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  • New Tower, San Vincenzo.zoom in altra finestra
  • New Tower, San Vincenzo.zoom in altra finestra

Torre Nuova [New Tower]

Built in the first half of the 16th century, the Torre rises astride the Acquacalda canal, an old emissary of Rimigliano Lake (reclaimed in the 19th century). The rectangular-plan construction straddles the canal with three round arches. The tallest part is the watchtower proper in defence of the coast, armed with four cannons, eight muskets, two springalds and eight rifles.

In addition to its defence function, it also served as a mill to grind the grain destined to Portoferraio. Its gearing, stone grinders (two of which are still visible in the garden), and machines were lodged on the interred floor, which opened onto one of the arches above the stream, where the mill’s paddle wheels were located. By Medici order, the plant was dismantled soon after its construction, due to the canal’s modest flow. The building also served as berth for the iron mineral from Elba directed to the ironworks of Caldana in the vicinity of Campiglia, and also to embark cast iron and wrought iron. The complex was equipped with a storeroom and two cisterns built at different times, but both circular, of the same size, and with little windows and a cupola.

A plaque positioned in 1835 in the first-floor room recalls that during his visits to Maremma, Grand Duke Leopold II would often sojourn at the Torre Nuova. Abandoned as of the mid 19th century, in 1871 it was sold by the Italian government to the Michahelles family who restored and transformed it into their residence.


Texts by Graziano Magrini

English translation by Victor Beard

Last update 24/gen/2008