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How To Climb Torre Del Mangia In Siena


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Joellen Wilburn



Welcome to Siena, a charming city located in the heart of Tuscany, Italy. One of the most iconic landmarks of this magnificent city is Torre del Mangia, a towering masterpiece that offers breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. Whether you are a history enthusiast, an adventure seeker, or simply someone who appreciates the beauty of architectural marvels, climbing Torre del Mangia should be on your bucket list when visiting Siena.


Torre del Mangia, also known as the Tower of the Eater, stands tall at a height of 102 meters (335 feet) and dominates the skyline of Siena. Its impressive structure, built in the 14th century, is a symbol of the prosperity and power that the city enjoyed during the Middle Ages. Climbing this medieval tower not only provides an exhilarating experience but also offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of Siena.


The journey to the top of Torre del Mangia is not just a physical feat but also a spiritual one. As you ascend the winding staircase, each step brings you closer to the heavens, and with every turn, the anticipation builds. The reward at the top is an awe-inspiring panoramic view of the city, its red-roofed buildings, and the rolling hills of the Tuscan countryside stretching as far as the eye can see.


But climbing Torre del Mangia is not for the faint of heart. It requires stamina, a moderate level of fitness, and a sense of adventure. However, the experience is truly worth it, as you will be rewarded with a sense of accomplishment and an indescribable feeling of being on top of the world.


In this article, we will provide you with all the information you need to know about climbing Torre del Mangia. From its fascinating history to the necessary safety precautions and equipment, we will guide you through the steps to make your ascent as smooth and enjoyable as possible. So, get ready to embark on a memorable journey to the top of Torre del Mangia!


Overview of Torre del Mangia

Torre del Mangia is an iconic medieval tower located in the Piazza del Campo, the main square of Siena. Standing at an impressive height of 102 meters (335 feet), it is one of the tallest towers in Italy and offers unrivaled panoramic views of the city and its surroundings. The tower takes its name from its first bell-ringer, Giovanni di Duccio, who was known for his voracious appetite.


Constructed between 1338 and 1348, the tower was initially intended to be of equal height to the Siena Cathedral as a symbol of civic power. However, due to financial constraints and engineering difficulties, the tower was completed at its current height. Despite this, Torre del Mangia remains a remarkable architectural achievement of its time.


The tower is composed of redbrick and white travertine marble, giving it an imposing and striking appearance. Its slender shape and Gothic design add to its allure, making it a prominent feature on the Sienese skyline. Torre del Mangia shares a special relationship with the neighboring Palazzo Pubblico, the Siena City Hall, as both structures are interlinked by a covered passageway.


At the top of the tower, you can find an elegant and ornate bell chamber, which was added in the 17th century. The chamber houses the famous bell, called the “Assunta,” which weighs approximately 6,000 kilograms (13,228 pounds). The bell was historically rung to mark the hours of the day and important events in the city.


Today, Torre del Mangia serves as a symbol of Siena’s rich history and is a major tourist attraction. Climbing the tower allows visitors to not only admire its architectural grandeur but also gain a deeper understanding of Siena’s past. From the top, you can see the vast expanse of the Piazza del Campo, with its unique shell shape, where the renowned Palio horse race takes place twice a year.


It is important to note that Torre del Mangia is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a protected historic monument. Its cultural significance and breathtaking views make it a must-visit attraction for anyone visiting Siena.


Now that we have provided an overview of Torre del Mangia, let us delve into its fascinating history to truly appreciate its importance in the city of Siena.


History of Torre del Mangia

The construction of Torre del Mangia commenced in 1338 under the supervision of the architect Agostino di Giovanni and his assistant, Giovanni di Duccio. The tower was built as a symbol of civic pride and power, reflecting the prosperity that the city of Siena enjoyed during the 14th century.


Originally, the tower was intended to have the same height as the Siena Cathedral, but due to financial limitations and the technical challenges of its construction, it was completed at its current height of 102 meters (335 feet). Despite this, Torre del Mangia remains an impressive feat of medieval architecture.


The tower gets its name from Giovanni di Duccio, its first bell-ringer, who was known for his massive appetite. His nickname, “Mangia,” meaning “the Eater,” became associated with the tower, giving it its distinctive name.


Construction of the tower took ten years, with the final stone being laid in 1348. The tower was part of a larger project that included the adjoining Palazzo Pubblico, which served as the seat of the city government. The tower’s design was heavily influenced by the prevailing Gothic architectural style of the time, characterized by its slender form and decorative details.


Over the centuries, Torre del Mangia has had different functions. In addition to its role as a symbol of civic power, it served as a watchtower and bell tower. The large bell housed within the tower, known as the “Assunta,” was rung to signal important events, such as the opening and closing of the city gates, the start of curfew, and times of celebration.


Throughout its history, Torre del Mangia underwent several renovations to ensure its structural stability. In the 17th century, the bell chamber was added, giving the tower its current appearance. The exterior of the tower was also restored to its original glory during this period.


Today, Torre del Mangia stands as a testament to the rich history and cultural heritage of Siena. It serves as a beloved landmark and a reminder of the city’s past glory. Climbing the tower allows visitors to connect with the medieval era and gain a unique perspective on the city and its surroundings.


As you make your way up the winding staircase, imagine the bell-ringers of the past ascending the tower to fulfill their duty. When you reach the top, take a moment to appreciate the craftsmanship and vision that went into creating this remarkable structure.


Now that we’ve explored the history of Torre del Mangia, it’s time to focus on the safety precautions you should keep in mind before embarking on the climb.


Safety Precautions

Before embarking on your climb up Torre del Mangia, it is essential to be aware of certain safety precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. While climbing the tower can be an exciting adventure, it is important to prioritize your well-being. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:

  1. Physical Fitness: Torre del Mangia features a steep and narrow staircase with over 400 steps. Ensure that you are in good physical condition before attempting the climb. If you have any pre-existing health conditions or concerns, it is advisable to consult with a medical professional beforehand.
  2. Proper Footwear: Wear comfortable and sturdy shoes with good traction to navigate the spiral staircase safely. Avoid wearing flip-flops, high heels, or any footwear that may compromise your stability.
  3. Secure Belongings: Remove any loose or valuable items from your pockets before ascending the tower. Items such as keys, wallets, and cell phones should be securely stored to prevent accidents or loss.
  4. Keep Hydrated: Climbing Torre del Mangia can be physically demanding, so it is important to stay hydrated. Bring a water bottle with you and take regular breaks to rest and rehydrate as needed.
  5. Mind Your Step: The staircase of Torre del Mangia can be narrow and uneven in some sections. Take your time, watch your step, and use the handrail for support. Be cautious especially when descending, as it can be more challenging than climbing up.
  6. Follow Instructions: Listen to and follow any instructions or guidelines provided by the staff or guides at the tower. They are there to ensure your safety and to answer any questions you may have.
  7. Be Aware of Your Surroundings: Torre del Mangia can be crowded, especially during peak tourist seasons. Be mindful of other visitors and respect their personal space. Avoid blocking the pathway or obstructing the stairwell to allow a smooth flow of traffic.
  8. Weather Conditions: Take into account the weather conditions before attempting to climb the tower. Avoid climbing during heavy rain, strong winds, or other adverse weather conditions that could pose a risk to your safety.
  9. Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to how you are feeling during the climb. If you start experiencing dizziness, shortness of breath, or any discomfort, it is advisable to take a break or descend the tower. Your well-being is of utmost importance.

By following these safety precautions, you can ensure a safe and memorable ascent of Torre del Mangia. Keeping yourself and others safe during the climb enhances the overall experience and allows you to fully appreciate the beauty and historical significance of this magnificent tower.


Now that you are familiar with the safety measures, let’s move on to the necessary equipment you should consider bringing along for the climb.


Necessary Equipment

When preparing to climb Torre del Mangia, it is important to have the necessary equipment to ensure your comfort and safety. While the climb itself does not require any specialized gear, there are a few items that can enhance your experience. Here are some essential equipment recommendations:

  1. Comfortable Clothing: Wear lightweight, breathable clothing that allows for ease of movement. Choose materials that wick away moisture and keep you cool, especially during warmer months. Layering your clothing is also advisable, as the temperature at the top of the tower can be different from the ground level.
  2. Sturdy Footwear: Opt for comfortable and sturdy shoes with good traction to navigate the narrow and winding staircase. Closed-toe shoes or sneakers are ideal, providing grip and support for your feet. Avoid wearing flip-flops, sandals, or high heels, as they can be impractical and unsafe for climbing.
  3. Light Backpack or Bag: Bring a lightweight backpack or bag to carry your essentials. This can include items such as a water bottle for hydration, a small snack, sunscreen, sunglasses, a camera, and any personal belongings you may need. Ensure your bag is securely fastened to avoid any accidents during the climb.
  4. Water Bottle: Staying hydrated is crucial during physical activity. Bring a refillable water bottle with you to keep hydrated during the climb. Sipping water periodically will help combat fatigue and keep you energized.
  5. Camera or Smartphone: Torre del Mangia offers breathtaking panoramic views of Siena and the surrounding landscape. Capture these memorable moments by bringing a camera or smartphone with you. However, be mindful not to let photography distract you from your safety and the overall experience.
  6. Sun Protection: If you plan to climb Torre del Mangia during sunny weather, wearing sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses is highly recommended. Protecting yourself from the sun’s UV rays will not only prevent sunburn but also ensure your overall well-being during the climb.
  7. Snacks: Climbing the tower can be physically demanding, and you may need a quick energy boost along the way. Consider bringing a small snack, such as granola bars or nuts, to replenish your energy levels. Keep in mind that eating and drinking are only allowed in designated areas for the preservation of the tower and its surroundings.

Remember, it is important to pack light and only bring the essentials. Carrying heavy or bulky items can hinder your mobility and make the climb more challenging. Additionally, be respectful of the monument and keep the environment clean by properly disposing of any waste.


Now that you are well-equipped with the necessary gear for your climb, let’s move on to the steps involved in ascending Torre del Mangia.


Steps to Climb Torre del Mangia

Climbing Torre del Mangia is an exciting adventure that allows you to experience the rich history and breathtaking views of Siena. Here are the steps involved in ascending this magnificent tower:

  1. Arrival at Piazza del Campo: Make your way to the Piazza del Campo, the main square of Siena, where Torre del Mangia is located. Take in the beauty of the square and immerse yourself in the atmosphere of this historic city.
  2. Purchase Tickets: Locate the ticket office for Torre del Mangia, usually found near the tower entrance. Purchase your entrance ticket, keeping in mind that there may be specific time slots or restrictions due to visitor capacity. It is advisable to arrive early to secure your preferred time.
  3. Orientation and Safety Briefing: Once you have your ticket, listen to any orientation or safety briefings provided by the staff. They will inform you about the rules and regulations, as well as any specific precautions to be taken during the climb.
  4. Begin the Climb: Make your way to the base of Torre del Mangia, where the entrance is located. Take a deep breath and prepare yourself for the adventure ahead. The journey begins with ascending the narrow spiral staircase that winds its way up the tower.
  5. Pace Yourself: As you ascend the staircase, take your time and maintain a comfortable pace. The climb can be physically demanding, especially as you reach higher levels. Listen to your body and take breaks whenever necessary. Use the handrail for support and to maintain your balance.
  6. Enjoy the Views: As you continue climbing, you will notice occasional windows providing glimpses of the stunning views outside. Take a moment to pause, catch your breath, and admire the scenery. These small breaks also offer an opportunity to capture memorable photographs.
  7. Familiarize Yourself with the History: Along the staircase, you may find informative displays or plaques that provide insights into the history and significance of Torre del Mangia. Take the time to read and appreciate these details, enriching your understanding of this magnificent tower.
  8. Reach the Top: After ascending the numerous steps, you will finally reach the top of Torre del Mangia. Take a moment to soak in the breathtaking panoramic views of Siena and its surroundings. The red-roofed buildings, rolling hills, and the beauty of the landscape will leave you awe-inspired.
  9. Descend the Tower: Once you’ve enjoyed the view and taken sufficient time to appreciate the moment, descend the tower using the same staircase. Be cautious while descending, as it can require more concentration and balance. Use the handrail and take your time to ensure a safe descent.

Each step of the climb provides a unique experience, allowing you to admire the architecture, appreciate the history, and revel in the beauty of Siena from a remarkable vantage point. By following these steps, you can make the most of your adventure up Torre del Mangia.


Now that you know how to climb the tower, let’s move on to the next section and discover the joy of enjoying the view from the top! 

Enjoying the View from the Top

Reaching the top of Torre del Mangia is a truly rewarding experience. From this elevated position, you can witness the beauty of Siena and its surroundings in all their glory. Here are some tips for enjoying the view from the top:


360-Degree Panorama: Take a moment to walk around the platform at the top of the tower and appreciate the 360-degree panoramic view. Marvel at the enchanting red rooftops of Siena, the picturesque countryside, and the rolling hills that extend as far as the eye can see. The view provides a unique perspective that allows you to fully absorb the charm and beauty of this historic city.


Identify Landmarks: As you soak in the view, try to identify the significant landmarks of Siena. Point out famous buildings such as the Siena Cathedral, with its striking façade and intricate details, or the Palazzo Pubblico, which stands in the heart of the city. This will enhance your understanding of the city’s layout and enrich your experience.


Photography Opportunities: Capture the magic of the view by taking photographs from different angles. The expansive landscape, architectural details, and unique perspectives offer endless possibilities for stunning photos. Experiment with different compositions and settings to best capture the essence of Siena from above.


Time Your Visit: Consider the time of day when planning your ascent to maximize the beauty of the view. Early morning or late afternoon can offer soft, warm lighting, while sunset provides a magnificent color palette. Keep in mind that the lighting conditions can change throughout the day, adding different dimensions to the scenery.


Reflect and Relax: Allow yourself a moment of tranquility at the top of Torre del Mangia. Take a seat, close your eyes, and absorb the sounds, scents, and atmosphere of this remarkable vantage point. Let the beauty of the view wash over you as you reflect on the historical significance and the enduring legacy of Siena.


Observe the Piazza del Campo: From the top of Torre del Mangia, you can also observe the bustling activity of the Piazza del Campo below. Watch as people move through the square, enjoy a coffee in one of the nearby cafes, or admire the exquisite beauty of the Fonte Gaia. This unique perspective provides a glimpse into the vibrant daily life of Siena.


Remember, the experience of enjoying the view from the top of Torre del Mangia is not only visually captivating but also a moment of connection with the rich history and culture of Siena. Take your time, cherish the view, and create lasting memories of this exceptional experience.


As our journey to Torre del Mangia comes to an end, it’s time to reflect on the joy and wonder this tower imparts, leaving you with a sense of awe and appreciation for the beauty of Siena.



Climbing Torre del Mangia in Siena is a remarkable experience that allows you to immerse yourself in the rich history, architectural splendor, and breathtaking views of this magnificent city. From the moment you set foot in the Piazza del Campo to reaching the top of the tower, every step of the journey is filled with wonder, awe, and a sense of adventure.


Torre del Mangia stands as a symbol of Siena’s prosperity and power during the Middle Ages. Its towering presence and Gothic design offer a glimpse into the city’s fascinating past. Climbing the tower not only provides an exhilarating physical experience but also deepens your understanding of Siena’s heritage.


As you ascend Torre del Mangia’s winding staircase, each step brings you closer to the heavens and offers new perspectives on the city below. The panoramic view from the top is a reward in itself, allowing you to witness the red-roofed buildings, rolling hills, and captivating landscapes that define Siena’s beauty.


Throughout your climb, keeping safety precautions in mind is crucial to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. Take your time, use the handrail, and be aware of your surroundings. And don’t forget to bring along the necessary equipment, such as comfortable footwear, water, and sun protection, to enhance your climb.


Reaching the top of Torre del Mangia not only offers breathtaking views but also invites you to reflect on the historical significance of Siena. Take a moment to appreciate the landmarks, observe the Piazza del Campo, and capture the magic through photography. Let the beauty of the view captivate your senses and leave a lasting impression.


So, whether you are an avid history enthusiast, an intrepid explorer, or simply someone seeking an unforgettable experience, climbing Torre del Mangia is a must-do activity in Siena. It will leave you with a sense of accomplishment, a deeper appreciation for Siena’s beauty, and memories that will last a lifetime.


So, prepare your gear, lace up your shoes, and embark on this extraordinary journey to the top of Torre del Mangia. Let the tower enchant you, the views mesmerize you, and the spirit of Siena embrace you.