Rome also has a leaning tower, you just have to look at it from afar to notice its inclination: located on the western end of the Quirinale Hill and about 50 meters high, it is the largest noble tower that has come to our days and must have been part of one of the large fortified structures that dominated the skyline of Rome through the Middle Ages, giving the city a peculiar hedgehog look.
It is perhaps named after an ancient barracks, a fort used as the seat of the militiae Tiberinae, barbarian regiments so called by the Eastern Emperor Tiberius Constantine, or made up of city militias defending the city from the Lombards in 578 AD. Legend links it to the memory of Nero and the fire that destroyed Rome, which the emperor would have watched from here, but its construction most probably dates back to the early 13th century, when it was built by the Conti di Segni family.
As historical praxis, the tower passed from hand to hand and was owned by several of the warring families that dominated medieval Rome: the Annibaldi, the Prefetti di Vico, pope Boniface VIII Caetani, who made it a defensive bulwark against the Colonna who controlled the entire Quirinal, and then again the Conti di Segni until the 17th century. Subsequently incorporated into the Monastery of Santa Caterina da Siena in Magnanapoli, the tower was isolated after 1910 and today it forms a single complex with the Trajan’s Markets characterizing its outline.
The Torre delle Milizie is built on a square plan, it is composed of three superimposed bodies, that is, with a progressive tapering upwards. The earthquake in 1348, which also reduced the nearby Torre de’ Conti almost to a ruin, caused the falling down of the third floor (now reduced to a stump) and the sinking of the ground which led to the slow and inexorable tilting of the tower.
PLEASE NOTE: The monument is closed until further notice.
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