The Torre dell’Orologio was part of the third city wall built around Taormina. The tower was originally built in the 7th century. At the time it was called Torre di Mezzo. After being destroyed in the 17th century, it was rebuilt and a large bell was added, which led to the name being changed.
Torre dell’Orologio Taormina (Torre di Mezzo)
Address: Corso Umberto I, 154 – Taormina.
History and description
The third defensive wall around Taormina demarcated that part of the town known as the 15th century borough. Parts of this wall, which ran all the way up to the Castello Saraceno, can still be seen to the right of the tower.
The Torre di Mezzo, which was part of this wall, was built on the foundations of an already existing defensive wall. This first wall dates back to the time when Taormina was founded, around the 4th century BC.
The tower itself was constructed in the 7th century.
In 1676, during a siege by Louis XIV’s French troops, the tower was completely demolished. Three years later, however, it was rebuilt at the insistence of the population. On this occasion, the great clock (orologio) was also added.
The bells of the Torre dell’Orologio only ring when a new mayor is elected and on 9 July, the Feast Day of Saint Pancrazio, the patron saint of Taormina.