Buccione Tower

The tower is 23 meters high and represents the emerging and the best-preserved part of a real castle built towards the end of the twelfh century. Starting from the first half of 1200 this tower is the emblem of freedom and pride of the small independent feud known as “Università della Riviera di San Giulio”.

The statutes of this small “Guelph Republic”, led by the bishop of Novara, on the one hand left wide autonomy to the inhabitants; on the other hand, imposed obligations. Among these obligations, one of the most popular was to gather armed to the sound of the bell of the tower to counter any invaders. The last bell of the tower was melted in 1610 in Bolzano Novarese by Pietro Bonavila; the bell was removed about sixty years ago and kept for a long time at the Villa Comunale of Orta.

In November 2004, the bell went back to its original location afer a long restoration.

The tower with a square base of 7.60 meters on the side, has an access door located 6 meters high. Access was possible thanks to an escalator, which could be withdrawn in case the attackers managed to overcome the curtain wall. This curtain wall was originally equipped with stands, loopholes and walkaway patrol; it closed two inner courtyards, which was accessed only through a large square wall that still at the end of the Seventeenth century could contain six hundred men lined up. The Tower was internally divided into three decks: the lower floor was used as a warehouse for supplies in case of siege. The entrance was defended from the upper floor by throwing stones through a doorstep. Buccione Tower has been part of the protected area of “Monte Mesma” and “Colle della Torre di Buccione” since 1993.