Articolo disponibile anche in: Italian
After its destruction by cannonballs in World War II and the resulting loss from historic memory, the clock on the facade of number 73, in Via Roma (Tavarnelle), has begun to tell time again thanks to the family Chiostrini.
Don Franco del Grosso, a local parish priest, told us its story. “Tavarnelle residents call the clock Vico, short for Ludovico, who lived in the house now owned by the Chiostrini family,” recounted the priest.
“In the 1800’s, whoever entered from the foot of town directed his gaze to the Vico clock to see the time. The clock was located in a strategic part of town, at the cross streets of via delle Fonti , via Palazzolo and Via Roma, the ancient via Romana for Siena.”
“There was also a well in this location”, continues Don Franco. “Older residents recall that around this fountain gathered horses who competed in an ancient Palio, while the old piazza boasted the market”.
But the “Vico” wasn’t the only clock. There was another one, also destroyed by a cannonball in World War II, above city hall.
In fact, in Tavarnelle, during the 18th-century, existed the important business of constructing tower clocks. This practice was passed on from father to son until the second half of the 1800s.
The leader was Lorenzo Pistelli, born on October 9, 1724 in Santa Lucia a Borghetto. His son Vincenzo followed in his footsteps and became an able builder and repairer of tower clocks, placing some of these in the bell towers, towers and villas of Valdarno Chianti and Colle Val d’Elsa.
Today, thanks to the Chiostrini Family, the clock has been newly designed on the façade in via Roma, identical to one depicted on an antique postcard. It works and tells time: it is even illuminated at night, thanks to a spotlight installed by the town of Tavarnelle..