Arnolfo Tower clock to be restored

The timepiece is one of the largest in the world

Mindy Burrows
April 24, 2018 - 11:43

The ancient clock on Palazzo Vecchio’s Arnolfo Tower will soon be restored. One of the largest in the world at 2 x 2.5 metres, visitors will be allowed to see the clock up close for the first time and the adjacent room will be made accessible, where the original machinery that chimes out the time is kept.  


Ph. @dario_nardella via Instagram


The restoration will cost 125,000 euro and is made possible thanks to Giuliano Mazzuoli S.r.l, an artisanal watchmaking company who will provide the supplies, in collaboration with master clockmaker Andrea Palmieri and Ugo Pancani, an internationally renowned technician. The project is part of the FLIC Florence I Care project, which enables private entities to finance the redevelopment of the city’s main monuments.


The large timepiece was originally built in 1353 by Florentine Nicolò Bernardo in a studio on what is now Via dell’Oriuolo. In 1500, Lorenzo della Volpaia (famous for having built the Planetary Clock for the Medici family) was entrusted with repairing the clock. In 1665, Grand Duke Ferdinand II ordered a new clock for the tower, specifying that it should commemorate Galileo and his inventions in clockmaking; indeed, few know that the current clock has Galileo’s escapement and pendulum controller.


The most recent restoration of the clock was carried out in 1990. The current project is aimed at maintenance, cleaning and oiling the mechanical parts to keep them fully-functioning.

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