Since 1167 the area of Metaponto, whose name seemed to be lost along with the splendor of Magna Graecia, took to call Torre di Mare (as evidenced by a bilingual document in Greek and Latin and a Frederick's act),

a name which indicated a very small village near the ancient port of Santa Pelagina, born around a Norman castle dating back to 1060 and built mostly using as quarries the buildings of the ancient Greek city. The castle, at the western edge of the ancient Greek city of Metaponto, had been erected by exploiting the pre-existing Roman castrum and, after hosting nobles of the time (Countess Emma Maccabeo of Montescaglioso and her family), was granted to the Benedictine monastery of San Michele.

Of the ancient complex are known, in addition to the tower and stretches of walls, buildings dedicated to the custody of tools, homes of peasants and facilities aimed at the hospitality of travelers who chose Torre di Mare as a stopping point along one of the most important land routes of the time: the Royal Route, which joined the Calabrian coast to that of Puglia.

To the XIV century dates back the first abandonment of the site in a very desolating settlement framework that records the presence of numerous villages abandoned for multiple causes. To the late-medieval abandonment follows a notable restructuring between XV and XVI century, in line with how much happened in the rest of the Reign of Naples, for the rearrangement of the defensive structures litoranee against the advance of the Turks. In 1459, with other houses in the area, became a fief of Del Balzo, Prince of Taranto and in 1497 King Federico sold the land.

Even though it was in a strategic position and had a good development, life near Torre di Mare was never easy, because of the contrasts between the Eastern and Western Empires, which often clashed on these lands, and because of the inhospitality of the area which, due to the abandonment and the destruction of the irrigation works, was reduced to an unhealthy swamp where first malaria and then the plague of 1656 erased every human presence. The local population underwent an alternating demographic increase. A new depopulation is recorded from the seventeenth century when it appears in the chronicles of travelers as reduced to ruins and uninhabited. After the Unification of Italy, in 1869, with the creation of the railway that united the regions of the South, the ancient name of Metaponto re-emerged.

Located at the edge of the town, near the railway station, the complex is currently characterized by post-medieval structures articulated in several buildings and a church dedicated to St. Leone Magno. With the land reclamation and the agrarian reform of the last century, after a long period of abandonment, the castle was recovered and restored and today, during the summer months, in its beautiful setting are placed cultural events of all kinds.



Piazza Plebiscito snc

75012 Bernalda (MT)

+39 0835 540 214