The History of Torri Superiore
The village of Torri is mentioned for the first time in a document dated 1073, with the sentence: “Actum in castro ubi Ture dicitur” (“This happened in a village named Ture” - Cais, Contea di Ventimiglia). The origin of the medieval settlement at Torri Superiore – a complex of dwellings separated by a few hundred yards from the main village - is uncertain, though it may date from the late 13th century.
This was a time of great social and religious unrest in the region, which would explain the village’s peculiar architecture: it is a stronghold remarkable for its width and height (the village covers a total area of 50 by 30 metes, but over its eight levels has a floor space of close to 3000 square meters), and it would have offered good protection to its inhabitants.
Torri Superiore is notable not only for its strange, compact architecture but also for its particularly good state of preservation. The medieval village consists of three main buildings, separated by two partially-covered inner alleys. 160 rooms with vaulted ceilings (either barrel or cross vaults) are linked by an intricate labyrinth of stairways and terraces. The stone, lime and sand used was of local origin, coming from the surrounding valley or the nearby Bevera riverbed.
The buildings at Torri Superiore were added to over the centuries, with the last parts of the hamlet probably being built around the end of the 18th century. It was at this point that the village reached its greatest population, before gradually being abandoned as people began to leave Liguria due to lack of employment. Traces still remain of communal living: a large hall used possibly as a common kitchen, an open air oven and an intricate, close-knit pattern of rooms and terraces that create unexpected and surprising views at every turn.