Torre Accursi Bologna (Torre dell’Orologio)

The Torre Accursi is located in the Piazza Maggiore in Bologna. Another name for this tower is the Torre dell’Orologio. The tower’s name comes from its first owner, who had come to Bologna from Florence to study law.

Torre Accursi Bologna

Useful information

Address: Piazza Maggiore – Bologna. The building is not accessible for tourists. Alternative name: Torre dell’Orologio.

History and description

Palazzo d'Accursio Bologna
Palazzo d’Accursio with the Torre Accursi on the left.

The tower Accursio built was part of a complex, which also included his house and a school with a portico on the square.

Almost immediately after Accursio’s death, the house was purchased by the municipality of Bologna. The name Accursio lives on in one of the later created districts of the city.

The most striking part of the tower is its enormous clock, which was placed on the façade in 1444. The meridian on the Torre dell’Arengo already had the task of ringing the bells during the day. The new bell was to do so also during the night.

In order to create space for the new bell, the tower had to be raised slightly.

Between 1451 and 1796 a carousel was attached below the bell. The figurines, a trumpet-playing angel and the three wise men, are now on display in the Collezioni Comunali d’Arte inside the building itself.

Between 1885 and 1887, a major restoration of the Torre Accursi took place. The architect Raffaele Faccioli had the old Renaissance balustrade characterized by pilasters removed and replaced by bricks. According to him, this did more justice to the original medieval appearance of the structure.

The portico of the Palazzo d’Accursio was added later.

Piazza Maggiore, 1 – 40124 Bologna