The Gualtieri Tower stands in the Paese Alto of San Benedetto del Tronto, in Piazza Sacconi a few metres from the Abbey Church of San Benedetto Martire and the Bishopric of the Diocese of San Benedetto del Tronto-Ripatransone-Montalto; it is symbol and landmark of the city.
Built between the 12th and 13th centuries, it is an old command post of the Castle of St Benedict dating back to the 14th century. In the year 1146, Bishop Liberto of Fermo, whose judicial power included the territory of San Benedetto in Albula, granted the Gualtieri brothers to build a tower to protect Castrum Sancti Benedicti in Albula, which took on the name of castrum following the fortification of the primary urban core.
The tower was the keep of the entire fortified complex and located inside was the castellan, who sent orders and signals to the other fortifications of the Fermo chessboard, primarily to the nearby fortress of Acquaviva Picena. In the event of forced evacuation, it also had underground sortie tunnels.
The hexagonal shape allowed for a larger number of men to be stationed and a wide coastal area could be guarded beyond the Tronto to the borders of Cupra Marittima, considering that the sea was set back more than 500 metres with no other constructions in its cone of observation to block the view.
In 1901, it was restored by architect Giuseppe Sacconi, who consolidated the barbicans and rebuilt the embrasures and battlements. In 2001, the tower became accessible again and could be visited.
The clock was installed in the late 18th century when, following the extension work on the Church of St Benedict Martyr, it was recovered and placed in the tower. In 1902, the mechanism was replaced with a gravity-powered pendulum clock made of travertine blocks.