”
Gabriele D’Annunzio, who was in March of 1897, tells of a “beautiful pine forest trunks are so thick that leave just a few penetrating eye of the sun and tawny trees, with their branches loaded with needles, shine this divine iridescence, this sovrammirabile work of enchantment-aracnea “.
How to reach Torre Astura:
Starting from Latina have to reach via the Lido. At the second roundabout, turn right on Seaside Road (S.P. 50). After the round of Borgo Sabotino, continue until you reach the junction with Road Valmontorio. At this point turn left and continue on this road until you reach a car park with controlled access.
The route to this corner of paradise begins in the gravel forecourt used for parking. This area, however, is part of the Neptune military shooting range, so access is allowed only in the summer months, from 08:30 to 19:30. Once in the car park (daily price € 4) you’ll have to head to the opposite side of the entrance gate and from there take a dirt road that runs alongside the river Astura. After about 10 minutes walk (unfortunately under the sun) you will begin to glimpse a beach. You will then keep walking until you get to the visible fortification on the prominence of the coast.
Before reaching the Torre Astura beach you have to cross a pine grove. Once past, it just takes a few minutes walk to get in front of the fort. If you can not see it, do not worry, do not you miss a turn! The stronghold is hidden from an old abandoned house. Behind it you will find the magnificent building constructed by the Frangipane family in 1193, only connected to the mainland by a narrow bridge with brick arches.