The Torre delle Milizie is the oldest surviving medieval tower in Rome. Although it was not built until the 13th century, for centuries the story circulated that it was from this tower that Emperor Nero watched the city going up in flames.
Torre delle Milizie Rome
Address, hours and admission
The address of the Torre delle Milizie is Via Quattro Novembre – Rome. Rione: Trevi. (Bus: 40, 60, 64, 70, 117, 170, H, N7, N8, N9, N15, N18.) At the moment, the Torre delle Milizie cannot be visited.
History and description
In reality, Nero never saw the tower since it was built only in the 13th century, by Pope Gregorio IX dei Conti di Segni. An observation tower from the Wall of Servius Tullius was used as its foundation.
At the beginning of the 14th century, the Annibaldi took over the tower, later followed by Boniface VIII Caetani. The latter turned it into a veritable stronghold by having a fortress built against it, as a defense against his arch-enemies, the Colonna.
In 1330, the Annibaldi retook the tower, again followed by the Caetani.
In 1348, there was a great earthquake, which caused the third floor of the Torre delle Milizie to collapse. The accompanying landslide caused the tower, as can still be seen, to no longer stand completely straight.
More and more damage was inflicted on the tower, partly because of battles and partly as a result of inexpert restorations. Further damage was caused by the reconstruction of the neighboring Santa Caterina church.
After once again having been property of the Conti, the tower was finally purchased by Cardinal Napoleone Orisini.
A major restoration took place in 1914 under the direction of A. Muñoz, and in 1927 the tower became part of the Mercati Traianei Complex.
The square tower is 51 meters tall and consists of three floors that become progressively narrower. The exterior is of tuff (lower section) and brick (upper floor). Cantilevers adorn the roof. On the inside, blocks of tuff alternate with brick.