Torre dell’Orologio
Torre dell’Orologio
Suggested duration
< 1 hour
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

14 reviews
Very good

United Kingdom8,651 contributions
May 2022
It’s hard to imagine these days when everyone has an iPhone but in the 1800s, a personal clock was still beyond the means of most people. Even a household clock was rare. Clock towers like this one, designed in 1883, therefore served a very practical purpose. City life was regulated by the public clock so it had to be in a central place where it could be easily seen.
The clock tower can be found at the head of the Piazza del Popolo, San Severino’s main square.
Curiously, it has two clock faces. We wondered about this and later learnt that it was because it was built at a kind of transitional time, when Italy was still mostly using the 6 hour time system but the 12-hour system was also being gradually introduced. It was a bit like when countries shifted from imperial to metric systems and measurements were listed in both for some time until everyone got the hang of it.
According to the Italian system, the day started at the evening Ave Maria, about half an hour after sunset, and divided the 24 hour day into 4 x 6 hour cycles. This traditional system was created by the Church in the 13th century.
Next to the tower, you will also see the 15th century water fountain, Fonte della Misericordia, the church of S. Maria della Misericordia and the 16th century Palazzo dei Governatori. Altogether, the tower, fountain and church, as well as the colourful surrounding buildings, make this a very pretty corner of the piazza.
Written August 19, 2022
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