The Priamar Fortress is a fortress occupying the hill with the same name above the port of Savona. The fortress was built in 1542 by the Republic of Genoa on a promontory where in medieval times was the nucleus of Savona, by design of architect Giovanni Maria Olgiati. However, traces of pre-Roman, Roman and Byzantine presences in the site have been excavated in the past centuries, and are now on display in Savona's Archaeological Museum.
In the 17th century the fortress received bastions designed by the Spanish Royal engineer Domenico Sirena, and in the 18th century were added the commissar's, officers' and Sibilla palaces. In order to create space for the new structures, edifices of the medieval Savona, including its cathedral (built in the 9th century over a pagan temple), were demolished.
In 1746, in the course of the War of Austrian Succession, it was stormed by the Piedmontese grenadiers. In 1820, after the annexion of Liguria to Piedmont, it became a prison. During the Risorgimento, Italian patriot Giuseppe Mazzini was jailed in the Priamar Fortress.
The fortress, which could house up to 500 prisoners, remained Italy's main military prison until 1903, when its role was taken by the castle of Gaeta.References:
Soave castle was built in 934 to protect the area against the Hungarian invasions. It was remodelled by Cansignorio of the Scaliger family in the mid-1300s. in 1365 Cansignorio had the town walls erected and the Town hall was built in the same year.
The castle underwent various vicissitudes until, having lost its strategic importance, it was sold on the private market in 1596. In 1830 it was inherited by Giulio Camuzzoni who restored the manor and in particular the surroundings walls (with is twenty-four towers), the battlements and living-quarters.
Soave castle is a typical medieval military edifice, commanding the neighbourhood of the city from the Tenda Hill. It comprises a mastio (donjon) and three lines of walls forming three courts of different size. The outer line, with a gate and a draw bridge, is the most recent, built by the Venetians in the 15th century. It houses the remains of a small church from the 10th century.
The second and larger court, the first of the original castle, is called della Madonna for a fresco portraying St. Mary (1321). Another fresco is visible after the door leading to the inner court, and portrays a Scaliger soldier. The mastio is the most impressive feature of the castle. Bones found within showed it was used also as prison and place of torture.
The House called del Capitano (the Scaliger commander) houses Roman coins, weapons parts, medals and other ancient remains found during the most recent restoration. Adjacent is a bedroom with a 13th-century fresco with St. Mary and Madeleine and a dining room with medieval kitchenware. Another room houses the portraits of the most famous Scaliger figures: Mastino I, Cangrande, Cansignorio and Taddea da Carrara, wife of Mastino II; the portrait of Dante Alighieri testify an alleged sojourn of the poet in the castle.