Torre dell'orologio, Venice

Torre dell'orologio, Venice (must see)

In a Piazza filled with iconic Venetian buildings, this remarkable Renaissance clock tower holds its own. Its base has always been a favorite meeting point for Venetians as it marks the entrance to the ancient Merceria, one of the busiest streets in Venice, now home to both high-end boutiques and trinket shops.

The tower's clock itself was made the official timekeeper of Venice as far back as 1858. It notably not only tells the time but is also an aid to the astrologer, matching the zodiac signs with the position of the sun. A gruesome legend relates that the makers of the clock slaved away for 3 years at their project, only to have their eyes put out so that they couldn’t reproduce their engineering marvel for other patrons. To compensate, however, it is said they have received a generous pension from grateful Venetians.

Above the clock face you will see, against a field of golden stars, the winged lion of St Mark, which is the symbol of Venice, to be found virtually everywhere across the city. On the level below the winged lion is a statue of the Virgin Mary and Baby Jesus who also seem to be watching over Piazza San Marco.

The two men striking the bell at the extreme top of the clock tower are one of the most characteristic Venetian scenes. They originally represented two European shepherds, but after having been reproduced in bronze, they’ve grown significantly darker as time went by and, as a consequence, they came to be called “Moors” by the locals. If the movement of the Moors seems slow in today’s fast-paced world, remember how many centuries these unfortunates have been at their task without a day off.

All this is obviously for free; except if you climb the tower, in which case you may book one of the two daily English-language tours, each limited to 12 people. Your guide will show you the secret door, then you will climb the steps stopping at every level all the way to the top, which offers great views of the clock mechanism and the San Marco square.
Sight description based on wikipedia

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Venice, Italy within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for IOS   Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for Android

Torre dell'orologio on Map

Sight Name: Torre dell'orologio
Sight Location: Venice, Italy
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) containing this sight: City Orientation Walking Tour   Piazza San Marco Walking Tour  

Walking Tours in Venice, Italy

Create Your Own Walk in Venice

Create Your Own Walk in Venice

Creating your own self-guided walk in Venice is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Casanova's Tour

Casanova's Tour

Giacomo Casanova is one of the most famous personalities of Venice. He was a man of great culture. His interests ranged from love affairs and gambling to writing and alchemy. Born in a family of theater actors in 1725, he grew up surrounded by high society. He became an important personality in his own right, starting with his adolescence. This tour will show you places of great significance in...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 km
Lido Island Walking Tour

Lido Island Walking Tour

Lido is the largest island of Venice city. It is long, but not wide at all, very different from the circular form of the main city. Lido is known for its very popular places, a movie was made here and there are some other secrets that this particular guide offers you. Ready for adventure? Ride on!

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.6 km
Museums & Galleries Tour

Museums & Galleries Tour

The whole of Venice is a museum of art, of beauty, of architecture, of great food and laces, of life and history. Such a wonderful, extraordinary and unique city deserves a deeper breathing of its air. We offer you a little tour to explore by foot the beauty called Venice - the city of the arts and love.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 km
Castello District Walking Tour

Castello District Walking Tour

The eastern Castello area hosts the city's most extensive green area. Castello is the largest district of Venice. It has been inhabited since the 5th century and has a number of attractions for tourists, like the Basilica of San Pietro di Castello, the Arsenale di Venezia and the Biennale exhibits. It was and is home to Venice's most important industries.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 km
San Marco Souvenir Shops

San Marco Souvenir Shops

It would be a pity to leave Venice without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs that are unique to Venice. Pop into the specialty shops of San Marco suggested in this tour to find the most beautiful and original items.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.9 km
City Orientation Walking Tour

City Orientation Walking Tour

Largely regarded as one of the most romantic places ever built by man, the city of Venice is spread across 118 islands collectively earning it the nicknames of the City of Water and the City of Bridges. Other than the bridges, though, the city abounds in museums, basilicas and other historic sights. For a chance to visit some of these and learn more about Venice, embark on this self-guided walk!

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.4 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


15 Distinctively Italian Things to Buy in Venice

15 Distinctively Italian Things to Buy in Venice

Venice has been a tourist mecca for over a century now, with millions of visitors flocking in every year to see this unique place on the face of the Earth. Many, if not all, of these people seek to obtain something memorable as a token of their stay in this city. By far, not all of them know which...