Ancient Walls and Parsano Bastion, Sorrento

Ancient Walls and Parsano Bastion, Sorrento

In 420 BC, as Greek influence began to wane in the ancient town of Sureo before it became known as Sorrento, the Samnites invaded the south. But Sureo was protected by its Greek fortifications and the Sammnites stopped at Naples. The walls of Sorrento have always protected the town. Today they are a defensive anachronism, but they are in better shape than ever.

Ruins of the ancient Greek and Roman walls were discovered during excavations of the Parsano Gate in 1921. This was verified by a plaque thoughtfully installed there in the age of Augustus. The Romans had filled and bricked up the Greek gateway.

In the time of the Roman Empire the town was completely wrapped in walls. There were five fortified gates guarding against attacks from the sea or land, especially from the sea. When attackers were sighted alarms would sound, calling people to come inside the walls.

During Spanish rule a renewal of the walls was begun in 1551, after the end of the wars between the Angevins and the Aragonese. It was a little late for that, however. The Saracens successfully invaded in 1558, breaking through the Big Marina Gate. The movement to strengthen the walls and gates then became the all-important thing to do.

Spanish engineer Pedro Trevino rebuilt the south wall with tufa blocks plastered over. The Greek and Roman fortifications were preserved where possible. He restored four remaining bastions and joined them together with tracks called "corrine."

The Parsano Gate was built in the 17th century. Originally called the Gate of Anastasi, it was built on the ruins of the old Greek walls. Visitors are allowed to enter from 10 am until 1 pm during the day and from 7 pm until 11 pm at night.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Sorrento. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Ancient Walls and Parsano Bastion on Map

Sight Name: Ancient Walls and Parsano Bastion
Sight Location: Sorrento, Italy (See walking tours in Sorrento)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Sorrento, Italy

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Create Your Own Walk in Sorrento

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