Licinella Tower





Near the sea, in via Torre di Paestum, there is a military construction in the shape of a truncated cone ending with a battlementcalled Paestum Tower. The interior is divided into two overlapping rooms reached by an external staircase.

At the time of the landing of the Allies on the shores of Paestum, the Germans had placed a machine gun emplacement on top of the tower, and it was only by sheer luck that the tower was not destroyed by naval attacks.

Standing guard over the Salerno coastline for about five centuries, the Licinella tower, also known as the 'Paestum tower', performed its function until September 1943. Built in the 16th century, in fact, the coastal tower was part of the sighting system against the Saracen raids that threatened the Italian coasts at that time. The tower was used as an observation and defence point, and incorporated into the Italian coastal stronghold in the area, by Italian soldiers of the 222nd coastal division, which had been formed in July 1942, and was part of the garrison placed in defence of Salerno.

After the armistice was announced on 8 September, the tower was occupied by the Germans, playing an important role during the first hours of Operation Avalanche on the night of 8-9 September.

The Germans placed a machine gun and several sharpshooters on top of the tower, which caused many casualties in the ranks of the attackers. Behind the tower, a number of German Panzers were positioned, hidden among the houses, which made the situation even more complicated.

The American soldiers of the 531st Shore Engineers of the 36th Infantry Division, who landed on the beach in front of them, managed to take the area after many hours of fighting. The commander of Company D of the regiment, together with three other men attacked the Paestum tower, forcing the German machine-gunners to retreat from it.

The interior of the tower cannot currently be visited, but signs of the fighting in 1943 are still visible on its walls.


Via Torre di Paestum, Capaccio-paestum