The Torre del Mangia was added to the right side of the Palazzo Pubblico and now is towering over the Piazza del Campo. The tower was built between 1325 and 1349 and was one of the tallest towers in Italy for several centuries. It reaches the height of 102 meters, including a bell loft. The Torre del Mangia dominates the center of Siena and can be seen from nearly all corners of the Old Town.
In the Middle Ages the largest number of towers was built in Bologna but the height of its Asinelli tower is just 97 meters. Florence, main rival of Siena, has a tower of 94 meters above the Palazzo Vecchio. And only Cremona`s Torrazzo tower, which was erected about the same time as the Torre del Mangia, has a height of 112 meters.
The name of the tower (literally meaning «Tower of the Eater») refers to its first bell-ringer who loved to eat very much and spent all his profits on food. The tower is mostly built of terracotta bricks, while the upper sections of the bell loft is finished with white travertine.
The first bell was installed in 1349, just after the tower was finished, but it was then changed several times. The bell that you can see now was installed in 1666. The clock on the lower part of the tower was added in 1360.