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Looking Siena from the stars: the Torre of Mangia

It is one of the highest towers in Italy, 88 meters, which are not a casual measure: the tower has the exact height of the bell tower of the Cathedral, a strong symbolic meaning of the equality between state power and religious one.

The legend of the four corners

The tower was built between 1325 and 1348. According to the legends, the stones at the 4 corners of the Torre del Mangia contain luck coins engraved with Hebrew letters and Latin. This practice was very common in the Middle Ages and was used to defend the towers from lightning and other misfortunes.

The construction of the tower is due to the brothers Francesco and Muccio (or Minuccio) Rinaldo (1338-40), conducted by Maestro Agostino di Giovanni. Mangia (who spent all his money for the food) was the first keeper of the bell, so the clapper was called like him, and the tower too. The clapper is still visible today in the courtyard of the Palazzo Comunale Podesta.

The bell above the Mangia Tower, also known as the bell tower, was installed in 1666 and followed the bell cast in 1349. The Sienese called it Sunto (for the dedication to the Assumption) or Campanone. It weighs 6,760 pounds and stands above the belfry. The Campanone wasn’t done in the proper way and it was necessary to remove one piece to make it sound acceptable, without great results. The sound is out of tune, especially when it is beaten with the automatic system (working since 1379, the last year in which the Torre del Mangia had a keeper). The Campanone emits a pleasant sound only when it is beaten with the traditional hand-clapper and this happens only on the day of the Palio.

400 stairs to get to the top

Get prepared! You will have to climb maybe more than 400 stairs but you will see it will not be worth counting, especially when you will arrive to the top. No one knows if this is the exact number, even the local Tourism Office The amazing view that you will enjoy from the top of the tower will pay you of all your physical efforts. Siena.

 

Tips and info 16/10 28/02 (winter): weekdays and holidays from 10.00 to 16.00 (ticket office closes at 15:15) 01/03 - 15/10 (summer): weekdays and holidays from 10.00 to 19.00 (ticket office closes at 18.15)

PRICE: € 10.00

REDUCED FAMILY (2 adults + children above 11 years old) € 25.00

FREE (under 11 years old)

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