The Clock Tower

I am washing the dishes in my apartment in Lucca and this is my view:

 Torre delle Ore, Lucca

Torre delle Ore, Lucca

Not bad, I know. It's an old - very old! - clock tower in Lucca. You can see the clock face on the left side of the tower in the photo but don't set your watch by it. The hands move, but only sometimes. (I have never been able to detect a pattern to the movement.) Still, the tower is beautiful and imposing. Towers such as this can be found throughout Italy, dating from medieval times, when they were built for protection. The Torre delle Ore became a clock tower in 1390.

 A different view of the tower - from a tiny spare bedroom in "my" apartment.

A different view of the tower - from a tiny spare bedroom in "my" apartment.

The tower is on the main street of Lucca, Via Filungo. One of the most tantalizing aspects of this tower is a legend that it is inhabited by the ghost of a local resident who sold her soul to the devil so she could remain young. The legend says that in August 1623 the devil came after the woman to pay the debt and she climbed to the top of the tower to stop time but the devil caught her and took her soul. (Maybe that explains the clock hands only moving sometimes.)

 Torre Guinigi

Torre Guinigi

The tower should not be confused with the Torre Guinigi, which is another tower in Lucca. The Torre Guinigi gets a bit more attention because it has trees at the top. Both towers can still be climbed - it's about a couple hundred steps up, which in Italy is nothing (there are 47 steps to the front door of my apartment!). And from both tower tops are the most amazing views of Lucca and the Tuscan hills in the distance.                                          -post by JG

 A view over Lucca from Torre Guinigi

A view over Lucca from Torre Guinigi