The Lamberti Tower
The Lamberti tower, 84 meters high, is the tallest building in Verona. It represents an important landmark in the urban landscape and one of the main symbols of the city.
A legend surrounds its construction. At the beginning of the twelfth century, the area behind Piazza Erbe belonged to the noble Lamberti family, who had built a building and a high tower there, as many did in Verona and in many other Italian Middle Age cities. The matron of the house discovered the liaison of her husband with another woman and killed her, who wife of a carpenter. The murderer sought absolution in the secret of the confessional. The priest who listened to the story of the crime ordered her to erect a tower from which a bell, ringing every hour, would remind her of her crime until the end of her days. The bell was called Marangona, from the dialectal word "marangon" that is carpenter. Also according to the legend, the refined woman's head carved into the stone of the staircase leading to the palace where the Lamberti tower is inserted, represents the effigy of the marangona.
In communal age, numerous tower houses were built in Italian cities. They were at the same time functional to the defense in case of attack, and a symbol of social status for the families who owned them (pretty much like modern skyscrapers...). Four of these towers were built on the corners of one of the old Roman city blocks near the ancient forum: Piazza delle Erbe. The area was purchased by Verona Municipality in the mid-twelfth century to make it the seat of the Arengario (city parliament) and other offices. It is actually one of the oldest public buildings in Italy. The tower of the Lamberti, name of the ancient owners, was incorporated in the new structure. At the end of the 15th century, the Loggia del Consiglio was built and the city council moved there. The building from which the tower of the Lamberti stands out became the Palazzo della Ragione, that is the city court. The Lamberti tower, however, remained the municipal tower and was raised in different stages up to an height of 84 meters. From its end rang the bells Rengo and Marangona. The first marked the meetings of the Arengario (from which Rengo), the city council, and alarmed citizens in case of fires and military attacks. The second, that of the legend, actually marked the working hours of the day. The high building is characterized by the different styles with which it was built. The base, like Palazzo della Ragione, is made with the typical alternation of bricks and tuff of the Veronese Romanesque style, while the rest of the tower is made of bricks. The belfry is in Gothic style.
Lamberti Tower is accessible to the public. It is possible to climb to the top either by a comfortable lift, or by walking the several hundred steps of the internal staircase. From the top of the tower you will enjoy a spectacular 360° view over the entire center of Verona. In addition to the Piazza delle Erbe and Piazza dei Signori below, you can also see many city churches such as Santa Anastasia, the Duomo, the hills with Castel San Pietro, various stretches of the Adige river and even part of the Arena.
Every guided tour organized by the tourist guides of Verona has as its main stop Piazza dei Signori and Piazza delle Erbe from which you can see the tower of Lamberti that will be illustrated by your guide: