The territory in and around Molfetta is dotted with many watchtowers that in days gone by served to defend the local population from invading Longobards, Byzantines and pirates in general.
They "sounded" the alarm by means of setting large fires. The flames were visible at night and the smoke sent the same message by day to the people living in the nearby towns and countryside.
Torre Villotta was built in the 12th century and is part of a fortified farmhouse in the countryside inland of Molfetta. It is said that Boemondo, Prince of Taranto, Duke of Calabria and later Prince of Antioch, lodged here as he was preparing to set off on the First Crusade. It is known for a fact that the tower sheltered a large number of Molfettans during the sacking of the city by the French in 1529.
The tower is currently owned by Marquis De Luca. Yes, we have a marquis in Molfetta!
For a view of another local watchtower, look here.