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Tower of Manfria Protected areas of Mazarin

It was part of the warning system of the coastal towers of Sicily, built on the recommendation of the Florentine architect Camillo Camilliani.

The Tower of Manfria stands on a hill overlooking the hamlet of Manfria and is visible from the entire Gulf of Gela. It is currently privately owned and is in a fairly good state of conservation, except for the terrace which has some parts of the cornice now destroyed.

It should be noted that it is one of the largest Camillian towers, it is in fact about 15 meters high with a base of about 12.50 meters. It was also known as the tower of Sferracavallo, but Francesco Maria Emanuele Gaetani, Marquis of Villabianca, in his Palermitan Diaries reports that it was also called Torre d’Ossuna.

Its construction began in 1549, during the vice-reign of Giovanni De Vega. The date, not completely certain, is inferred from Tiburzio Spannocchi in his survey drawing it with the same truncated conical base of the Mulinazzo Tower in Cinisi, which with certainty had already been built in 1552 under the viceroy Giovanni De Vega. In 1578 it is mentioned for being located in Contrada Sferracavallo, and not completed, so much so that it was suggested that: and it will be necessary to furnish it by raising it about two canes moreā€¦

In 1578, therefore, the construction was resumed and completed to a design by the Florentine architect Camillo Camilliani, who mentions it twice on the occasion of his preparatory studies, for which he prepared a watercolor showing the circular-shaped tower with a base suitable for defense as it in correspondence to the north with the Castle of Butera, and to the east with the Castle of Gela, while to the west it was with the Castle of Falconara.

torre di Manfria

In the first quarter of the 17th century the tower was almost completely rebuilt until it assumed its present appearance, and probably, Villabianca infers, thanks to the impulse of the viceroy Pedro Giron, duke of Ossuna. From the archives of the Deputation of the Kingdom of Sicily, it appears that starting from the eighteenth century, in the years 1717, 1757, 1797, the garrison of the tower was composed of four soldiers and a superintendent chosen among the knights of the city of Terranova (Gela).

In 1804 from the same source it was placed under the supervision of Don Mariano Carpinteri and Gravina, from Terranova, who in 1805 had the external access staircase built, with two ramps, which still exists today. In 1867 it was included in the military works to be decommissioned.

The tower is linked to the legend of the giant Manfrino, good and unfortunate, guarding a hidden treasure, born from the discovery of Greek and Roman coins in the area and a rock formation, no longer visible today, interpreted as his footprint left in the rock .