Siena, Italy

Torre del Mangia (Mangia Tower)

The very high Torre del Mangia (102 metres including the lightning conductor), owes its name to its first owner, Giovanni di Balduccio, called 'il mangiaguadagni', who would often squander his earnings at the table on the pleasure of food.

It was built between 1325 and 1348, as a clear symbol of the civic community. It was constructed by two brothers, Francesco and Muccio di Rinaldo. Its completion in white travertine, however, was probably carried out by Agostino di Giovanni.

It is said that coins of good wishes have been buried in its foundations, as was the custom in Medieval Europe, and that under every corner stones with Latin and Hebrew letters have been placed, in order to ward off the danger of storms.

The present bell, called the 'Sunto', weighs 6764 kilos, and was put in place at the top of the bell chamber in 1666.