TORRE ORSAIA, the town chosen by bishops for their holidays
This Middle Ages town is situated on the green hill that slope down towards the sea covered by olive trees and with the smell of myrtle and lentisk. The ancient hamlet of Castel Ruggiero is very charming: it is situated on the peak of a rock.
The bell tower of XI century is actually beautiful. On the walls of the wide corridor with barrel-vault there are the emblems of some bishops that lived in Torre Orsaia and the monumental coat of arms of the Episcopal Palace, summer seat of the Bishop.
All Saints Fair is very interesting (1st November).
At the half of XI century the invasions by pirates, the malarial fever, the destruction of Policastro made by the Norman condottiere Roberto il Guiscardo (1065) made the populations that lived on the coast move in the inner part of the territory, creating Turris Ursajae. Castel Ruggero, in the ancient Torre Superiore, gave hospitality in 1150 the army of Ruggero il Normanno that was fighting against the count of Laurito.
In 1301 the bishop of Policastro, Monsignor Pagano, ordered the building of a summer house in Torre Orsaia (in the past called Torre inferiore) and issued an act in which he said that all the people that wanted to live around this house would have had land, a house, a vineyard, paying a tax called “pregata”. The bishop issued also a Legal Code that regulated the life and the relationships between the inhabitants and the Bishop-Baron, called Capitula terre turris ursaye.
Antonio Fortunato from Torre was the leader of a band of brigands between 1866 and 1869.
testi: Stefania Maffeo