Piazzale Giuseppe Garibaldi
Every day, at exactly 12 noon, a shot is fired from a cannon on the Janiculum Hill (Colle del Gianicolo). The practise, known as the Cannone del Mezzogiorno, was established in 1847 by Pope Pius IX (r. 1846-78) to mark the precise middle of the day, thereby setting a standard time for the ringing of the city's church bells.
The cannon was originally fired from the Castel Sant' Angelo. However, in 1903 it was transferred to Monte Mario, albeit briefly, before being set up on the Gianicolo, where it has remained ever since.
The firing of the cannon was suspended in 1939, at the outset of the second world war, but resumed 20 years later on April 21st (Rome's birthday), 1959.
Blogging about Rome:
its art, history and culture.
My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England. Since 2001 I have lived in Italy, where I run private and
small-group walking tours
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