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Campanile: Historical Overview

Italy is a country of magnificent music and great musicians. Music is the soul of Italy. The musical traditions of the Italians are to be seen in everything, including in architecture.

In the Italian architecture of Middle Ages and Renaissance the "Campanile" (Italian for "bell tower") is a tetrahedral or round bell tower, usually separate from the church, cathedral or town hall with which it is associated.

The form dates back to the VIth Century. Being simultaneously a watchtower and a bell tower, the campanile became an essential element in Italian architecture. Every Italian campanile is a work of art.

Ravenna is famous for its round bell towers, some of the earliest. The most perfect bell towers are to be found in Lombardy, in the north of Italy; square in plan and bereft of ornament, they rise upwards to the top circle of bells. The campanile of Torcello cathedral is a magnificent example of non-ornamental style preserved up to the present time. In Rome you can find the oldest surviving "square" bell towers.

The following octahedral campaniles are worth mentioning: San Gottardo in Milan, San Zeno in Verona, and St. Abbondio in Como.

One of the most beautiful Italian campaniles is that of Giotto in Florence, founded in 1387. As regards its general composition, this one is the usual Lombard bell tower; however, outside the tower is faced with alternating tiles of white and green marble with mosaic inserts, the apertures with Gothic frames intertwined with the ornament of the walls, while the sculptures, canopies and beams of fine columns are regarded as art masterpieces of the epoch. Thanks to the combination of force and grace, simplicity and richness of d?cor, the Campanile occupies one of the leading places in bell tower architecture.

The sound of Italian bell towers is pure and clear. And the campanile name itself sounds rather musical. Campanile is an ideal name for this series of acoustic systems by Bolzano Villetri™.

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