THE CASTLE OF ASSORO: THE INTEGRATED SURVEY FOR THE KNOWLEDGE AND CONSERVATION OF RUINS
Assoro is an ancient city located in the heart of Sicily. Its fame in the Middle Ages is linked to the strategic location of its primitive nucleus placed at the top of Monte Stella. The fortified site allowed, in fact, both the defence of the surrounding territory and the control of the internal crossings of the island, from east to west. Today, the ruins of the castle, still visible in the highest part of the city, are enclosed in a large urban park that neither enhances nor facilitates its understanding. Actually, the knowledge of the monument is very incomplete due to the lack of documentary sources. To compensate these gaps new investigations were undertaken. Survival masonries were examined by a careful visual investigation and a deep survey, both for the stratigraphic, material and degradation aspects, carried out through the integrated use of active and passive sensors instruments. The critical analyses arising from the appropriately constructed 3D models and the photo-realistic orthographic projections with the mapping of the different constructive phases, the building materials and decay, was laid as the foundation of the cognitive process aimed at the establishment of a sustainable conservation and valorisation project. The programme has also foreseen the realisation of some archaeological coverings and the improvement of the whole park fruition, through paths that aim to both ensure easier access to some rocky archaeological areas currently difficult to reach and greater integration and permeability, between the historic urban fabric and the park.