The ‘Torre dell’Orologio’ is certainly one of the most beautiful and interesting towers in Vicopisano. Various elements contribute to this reputation: its ancientness (first half of 12th cent.), its remarkable height, the presence of a complete series of stone corbels that once supported a timber balcony, the ”sporto”, and the fact that it has been used for centuries as a bell-tower.
The tower is currently used as a bell tower with the addition of a four-pitch roof, but the original structure dates back to the 12th-13th centuries and it was probably built for military purposes, as a control tower for the road leading to the ancient castle of Vico, located in the area of Palazzo Pretorio.
It is completely constructed in “verrucano” stones, except for the top part, which has been restored several times in the 16th century and later on; it features a great number of stone corbels that, in Middle Age, used to support the external timber structures, balconies or platforms on the outside of the tower. We can still see the pointed arch doors that led into the timber structure itself.
The present tower is 25 meters high; its soaring aspect is due to its irregular plant (3.8 x 5.6 m).
From some structural and iconographical details, the tower can be placed in the same construction period as Palazzo Pretorio. Fortunately, when the tower lost its former function of offense/defense, it was not demolished, but reused as a bell-tower, thanks to its considerable height. The clock - that still exist on the west side of the tower - has preserved the original 18th century cogwheels, but there are documents showing that the clock already existed in the 16th century.