The Torrazzo is situated right next to the Santa Maria Assunta Cathedral and is considered the symbol of Cremona. It is the tallest surviving medieval bell tower in Italy. Those who want to enjoy the magnificent view will have to climb more than 500 steps, though.
Address: Piazza del Comune, 26100 Cremona (tel. +39 0372 4071 or 0372 495029). Opening hours: 10am-1pm and 2.30pm-6pm. Closed: Mondays in January and February, Easter, 15 August; 25, 26, 31 December open in the morning only and 1 January open in the afternoon only. Entrance fee: 5 euros. Combi ticket with Baptistery: 6 Euro.
History and description
As an inscription on its base indicates, the Torrazzo is 250 braccia and 2 once high. The braccia and oncia are ancient measures that were used in different areas, but unfortunately were not of the same length in every area. The tower is exactly 112.27 meters high and the walk to the top is 502 steps.
In the 1970s, archaeological excavations under the tower brought some older structures to light. These probably belonged to the cemetery of the former cathedral or ancient Roman constructions.
According to tradition, the tower was built in 754. It is known with certainty that it reached the third floor around 1230. Between 1250 and 1267 the tower reached the cornice below the quadrifora. Around 1284, work began on the last part and by 1309 the tower was completed.
What to see
The astronomical clock on the fourth floor is among the largest of its kind in the world. It was made between 1583 and 1588 by Francesco and Giovan Battista Divizioli. The clock shows the heavens and the signs of the zodiac.