The Tower of Montesarchio (50 km far from Naples, 37 km from Caserta, 22 km from Benevento) is a military building of medieval origins. Nowadays it’s the location of the National Archeological Museum of Caudine Samnium, together with the Castle. The Tower houses the “Abduction of Europe“, a notorious krater painted by Asteas. The building is visitable thanks to the effort of an association of volunteers, called “Sentinelle della Torre”, in English “Sentries of the Tower“, that works together with the municipality and the museum.
The Tower is made of four bodies: around an old, narrow cylinder there are a larger and shorter cylinder, an almond-shaped body and a lateral structure.
The inner cylinder was built by the Langobards during the VII century as a watch tower. Today, three floors of the structure have been unified to create one high room, in which the Asteas’ krater is showed. The visitors can still see two rings made of bricks in the circular wall: traces of the original floors.
In the end of the XV century, during the Italian Renaissance, Francesco di Giorgio Martini, a Tuscan artist that was coworkewr and friend of Leonardo da Vinci, planned an enlargement of both the Tower and the Castle, to make theme more apt to resist to the “modern” weapons: cannons and heavy artillery.
Further changes have been made during the XIX century, when the Tower was used as a political prison. Almost surely, in one of the cells was imprisoned Carlo Poerio, an enemy of the Bourbon king.