Torre dell’Orologio

Torre dell’Orologio information

Venice , Italy
Piazza San Marco
+390 41 4273 0892
Getting there
Ferry: San Marco
More information
adult/reduced with Museum Pass €12.50/7.50
Opening hours
tours in English 10am & 11am Mon-Wed, 2pm & 3pm Thu-Sun, in Italian noon & 4pm daily, in French 2pm & 3pm Mon-Wed, 10am & 11am Thu-Sun
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The two hardest-working men in Venice stand duty on a rooftop around the clock, and wear no pants. No need to file workers' complaints: the 'Do Mori' (Two Moors) exposed to the elements atop the Torre dell'Orologio are made of bronze, and their bell-hammering mechanism runs like, well, clockwork. Below the Moors, Venice's gold-leafed 15th-century timepiece tracks lunar phases.

The clock, designed by Zuan Paolo Rainieri and his son Zuan Carlo in 1493–99, had one hitch: the clockworks required constant upkeep by a live-in clockwatcher and his family until 1998. After a nine-year renovation, the clock's works are in independent working order – 132-stroke chimes keep time in tune, moving barrels indicate minutes and hour on the world's first digital clock face (c 1753), and wooden statues of the three kings and angel emerge from side panels annually on Epiphany and the Feast of the Ascension. Tours climb steep four-storey spiral staircases past the clockworks to the roof terrace, for giddy, close-up views of the Moors in action.

Children must be over 6 years of age to climb the tower and the steep climb is not recommended for pregnant women and those suffering from vertigo or claustrophobia.