Tower – Torre degli Alberti, Florence, Italy

The “Torre degli Alberti” or the Tower of the Alberti, is a 13th c. tower with a polygonal shaped plan. This is one of approximately seven towers that have survived through the centuries and various civic improvement campaigns in Florence. Others are far more famous such as Giotto’s Campanile adjacent to the Duomo. Additional towers include the degli Amidei, dei Della Bella, dei Gianfigliazzi, dei Mannelli,  and dei Pulci.

What caught our eye was a wonderful 15th century loggia. Two columns at ground floor level perfectly frame the entrance that itself faces the intersection of two streets. These two columns and brackets on the flanking side walls carry lintels and a roof overhead that shelters a wonderful covered area below.

The main entrance door is set within a Florentine arch.

The Alberti family, once one of the most powerful families in medieval Florence had their residence here. Their coat of arms, featuring two crossing chains, is set in the capital of the columns. The unfluted column shaft is similar to the Tuscan Order, though the stylized capital sends the message that the column is both Tuscan and Alberti.

Under the covered roof protecting the loggia people are given a view of the theater on the surrounding streets. To stand or sit here looking out connects people with a tradition of people watching spanning back over 500 years.