The bell

Besides the two bells that beat the hours in the small tower which is positioned above the clock, there is another bell in the courtyard of the Archiginnasio: it is placed in a corner, between the north and the west walls, almost at the top of the first floor.

According to the scholar Paltrinieri, the addition of a bell to signal the beginning of the lessons was necessary to distinguish the sound of the time given by the Clock, from that which marked the school breaks. In fact, the time calculation system used during the ancien Régime was affected by the seasonal trend and it was a source of possible misunderstandings in the calculation.

We do not know the period in which it was placed there, although the recent restoration has reported the inscription “1604”.

The bell is clearly visible both in the series of watercolours illustrated by Onofrio Zanotti and Contardo Tomaselli and in the photographs taken after the devastating bombing of 1944, when it was still in its place.