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Torre del Mangia

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5.00/5 - (1 Votes)

Attractions Details

📌 Address

Il Campo, 1, 53100 Siena SI, Italy

Opening Hours

10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

EUR 10

Find it on google maps

5.00/5 - (1 Votes)
expert
Ambra
Local tour guide
"When visiting Torre del Mangia in Siena, Tuscany, make sure to come early in the morning to avoid the crowds and enjoy a more peaceful climb to the top, plus the light is perfect for photographs. Also, local cafes nearby offer authentic Sienese treats – grab a 'ricciarelli' almond cookie after your visit for a sweet taste of local tradition."

What is Torre del Mangia?

The Torre del Mangia is a distinctive tower soaring above Piazza del Campo, the main square of Siena, a historic city nestled in the heart of Tuscany. Standing at about 88 meters (nearly 289 feet) tall, it's one of Italy's tallest secular towers from the medieval era. The name 'Torre del Mangia' translates to 'Tower of the Eater,' a quirky moniker that references its first bell-ringer, Giovanni di Balduccio, who was famously known for his prodigious appetite. The tower is not only a symbol of Siena but also provides visitors with an unparalleled view of the city and the rolling Tuscan countryside that surrounds it.

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History of Torre del Mangia

The history of Torre del Mangia is intertwined with the growth and prosperity of Siena during the Middle Ages. Construction of the tower began in 1325 and was completed in 1348. It was designed to match the height of the Duomo of Siena as a testament to the city’s wealth and power, asserting that secular and religious powers stood in equal regard. Over the centuries, the tower has undergone several restorations to maintain its structure and beauty. The most famous of these took place after a lightning strike in 1666.

Interestingly, the tower's original wooden pinnacle was replaced in the 15th century with a heavier, marble one. This was later removed because of concerns over the tower's stability. Stories from old times suggest that the tower was even intentionally built at a slight angle akin to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, which was intended as an architectural feature, although this is a detail of some debate among historians and locals.

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Why is Torre del Mangia Important?

Torre del Mangia is important for several reasons. Architecturally, it's an exceptional example of 14th-century Italian civil engineering, showcasing the remarkable ability of medieval builders. Culturally, it's a proud icon of Sienese identity. When the citizens of Siena gaze up at the Torre del Mangia, they are reminded of a time when Siena was one of Europe's major powers, competing economically and culturally with Florence and other city-states of Italy.

The tower's prominence on Siena's skyline also symbolizes the civic pride and local independence that was typical of Italian city-states during the medieval period. Its connection to the Piazza del Campo, the site of the famous Palio horse race, adds to its cultural significance, being a part of the civic heart where Sienese history has unfolded and is still celebrated today.

Things to Do & See at Torre del Mangia

No visit to Siena would be complete without venturing up the Torre del Mangia. For the spirited, ascending the 400 steps to the top of the tower rewards you with breath-taking views. From this vantage point, you can see the winding alleys of Siena, the contrasting green of the Tuscan hills, and the red tiled roofs that make the city so photogenic. While the climb can be a challenge, the panoramic vistas are certainly worth it.

Beyond the climb, the Piazza del Campo itself offers numerous cafes and historical buildings to enjoy. Visitors can relax with an espresso and take in the lively atmosphere of this UNESCO World Heritage city. If you happen to be in Siena during the Palio, the famous horse race, you'll witness the Piazza del Campo transform into a passionate amphitheater of Sienese tradition, which is an experience unlike any other.

Lastly, for those interested in art and history, the Museo Civico inside the Palazzo Pubblico, adjacent to the tower, is a must-visit. It houses a collection of Sienese paintings and frescoes, including the renowned works of Ambrogio Lorenzetti and Simone Martini, giving further insight into the rich civic and cultural life of historical Siena.

Frequently asked questions

What is the Torre del Mangia in Tuscany?

The Torre del Mangia is a historic bell tower located in the Piazza del Campo in Siena, Tuscany. It is one of the tallest secular towers in medieval Italy, offering visitors panoramic views of the city and its surroundings.

How tall is the Torre del Mangia?

The Torre del Mangia stands at approximately 87 meters (285 feet) tall. It was built to be the same height as the Siena Cathedral to signify the balance between church and state.

Can visitors climb the Torre del Mangia?

Yes, visitors can climb the Torre del Mangia. It involves ascending a narrow staircase of over 400 steps to reach the top, where they can enjoy spectacular views of Siena and the Tuscan countryside.

What does 'Torre del Mangia' mean?

The name 'Torre del Mangia' translates to 'Tower of the Eater.' It is believed to be named after the first bell-ringer, Giovanni di Balduccio, who was nicknamed 'Mangiaguadagni' ('profit eater') because he reportedly spent all his money on food.

What is the historical significance of the Torre del Mangia?

The Torre del Mangia is historically significant as it symbolizes the civic power of Siena during the Middle Ages. Its construction, completed in 1348, represented the prosperity and independence of the city-state, and it remains an iconic symbol of Siena.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

Il Campo, 1, 53100 Siena SI, Italy

Opening Hours

10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

EUR 10

Find it on google maps