Torre Crawford is a a small sixteenth-century communication-defensive outpost-lookout tower that is commonly called “Torre Crawford” , in the small but charming village of San Nicola Arcella ( CS-Italy ), set in the natural harbor of the splendid Baia Azzurra .
The Crawford Tower was part of a widespread system which aim was to target enemies approaching the coast from continuous attacks by pirates and privateers. At the top of the tower a large terrace was used to communicate and warn the other lookout towers about any incursion and this was done by means of large bonfires, with smoke signals during the day, or with light signals during the night, a somewhat rudimentary system but very effective.
The Crawford Tower of San Nicola Arcella was named after the American writer Francis Marion Crawford who stayed in this tower in the early 1900s./.
Here the writer landed around the early 1900s, and found inspiration for various works, historical novels, but also novels of terror, in fact he wrote a novel in which he spoke of a vampire who apparently was the lady to whom he paid the rent to live in the tower, because the writer who had come from afar had found in the tower, his happy abode, on the sea, to live a few years in contemplation and meditation, dedicating himself only to writing.
He was deeply in love with Italy. He established his residence in Sant’Agnello and later in Calabria, in San Nicola Arcella, which he reached by sea with his American pilot “Alda”, he lived for several years, drawing inspiration from this place for his conspicuous literary production, not exclusively linked to the “horror” genre for which it is known, especially for the story “For the Blood is the life”, written and set in the tower, having been recognized in the Anglo-Saxon literary scene of his time among those of high rank, like William D. Howells, Henry James, Virginia Woolf , Rudyard Kipling. Among other things, films from the first half of the last century were interpreted by his most famous novels, interpreted by stars such as Clark Gable, Lillian Gish, Ronald Coleman.
A path leads from the tower to a fresh water spring opened by Crawford, where a plaque is engraved: “O sailors who quench your thirst on this shore where in the past there was no drop of water, pray for the soul of the one who opened this source”.He died in Sorrento in 1909, after a prolific literary career.
The Crawford Tower It has been declared to be of particular interest according to the law of 1 June 1939, by the Minister of Public Education and is therefore subject to all the protection provisions contained in the law itself.
Access : Coordinates: 39.849477, 15.783500 / Location : 87020 San Nicola Arcella, Province of Cosenza
Activities : hiking , visit “Arco Magno” by foot , From San Nicola Arcella 25 minutes to get there and 15 minutes to walk back / photo opportunities / swimming