During the Maritime Republic, many lighthouses were built in Italy to guarantee safe sea trades and landings, such as the Genoa Lighthouse in 1312, or the Meloria Lighthouse in 1157. The latter was also the first lighthouse ever built on the shoal.
The first lighthouse
The first lighthouse in Venice was built in 1312, when the independent Republic was thriving. During the same period, many other lighthouses and maritime signaling systems were built to signal shoals, channels or access ways to the islands.
“Lighthouses Area Commands”
The Kingdom of Italy was divided into 8 regions (including the colonies), called “Lighthouses Area Commands”. At the head of each Area Command was a Captain who was in charge of the stretch of coast under his command, whilst the Lighthouses Technical Office based in the Naples Shipyards was in charge of creating new projects regarding lighthouses and other maritime signaling appliances and devices, to deliver its opinion on new instruments, make agreements and tests approved by the Ministry, carry out all necessary changes and repair works, and perform studies and researches aimed at improving techniques. These changes brought about great improvements on the services provided and in the figures: from 50 signals in 1861 to 512 in 1916.
Abandoned lighthouses in Italy
Abandoned Italian lighthouses in the south of the country open their doors for visitors every month. There are many of them across Bel Paese, all in stunning locations boasting spectacular views. The lighthouses are state property and have been slowly crumbling without proper care for decades. The government has launched a new project in hope to find private investors for this spectacular historic buildings, most of which were built in the 1800s and opened them for visits for a short time.