The fortified tower of Spilamberto

The fortified tower of Spilamberto

Built close to the town walls in the 14th Century by the Comune of Modena, this medieval structure stands at the entrance of the town and was originally intended to fortify the castle from the West. It consisted of a tower, a drawbridge and a dungeon. The tower is the highest in the township and is today known as the “Torrione”. You can still traces of the drawbrige mechanism on the sides of the arches. In the first decades of the 20th Century, the last sections of the walls and ramparts were knocked down to make space for urban development and to improve sanitation. The adjacent construction with an outer staircase also dates to this period. As the tower’s terraces overlook the entire lowlands to Modena and Bologna and the hills to the south, the tower was an important strategic look-out point, not only for the castle of Spilamberto but also for the whole territory.

Between the 16th and 17th Centuries, a wooden roof leaned on its crenellations which remained there until the 1940s when the tower was damaged during the Second World War. One of the rooms on one of the higher floors served as gaols where you can still see the rings for the chains and a large Rangoni family emblem who were the feudal lords of Spilamberto for centuries. On the eastern and western facades, the large dials of a “public” clock from the 16th Century allow the people of the town to keep track of time. The old clock has been replaced several times but recently, beside the modern mechanism, thanks to a project involving children from the local middle school, a display one has replaced it whose base can be traced back to the 19th Century.

The Torrione currently houses the Antiquarium and the headquarters of the Ordine del Nocino Modenese (Nocino is a sticky dark brown Italian liqueur) and here, you can also visit, “The Cell of Messer Filippo”.

Symbol of Spilamberto that dominates the entrance to the city