For more than 500 years, the two 'Moors', the name given (in the 18th century) to the pair of bronze bell-jacks in the Torre dell’ Orologio (Clock Tower), have been dutifully striking the passing hours.
The bell-jacks were originally nicknamed li doi ziganti (the two giants), on account of their size (2.6 metres). Sporting nothing more than short woollen tunics, the bell-jacks are, in fact, two shepherds, one old and bearded, the other young and clean-shaven. It is thought that the figures, who symbolise the passing of time, were cast by Sigismondo I Alberghetti in 1497/8.
Blogging about Venice:
its art, history & culture.
My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England.
Since 200I I have been living in Italy, where I run private tours of Florence, Rome &
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