The hotel history has ancient origins. The area where Towers Hotel Sorrento hotel was an old cement’s industry that most of the people from Castellammare remember.
Since 1635, in this area there was a military construction: a Tower (known as Portocarello Tower), built to defend the town from the pirates’ attacks through the sea and to control the new overland tracks.
The right date of construction was found on a stone inscription (today located at the Antiquarium of Stabiae), where are the reasons of the construction and the name of the Spanish Viceroy, who assented this construction.
The tower has lived its war and peace periods until 1930, when it was demolished to build a new industrial construction.
The documentation of the Historical Archive of Castellammare di Stabia municipality says that, in 1898, mines were opened in the area at the back of the building to work the chalky stone (Portocarello Mine) by Mrs Maresca and Buonocunto.
This activity was very important for people who wanted to take advantages of it for the industrial production of lime and cement. The name of Portocarello comes from a description of a land registry in 1753, that identified this area as “Perticarello”, that is “little perch”, probably because of the presence of thin trees used as poles for agricultural and mountain activities in the area.
Nowadays, this kind of wood is still used in some mountain areas near Castellammare di Stabia. Portocarello Tower is mentioned in some literary works, for example “Journey from Naples to Castellammare” written by Francesco Alvino in 1845 or “Ancient mention of Castellammare di Stabia city” written in 1842 or “Medieval Castle and old fortifications of Castellammare di Stabia” written by Catello Longobardi in 1929, or “The memory places” written by Giuseppe D’Angelo in 1990.
More than the literary works, there are also important paintings of the area mainly painted by Errico Gaeta - painter born in 1841 in Castellammare – who left us a very beautiful picture of this construction.
This precise and faithful testimony has been represented on the glass, with sophisticate methods of reproduction, after that the owner of the original paintings gave the concession to take pictures.
These reproductions are situated in the lounge area of the hotel, together with the reproduction of a roman painting (I° century A.D.) which represented a “maritime residence”, found in the occasion of archaeological excavations of the “S. Marco of Varano Residence” in Castellammare di Stabia.
In the 50s there is another picture painted by the painter Asruri, that represents the tower in a personalized way and probably dating back to the 30s.
After the demolition of the tower in 1930, in 1935 the new cement industry was built by an important Italian industrial group: the B.P.D. (Bompiani – Parodi – Delfino), that in the differentiations of market had created from 1921 the company of calcium and cement for the production and the marketing of the cement.
This company builds the industry, exploits the mine at the back, uses the close mill for the chipping of the stone and increases its importance with the others cement’s industry of the Group, located in the whole Italy and especially from the region of Latium to the south of the peninsula (Colleferro, Vibo-Valentia, Ragusa, Savignano, Scafa San Valentino, ecc).
The company’s importance continued to grow and the industrial site had more than 200 people; then it went down, and the company was given in 1973 to “Italcementi Group”, in Bergamo (Pesenti Group).
After the buyout of the new property the company doesn’t improve the activity and decides to close the industry, engendering controversies and protests in the local area.
Since 1974, the industry was abandoned to the atmospheric agents. It was left to its degrade since 1999 (when it was demolished to build the hotel). There are pictures dated 1947 and 1990 that show the activity of the industry and its abandon.
The reconstruction of the hotel on the sediment of the demolition (dated from November 1999 to July 2004) has been possible with specific prescriptions made by the Board of Naples:
- restore the tower, that will be the symbol of the structural community;
- put forward the same sediment of before, establishing more buildings of different
- to build the silo of cement in the same place that in the past;
- Don’t have more volume than before;
- Have an architectural structure for the hotel close to the old industry site;
- Use local product to build the hotel.
The hotel has been built in 4 years and half; in the same time there were a lot of interventions in the area around the structure, for example to protect the rock fall of the rocky wall, located on the new parking to realize, the widening of the state highway Sorrentina 145 near the entrance of the hotel, the realization of a sea cliff to protect the building from the sea storms , the building of a new parking in the mine area with the new Mediterranean scrub to integrate the building with the natural landscape.
The hotel has been built in this way:
- 16.200 mc of mass concrete;
- 1.600.000 Kg of steel frameworks;
- 29.000 ton of rock to protect from the sea;
- 14.500 Mc of reclaimed rock;
- 2.000 Mc of mass concretes demolished in underground;
- 28.000 Mc of containment nets of the rock walls;
- 62.000 Mc of hollow earth;
- 36.700 Mc of installed electric cables;
- 27.200 Ml of pipes for systems;
- 3.000 Mq of channelling.
150 rooms have been built in 7 buildings, 300 places for meetings, 1000 Mq of wellness centre, a beach of 1300 mq, an outside swimming pool, 350 ml of walking on the sea and a covered parking of 8.000 Mq.
The following pictures show the hotel at present that substituted the old industry. The hotel has been built on this memories.
It is located in front of the Vesuvius where also the tower and the industry were situated. The hotel has a different aim than the old building, but it is a construction behalf of the community of the city.
In the past it was an aid against the invasions, then in aid of an originating industrial season; today to relaunch the city of Castellammare di Stabia as an holiday resort and an high level of tourist supply, international too.