Tower of Passannante
Another name assigned to the Tower of the Martello for the long imprisonment spent by Giovanni Passannante.
FROM 1879 to 1889 GIOVANNI PASSANNANTE HAS BEEN CLOSED IN THIS MEDICEA TOWER of Portoferraio, later called by the sailors of the island “ Tower Passannante “. The cell where he was held was very small, located below sea level, without a latrine, just 1.50 meters high. For ten years Passannante lived in total darkness, in complete isolation. tied to a chain of eighteen kilos that allowed him to move only one meter. The humidity, saline infiltrations and scurvy caused him to lose all body hair and change the color of his skin, his limbs swelled and he began to show the first signs of psychological discomfort. In 1890, thanks to the initiatives of the journalist Anna Maria Mozzo and the deputy Agostino Bertani, he was transferred to the criminal asylum of Montelupo Fiorentino where he remained for twenty years, abandoned and forgotten by everyone, until his death, on February 14, 1910 due to bronchopneumonia. .
ESSENTIAL BIOGRAPHY 1849. Born in Salvia di Lucania by Pasquale Passannante and Maria Fiore. At the last ten children he attends only the first grade and carries out all kinds of work to help the family.
1860-1869 He moves to Potenza where he works as a cook and seems to be his own tavern where free meals are often given. He approaches the former Napoleonic army captain Giovanni Agoglia and the Salerno internationalist Matteo Melillo. He attends Mazzinian circles where a republican and internationalist political awareness matures.
1870: He was arrested for the first time while he was posting revolutionary proclamations against the monarchy and the papacy. Remains in prison for about three months.
1877: The prefecture of Salerno orders the closure of the Passannante tavern. He begins to orient himself towards anarchist ideas, participates in the Pellezzano Workers’ Society distinguishing himself for activism.
1878: Left without work, he moves to Naples, where he organizes the attack (November 17) against Umberto I on the occasion of the visit of the king, queen and Prime Minister Cairoli. The attempt to stab the monarch fails, he is arrested.
1879: The trial for the attack takes place quickly and summarily between 6 and 7 March. A death sentence is issued, commuted by Umberto I to life imprisonment (March 29) in the penitentiary of Portoferraio. With a royal decree of 3 July 1879 the hometown of Passannante, Salvia di Lucania, changes its name to Savoia di Lucania.
1879-1889: Detention in the cell below sea level of the Torre della Linguella. 1890: Transfer to the criminal asylum of Montelupo Fiorentino, when his psychic and physical conditions are now of an irreversible severity.
1908: He becomes blind and dies of complications of bronchopneumonia at the age of 60.
360 ° view of the Tower of Passannante
How to reach the Tower of Pasannante
The Tower of Passannante is located at the entrance to the tourist port in Portoferraio. During the summer the area is restricted to traffic, if we arrive by car, we can park outside the historic center, where there is a large parking lot.