Torre di Portonovo

An impressive & historical Tower with a view and on the beach

Pope Clement XI (1649-1721), is the founder of the Tower of Portonovo. He belonged to the Albani family and was a native of Urbino. The Tower was built by order of the Pope on Monte Calcagno, on a medieval model (the owners found a drawing autographed by Leonardo da Vinci, of a fortification project with an almost identical design). It is a massive construction where we can still see the stone seats on the top floor for the guards.

The entire terrace, with a ceiling supported by huge oak beams, allows a total view of the gulfs, a precious position to locate enemy ships and was also used a signalling post in case of pirate incursions coming from the Dalmatian coast. The insignia of Pope Clement XI, carved in stone, are walled in on the façade. The small house (which the owners are referring to as La Casetta) adjacent to the Tower was built in 1915. During WWII several soldiers of the Coast defence were quartered here. The tower and annex have been fully restored by the current owners.

According to the old local people, the Tower was “discovered” by Adolfo de Bosis (1863-1924), poet of Ancona, who used to spend his summer vacations on the Conero Mountain (Portonovo and the Conero are now a National Park). During one of his walks, he came down to Portonovo and saw the Tower, an isolates, abandoned defence building by the sea and obtained it for rent from the State. It is in the Tower that he took inspiration for many of the lyrics that were published in “Il Convito”, a literary review he had launched, the participation of men of culture such as D’Annunzio, Pascoli, Carducci and others.

The Tower was eventually bought by the de Bosis family and became the summerhouse of Lauro, the youngest of the de Bosis brothers, who died in 1931 during the antifascist resistance, after flying over Rome. He launched over 400.000 leaflets addressed to the king and to the people, denouncing the fascist regime which had abolished liberal democracy in Italy.

For someone who has never seen Torre di Portonovo the first impression is of astonishment. An 18th century fortress built just a few yards from the sea, with private garden, where one can spend time enjoying swimming, rowing (boat rental on the beach), take walks to the close-by XI-century church, also built almost on the beach, visit the Fortino Napoleonico, now a hotel, but originally a fort, built around 1810. All this within walking distance.

Inside the Torre there is a baby-grand piano, that can be played by professionals who would like to practise while on holiday. This should be discussed and arranged, since the piano can be heard from the rooms and not everyone might agree!


Entering the gate to the garden that leads to the Tower you will follow the stone path to the entrance of the building. A few steps and you will get to a vaulted hall where among the many beautiful things; you will see the wooden door, which is the original one, dating back to the 18th century.

The hall is furnished as a living room, with a white sofa-bed (double), a few armchairs, an astonishing number of books and a Steinway baby-grand piano. Bathroom with shower can be accessed from here.

A slate stairway leads you to the first floor where you have a one-bed bedroom and a double bed bedroom. On this floor you have a WC with sink, just on the landing of the floor. More stairs and you get to the second floor where you have a large double bed bedroom (possibility of adding additional beds) with WC and sink accessible from the room and a single bed bedroom (also with possibility of additional bed) without bathroom. This room has a wooden staircase that gets you to the terrace. The view from here is unbelievable; you can see a panorama that includes mountain, architectural beauties and the sea.

Due to the massive walls that the Tower has, the TV signal is not good and in fact, the only TV set with a good signal is in La Casetta. There is no WI-FI.

There is a very pleasant hot/cold water shower in the garden.


Price per Per Night Per Night
No. persons 1 2
10 August - 16 August 90 174
All other periods 80 160

There is also a small table top fridge for the guests in the tower.

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