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“El Paron de Casa”: the magic of St. Mark's Campanile in Venice

The Campanile of San Marco is one of the most distinctive and beloved monuments of Venice , a symbol not only of the city, but of the whole of Italy. Situated majestically in Piazza San Marco, facing the Basilica of San Marco, the bell tower stands as a tangible testimony to the centuries of history and culture that permeate the lagoon city.

The Campanile of San Marco in Venice: architecture and legacy

The Campanile of San Marco rises imposingly to 98.6 meters in height , emerging as the tallest building in the lagoon city. Its structure, made of bricks and covered in marble of various shades, develops on a square plan with a side of 12 meters.

The tower is divided into five distinct orders, each characterized by unique architectural elements. The bell tower, adorned with depictions of the lions of San Marco and Justice, culminates in the spectacular bronze pyramidal spire, on which the golden statue of the archangel Gabriel stands.

In addition to being a symbol of Venice , St. Mark's Campanile is also a cultural beacon that has influenced structures around the world. The Sather Tower at the University of California, Berkeley, the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower in New York and the Himmelbjerget Memorial Tower in Denmark are just some of the works that have drawn inspiration from this extraordinary construction.

The bells of San Marco

The bells of San Marco are a sound treasure of inestimable value. Currently, the bell tower houses five bells , each with its own name and distinct personality. The largest, known as " Marangona ", weighs 3,620 kilograms and was cast in 1779 by Bartolomeo Carlo della Valle. It once marked the working hours of the carpenters (the "Marangoni") of the city, from which its name derives.

The second largest bell is the “ Nona ”, cast in 1797 by Giovanni Dandolo, with a weight of 2,200 kilograms. Then follows the " Trottiera ", a smaller bell with a characteristic "trotting" sound. The remaining two bells, “ Mezza Terza ” and “ Renghiera ”, complete the harmonic choir of the bell tower. Each bell has its own function and distinctive sound , ranging from signaling the hours to a call to prayer, thus creating a symphony that pervades the atmosphere of St. Mark's Square and beyond, capturing the attention and admiration of visitors from Worldwide.

The history of the Campanile of San Marco in Venice

The epic story of the Campanile of San Marco began way back in the 9th century, when it was built as a watchtower and lighthouse for the Venetian port . Over the centuries, it has undergone an extraordinary evolution, becoming an extraordinary example of fusion between Romanesque, Renaissance and Gothic architecture.

In the 12th century, the architect Buono made significant structural changes, adding a belfry to house the majestic bells. Then, in the 14th century, engineers from Holland and France were called in to reinforce the structure, ensuring its integrity.

However, the history of the bell tower has been marked by seismic events and lightning, which have inflicted considerable damage over the centuries. Lightning in 1489 damaged the wooden spire, while an earthquake in 1511 required a more radical renovation, giving architect Pietro Bon the opportunity to give the building the iconic look we admire today.

Collapse and rebirth of the Campanile of San Marco

On 14 July 1902 , a dramatic event shocked Venice: the Campanile of San Marco collapsed unexpectedly, throwing the entire city into sadness and worry. However, like a phoenix rising from its ashes, Venice united to bring its beloved bell tower back to life. Architect Luigi Codecasa took the reins of the reconstruction project, which began in 1903.

During the works, he worked to recover and reuse original materials, giving the building an extraordinary historical continuity. Thus, on 25 April 1912, the Campanile di San Marco was reopened to the public, in all its renewed glory .

Today, St. Mark's Campanile continues to arouse admiration and wonder in visitors from all over the world and Venice stands as one of the most beautiful cities in the world to visit. For those who want to enjoy its magical atmosphere, staying low cost and in a smart way can be an excellent solution to discover every hidden place .


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