Torrazzo Gonzaghesco

The massive Gonzaga Tower (Torrazzo Gonzaghesco), a symbol of local history, was built in 1582-83 at the behest of Vespasiano Gonzaga, Duke of Sabbioneta. It is the sign of the absolute dominion of the Gonzaga family over Commessaggio. The building is 28 m high and 10×13 m wide. The interior extends over three main levels alternating with two mezzanines, connected by a spiral marble staircase consisting of 123 steps. Along the entire perimeter of the attic there are 48 arrow loops. On the top floor it is possible to dominate the surrounding landscape with the eye thanks to the presence of telescopes. The plaque above the entrance door indicates its value and function: “Vespasiano Gonzaga, by the grace of God, first Duke of Sabbioneta, raised this imposing tower near the river and joined the opposite banks by a bridge in the year of the Lord 1583”. The Torrazzo was used as a toll tower and to provide accommodation for the commander and the guards; moreover, it is believed that the Duke himself could have well made use of it. The tower allowed Vespasiano to control the Navarolo canal, which was considered a fundamental waterway. After the death of Vespasiano Gonzaga, Commessaggio passed under the rule of the cousins of San Martino. Today, the Torrazzo is mainly used for exhibitions and cultural events, conferences, shows and civil wedding ceremonies.

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