The Torre dei Doganieri, built in the 16th century under the Republic of Genoa to protect the most ancient part of the town, was one of the rare buildings to remain intact after the 1951 explosion. The 1st of November of that year, an entire group of houses collapsed in the very city centre of Sestri Levante.

The cause of the tragic event, which also claimed some victims, was identified in some explosive material located in one of the collapsed buildings. The burst exposed a medieval tower, unnoticed until that moment.

Once the debris were cleared, the space surrounding the tower was renamed “Piazzetta Dina Bellotti”.

The surviving building belongs now to the Municipality and is administered by Mediaterraneo, which entrusted the management to ArTura_Territori tra Arte e Natura, a project developed and managed by Alfredo Gioventù and Daniela Mangini together with Sestri Levante Municipality.

ArTura deals with the relationship between art, nature, culture and territory through many telematic reviews. Following this central idea, many activities have been realised on themes like trees, stones, dialogues between the earth and the sea. Local and national institutions have been involved and new relationships and partnerships have been created during the 40-year activity of Alfredo Gioventù and the Opificio Ceramico.

The tower hosted 27 exhibitions by national artists or involving local emerging artists. Not only ceramics: photography, graphics, painting, visual pedagogy, music, poetry and performative reading. In collaboration with MuSel, the project “Presenze d’Arte a Sestri Levante” was launched. It rediscovered and valorised the work and lives of artists who lived or were inspired by Sestri Levante, receiving works by Italo Zetti, Gianni Bertini and Luigi Grande to enrich the municipality heritage.

ArTura realised different public events with many well-known figures like Enzo Bianchi, Libereso Guglielmi, Antonia Campi, Anty Pansera, Massimo Morasso, Luigi D’Elia, Maria Flora Giubilei, Giulio Sommariva, Anna di Maggio. It also attracted to Sestri Levante institutions dealing with pedagogy on a national level (the co-op “C’è Speranza…”, the publisher Arte Bambini from Bologna, the Servizio Didattico dei Musei di Genova) who took part in more than 20 meetings and conferences.

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