The civic tower of Siena takes its name from the man who was one of its bell ringers, the Mangiaguadagni, a man known for his vice of wasting money. His name was also inherited from the statue that rang the bell in the past thanks to mechanical gears, the remains of this statue are exposed in the Cortile del Podestà (courtyard of the mayor).
The tower was built, according to the registers of the Biccherna, between 1338 and 1348 and has the peculiarity of reaching, in height, the bell tower of the cathedral. This aspect has a strong symbolic value: the civil power came to equate the religious one in the life of the citizens.
The Mangia Tower is mainly made up of bricks in terracotta; the white section at the top that hosts the bell is composed of travertine. The style, with its battlements and inverted pyramid blocks, is typical of the 14th century.
At the height of the terrace of the Palazzo Pubblico there is a clock that until the end of the nineteenth century was decorated with frescoes.
The bell of the tower, called “il Campanone”, rings for national days and when the Palio is run; on this last occasion it is played by hand.
Photo: Nice Places