Torre del Mangia

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Coordinates: 43°19′5.56″N 11°19′56.11″E / 43.3182111°N 11.3322528°E / 43.3182111; 11.3322528

Torre del Mangia towering above of the Palazzo Pubblico
Torre del Mangia.

The Torre del Mangia is a tower in Siena, in the Tuscany region of Italy. Built in 1338-1348,[1] it is located in the Piazza del Campo, Siena's premier square, adjacent to the Palazzo Pubblico (Town Hall). When built it was one of the tallest secular towers in medieval Italy. At 88 metres (289 feet), it is third tallest after Cremona's Torrazzo (112 m (367 ft)) and the Asinelli tower in Bologna (97 m (318 ft)).

Statues on the loggia.

The name (meaning "Tower of the Eater") derives from its first guardian, Giovanni di Balduccio, nicknamed Mangiaguadagni for his tendency to spend all his money on food.

The upper part was realized by Agostino di Giovanni under design by one Mastro Lippo pittore, probably identifiable with Lippo Memmi.

The marble loggia, known as Cappella di Piazza, was added in 1352 as a vow for the Holy Virgin by the Sienese survivors from the Black Death. The pilaster were remade in the current form in 1378, the sculptures decorating them being executed in 1378-1382 by Mariano d'Angelo Romanelli e Bartolomeo di Tommé. The simple wooden ceiling once covering the loggia was replaced by the current Renaissance marble vault in 1461-1468 by Antonio Federighi, also author of the bizarre decorations of the coronation. In 1537-1539 Il Sodoma painted a fresco over the altar, now housed in the Town museum in the Palazzo Pubblico.

The clock was added in 1360. There are three bells, the greatest one is called the "Sunto".

The tower is visible from all parts of Siena and is adjacent to the Gothic Palazzo Pubblico.

The tower was built to be exactly the same height as the Duomo di Siena as a sign that the church and the state had equal amounts of power.

The walls of the tower are approximately 3 m (9.8 ft) thick on each side.


The Joseph Chamberlain Memorial Clock Tower (nicknamed Old Joe) at the University of Birmingham, UK, was inspired by the Torre del Mangia, and couples a similar design with Victorian redbrick styles.

A replica clock tower designed by McKim, Mead & White can be seen in Waterbury, Connecticut in the United States. Completed in 1909, the building it is attached to, then the city's train station, is now headquarters to the region's daily newspaper.

The Pilgrim Monument at Provincetown, Massachusetts, designed by Willard T. Sears is patterned nearly identically after the Torre del Mangia, except it is made entirely of granite. It was built from 1907 to 1910, to commemorate the first landing of the Mayflower Pilgrims in Provincetown on November 21, 1620. Provincetown's 77-metre-tall (253 ft) monument is the tallest all-granite structure in the United States.

The tower at the Pine Street Inn in the South End of Boston, Massachusetts, formerly a fire station and fire watch tower, is also modeled after the Torre del Mangia. Boston's tower, which is 48 m (157 ft) tall, designed and built in 1892 by Edmund March Wheelwright, is made of brick like the Italian original and was originally designed as part of the central fire station and used as a fire lookout.[2][3][4][5]

The Dock Tower in Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire, UK was built in 1852 and stands 94 m (308 ft) tall. Its function was as an hydraulic tower to open the lock gates of the Royal Dock. Although obsolete from 1892 onward, the tower remains as a proud monument to the town and its rich fishing history.

The main building of the Spanish business & law school, ICADE, located in Madrid is topped with a clock tower patterned after the Torre de Mangia.


  1. ^ Unesco Heritage Centre, Historic Centre of Siena, Advisory Body Evaluation (.pdf), 1995
  2. ^ Chandler, F. W. (Francis Ward), ed. Municipal architecture in Boston, from designs by Edmund M. Wheelwright, city architect, 1891-1895. Boston : Bates & Guild company, 1898.
  3. ^ The Brochure series of architectural illustration, Volume 4, Bates & Guild Publishers, 1898. Cf. p.123
  4. ^ Ralli, Tania (2005), "And Now A Word From Our Shelter: Ads Atop Pine Street Inn Help Pay To Restore It, But Some Ask Where It Will End", The Boston Globe, October 9, 2005, p. 1
  5. ^ Pine Street Inn (Boston) - Wikimapia

See also[edit]