The ancient city maps show us that Noli was completely encircled by a wall with only three gates overlooking the sea: Porta Viale to the east, Porta di Piazza to the centre and The Portello to the west. Inside the walled town we can find several examples of fortified houses. This kind of building was often placed in strategic spots along the main town streets; this purpose of control was a purpose they shared with the towers. You can recognize a fortified house compared to a common medieval house from the tall and thick base made in green stone; this is a feature in common with towers. A peculiarity of this king of buildings is that the doorway is raised above the street level.
Casa Pagliano & the Portello Fort
The 14th-century Casa Pagliano is named after its first owner, and it was restored by Alfredo D'Andrade in 1906. This medieval building is a perfect example of a Noli fortified house: a tall and thick base made in green stone and the upper part made of bricks with two- and three-mullioned windows, close to Casa Pagliano we can still observe the framework of the ancient sexteenth-century Portello Fort; in origin it was connected to a small tower (Torre Sperone – Spur Tower), erected on the beach to protected the port. This tower and its connecting arch were destroyed to build the modern Via Aurelia at the beginning of the 19th century. Today the fort is completely incorporated inside a hotel.