The Torre del Mangia is a tower in Siena, in the Tuscany region of Italy. Built in 1338-1348, it is located in the Piazza del Campo, Siena's main square, next to the Palazzo Pubblico (Town Hall). When built it was one of the tallest secular towers in medieval Italy. At 102 m it is now Italy's second tallest after Cremona Cathedral's Torrazzo (112 m (367 ft)), the Asinelli tower in Bologna at 97 m being third.
The tower was built to be exactly the same height as Siena Cathedral as a sign that the church and the state had equal power.[nb 1]
The name refers to its first bellringer, Giovanni di Balduccio, nicknamed Mangiaguadagni (‘Profit eater’) either for his spendthrift tendency, idleness or gluttony.
The tower has visually distinct levels, from the bottom:
The loggia where the tower meets the Piazza del Campo, known as the Cappella di Piazza, was added in 1352 to fulfil a vow to the Holy Virgin by Sienese survivors of the Black Death. The corner pilasters attained their current form in 1378, the sculptures decorating them being executed in 1378-1382 by Mariano d'Angelo Romanelli e Bartolomeo di Tommé. The simple wooden ceiling once covering the loggia was replaced by the current Renaissance marble vault in 1461-1468 by Antonio Federighi, also responsible for the bizarre decorations of the coronation. In 1537-1539 Il Sodoma painted a fresco above the altar, now housed in the town museum in the Palazzo Pubblico.
The upper-middle part in stone was built by Agostino di Giovanni to the design of one Mastro Lippo pittore, probably identifiable with Lippo Memmi. It consists of a parapet resting on corbels. The pronounced petal-like arches between the corbels have led writers to describe the structure as a tulip or lily.
The clock on the lower part of the shaft was added in 1360. There are three bells, the largest one is called the "Sunto" - an abbreviation of assunto, a reference to the assumption of the Virgin. The bell plays a notable role in the celebrations of the Palio.
The walls of the tower are approximately 3 m (9.8 ft) thick on each side.
A number of towers have been inspired by the Torre del Mangia. These include:
...to compensate for the possible perception of inequality between civic and ecclesiastical authorities, the torre del Mangia (the tower of the city hall) was designed to be uniquely tall among Italian town halls and to reach to the same absolute height as the bell tower of the Cathedral, which sat on the highest hill in Siena.
...a one-time bell ringer, Giovanni di Duccio, who was evidently a man of prodigal habits and better known to the Sienese as Mangiaguadagni.