Keeping an Eye on Verona
The Torre dei Lamberti is a medieval tower in Verona, Italy that rises from Piazza delle Erbe, which sits at the heart of the famed Veneto city. Standing tall above the square, the narrow structure dates from the 12th century and was built to keep an “eye” on the city – fittingly so, considering the unique staircase inside the tower.
Construction on the Lamberti Tower started in 1172 by the will of the family of the same name. Its purpose was to watch over the city and warn the Veronese of impeding disasters, such as fire or attack by Venetians.
In May of 1403 lightning struck the tower and destroyed the uppermost portion. From 1448 to 1464, the Torre dei Lamberti was restored and elevated to its current height. Excluding telecom towers, the structure is now the tallest in Verona at 275 feet.
Lamberti Tower contains two bells: the smaller, the Marangona, was used for fire alerts; the larger, the Rengo, was used to call the citizens to arms or to call the city council to meetings. The name Rengo came from a place called arengo, where during the Middle Ages the assemblies were held, while Marangona came from marangon, in Veronian dialect means carpenter. The clock was not added until the 18th century.
A unique feature of the tower is its central staircase, which, when viewed from a certain angle, resembles an eye. The eye is formed by the stairs and one of the tower’s bells, yet whether or not this was done on purpose or by sheer coincidence remains a mystery.
While there are several places in Verona that offer breathtaking views of the city, none can compare to the Torre dei Lamberti. With a storied past, unique architecture and 360 degree views of the city, what better place to catch a glimpse of Verona than the Lamberti tower.