Torre dell'Orologio

The Moors ringing the bell atop the Torre dell'Orologio in Venice
The Moors ringing the bell atop the Torre dell'Orologio in Venice.

The Clock Tower on Piazza San Marco in Venice

The Torre dell'Orologio (Clock Tower) in Venice
The Torre dell'Orologio (Clock Tower) in Venice. (Photo by Giovanni dell'Orto)
This late 15th-century clock tower has a bell that chimes the hours with the help of two hammer-wielding statues standing on the very tip-top of the tower and known as the "Moors of Venice."

You would think there would be some kind of great story behind that—a monument featuring medieval North African Muslims, here in Venice? Or perhaps some obscure reference to Shakepeare's Othello?

However, you would be wrong.

The two statues are actually supposed to be your standard European shepherds, but centuries of outdoor life darkened to bronze figures to the point where, long ago, the Romantically-minded locals decided they looked more Moorish and gave them the nickname.

The clock on the Torre dell'Orologio in Venice
The clock on the Torre dell'Orologio in Venice. (Photo by Richard Mortel)
Construction on the clock tower began in 1496 and by 1499 it had started keeping time (on an interesting 24-hour clockface that doubles as a horoscope marker).

However, the Venice clock tower has been restored many, many times—pretty much once per century, most recently from 1996 to 2006.

(For more on that recent, controversial, and seemingly endless project: www.torreorologio.it).

One nice thing about the most recent restoration: For the first time in history, you can now go inside the Torre dell'Orologio on 50-minute tours, but these must be booked ahead of time (see "'Tips" below).

Tips & links

Details

Torre dell'Orologio
Piazza San Marco
tel. +39-041-520-9070
Bookings: tel. 848-082-000 within Italy or +39-041-4273-0892 outside Italy
www.visitmuve.it
Book tickets/tour: Select Italy
Vaporetto: San Zaccaria, San Marco-Giardinetti, or San Marco-Vallaresso
Tours in English: Mon-Wed at 10am and 11am; Thurs-Sun at 2pm and 3pm
Tours in Italian: Daily at noon and 4pm
Adm

Clock Tower tours
• Clock Tower Guided Tour

Tours

Take a tour: The only way to visit the Torre dell'Orolorgio is on a guided tour of its Renaissance gears (nice views from up here, too) only by booking in advance (tel. +39-041-520-9070 or www.visitmuve.it or at Select Italy).

Tours in English run at 10am and 11am Mon–Wed and at 2pm and 3pm Thurs-Sun. (In Italian, they run daily noon and 4pm).

How long does the Clock Tower take?

Planning your day: You can just glance at it in passing. If you are going to go inside, tours last 50 minutes. Venice itineraries

Nearby sights, restaurants, and hotels

Sights nearby
★★★ St. Marks' Basilica (church)
★★★ Palazzo Ducale (palace)
★★★ Grand Canal (sight)
Campanile di San Marco (bell tower)
Museo Civico Correr (museum)
Bacino Orseolo (gondola parking lot)

Where to eat nearby
Where to eat nearby
★★★ Bistrot de Venise [meal]
Da Aciugheta [meal/pizza]
★★ Osteria a la Campana [light meal]
★★ Vino Vino [light meal]
Rosticceria Teatro Goldoni [light meal/snack]

Hotels nearby
RR Hotel Danieli (splurge)
RR Hotel ai do Mori (moderate)
RR Hotel Violino d'Oro (moderate)
RR Hotel Metropole [premier]
RR Hotel La Residenza [cheap]
RR Foresteria Valdese [super-cheap]
RR Hotel Caneva [super-cheap]


» More hotels in San Marco from Booking.com

Venice links & resources

Share this page

Intrepid Travel 25% off

Search ReidsItaly.com

Details
Torre dell'Orologio
Piazza San Marco
tel. +39-041-520-9070
Bookings: tel. 848-082-000 within Italy or +39-041-4273-0892 outside Italy
www.visitmuve.it
Book tickets/tour: Select Italy
Vaporetto: San Zaccaria, San Marco-Giardinetti, or San Marco-Vallaresso
Tours in English: Mon-Wed at 10am and 11am; Thurs-Sun at 2pm and 3pm
Tours in Italian: Daily at noon and 4pm
Adm

Clock Tower tours
• Clock Tower Guided Tour
Nearby
Sights nearby
★★★ St. Marks' Basilica (church)
★★★ Palazzo Ducale (palace)
★★★ Grand Canal (sight)
Campanile di San Marco (bell tower)
Museo Civico Correr (museum)
Bacino Orseolo (gondola parking lot)

Where to eat nearby
Where to eat nearby
★★★ Bistrot de Venise [meal]
Da Aciugheta [meal/pizza]
★★ Osteria a la Campana [light meal]
★★ Vino Vino [light meal]
Rosticceria Teatro Goldoni [light meal/snack]

Hotels nearby
RR Hotel Danieli (splurge)
RR Hotel ai do Mori (moderate)
RR Hotel Violino d'Oro (moderate)
RR Hotel Metropole [premier]
RR Hotel La Residenza [cheap]
RR Foresteria Valdese [super-cheap]
RR Hotel Caneva [super-cheap]


» More hotels in San Marco from Booking.com
Links


Useful links
TK
Train tix

Shortcuts to popular planning sections:

Airfares, Cars, Trains, Tours, Packages, Cruises, Lodging, Itineraries, Info, Packing, Prep, Comm

Follow ReidsItaly
Follow ReidsItaly on Twitter  Join the ReidsItaly fan page  Follow Reids Italy Adventures blog