The bell tower (35 m) of the Palazzo Senatorio, one of the most prominent landmarks on the city's skyline, was designed by the architect Martino Longhi the Elder (1534-91) and completed in 1582.
Crowned with a statue of the goddess Minerva, and sporting the coat of arms of Pope Gregory XIII (r. 1572-85), Longhi's structure replaced a medieval campanile that had been destroyed by lightning.
The bell tower once housed the famous patarina, an ancient bell that was stolen from the city of Viterbo and installed in 1200. The patarina was rung to summon the people to a parlamento. At the beginning of the 19th century, the patarina was replaced by two bells, which are normally only rung on the election of a new mayor and on Rome's birthday (April 21st).
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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