Palazzo del Quirinale boasts a rare example of a six-hour clock, known as an Orologio alla Romana (Roman Clock), which was once the standard measure of time in the Eternal City and throughout Italy.
Introduced by the Catholic Church in the 13th century, the six-hour clock divided the 24 hours of the day, which started with the evening prayer, the Ave Maria (recited half an hour or so after sunset), and not at midnight, into four cycles of six hours.
The six-hour clock remained in use in Italy until the end of the 18th century.
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 walking tours of Rome.
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