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San Michele Tower

San Michele Tower

Saint Michael's Tower stands in Cervia's historical centre and dates back to 1691, before the founding of New Cervia, when it was built to defend the town from Turks and Saracens.

Built in 1691, the Torre San Michele has always served to protect the town and the salt.

Historic boats in the canal port and San Michele's tower - Ph. Gruppo fotografico cervese

In 1691 Earl Michelangelo Maffei, who had already ordered the construction of the Torre storehouse for salt storage, had this powerful building erected for protection against pirates’ attacks.
Treasurer for Romagna from 1682 to 1706, Maffei paid more attention to the needs of the Cervia population than his predecessors.

The main function of the Tower was protection: on top of it was the parade ground to warn of any attack from brigands and looters, as well as to defend the valuable salt resources, stored in the storehouse.

Torre San Michele e vele storiche - Ph. Angela RaggiWith its square plan, 13.5 m per side, 22.5 m height and 3 m thick walls, the Tower was actually a fortress, including a number of openings, windows and gaps equipped with short and long-range weaponry.

The Tower could also accommodate the guards who lived there, which made it an independent building, with chimney stacks, external water tanks, showers, discharge systems and other utilities.

The Tower was apparently based on an old drawing by Michelangelo Buonarroti, sketched in order to protect the coastal areas of the Papal State and preserved in the Reverenda Camera Apostolica archives.


The tower was named after Saint Michael Archangel,  Michelangelo Maffei's patron saint,  as shown by the dedication on the marble bas-relief above the entrance gate.

Today the Tower hosts the Tourist Information and Reception office.

Via Arnaldo Evangelisti 4, Cervia

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Tourist Information - #VisitCervia - - +39 0544 974400