Viterbo. Tower of San Biele o Torre of Cipria

The Tower of San Biele is one of the most photographed places in Viterbo due to its particularity: a tower that clearly has the appearance of an entrance door built in the center of the town.

In fact, the tower must have been part of an enlargement of the wall system and was built in 1270 by the Captain of the people Raniero Gatti, perhaps the symbol of Viterbo. It is to him that we owe the arrangement of the Palazzo del Popolo and the birth of the Conclave (locked) as we understand it today.

Its name derives from the nearby Church of San Michele, then crippled into San Miele and San Biele, which had to be protected by the new city walls. The name tower delle Pietrare or of Cipria (face power), on the other hand, derives from the fact that it was located in the area of ​​the city where there was a mill that manufactured Cyprus powder. Cyprus powder is now commonly called face powder and its name derives from that of the Mediterranean island.

The tower has two floors and a plaque tells its story connected to that of Captain Gatti and also to the fact that it was built without increasing new taxes.

The fresco of the Madonna on the throne that once adorned one of its sides, it was customary to protect the doors with a sacred image, is now in the Civic Museum of Viterbo.

Written by:
Claudia Bettiol

Engineeer, futurist, joint founder of Energitismo and founder of Discoverplaces. Consultant for the development and promotion of the Touristic Development of Territories specialising in...

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