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Torre degli Annibaldi, Rome

4.4
#2,110 of 2,913 in Things to do in Rome
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Torre degli Annibaldi Reviews

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4.7
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  • Located about a block from the Colosseum, it is visible from the street. Not much to see, but amazing that this tower built in 1204 remains.  more »
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  • This tower, located in Fagutale Street but dominant the way of the Hannibals, was built in 1204 by Pietro Hannibal, brother-in-law of Pope Innocent III (1198-1216). The building, consisting of a band of mounds at the base and brick at the top, rests on the edge of the hill consisting of the end of the Fagutale, one of the three peaks of the Esquilino hill. In 1894 a cut was made to the Fagutale, made evident by the very high wall of support, to allow the passage of the Hannibal way and it was on this occasion that a Roman-era found on which the tower itself rests was born: it is the so-called "Hannibal Street Nymph." The construction, in a reticulated work, is dated between the end of the Republic and the Augustan age, but it is not known whether it belonged to a larger structure or if it was in its own right, nor whether it was public or private. Here we want to remember that the nymphs were places characterized by the presence of fountains, consisting of articulated environments, sometimes even divided into aisles and used as places of gathering and celebration. The Hannibals built and used the tower precisely as opposed to the antagonistic family of the Frangipane, who instead had their stronghold in front of the Colosseum. But from the following century, with the decay of the noble family in favor of the Caetans, the tower became part of the fortified complex of "St. Mary in Monasteries". In the 16th century the castle church fell into disrepair (so much so that the church was torn down by Pope Clement VII because it was dangerous) and the Tower passed to the Maronites, who still own the building. Note the semi-circular compartment on the southern side of the building: it is a closed environment used as a connecting staircase between the various floors, a kind of condominium staircase today. This tower was infamous in the Middle Ages because, next to the famous Capitoline Wolf, here located on a stone base and secured to the wall by iron schnapps, the hands of thieves were nailed, especially those guilty of stealing precious objects churches.
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  • Two medieval towers in a context that you don't expect
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