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Torre dell’Olio

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In the northwestern area of ​​the city, not far from the Porta Fuga gate and incorporated into the sixteenth-century Palazzo Vigili, stands the tallest and best preserved tower in Spoleto: Torre dell’Olio. Despite the fact that its architectural characteristics date it to the 13th century, the tower is remembered by legend and tradition as that insurmountable fundamental bastion that stopped the advance of Hannibal, the Carthaginian general, who in 217 BC routed the Romans near Lake Trasimeno and menacingly approached Rome. It appears very unlikely that the tower already existed at the time of Hannibal and the Romans, so it is plausible that the story handed down through generations refers to a previous defensive bulwark. In fact, the tower is so-called because the soldiers threw boiling oil on the enemies from its walls. The effectiveness of the defensive action is evidenced by the name given to the nearby gate (Porta), called precisely “Escape” (Fuga). The Oil Tower measures about three meters by seven (12 by 21 ft), and rises to more than forty-five meters (135 ft), twenty more compared to the building to which it belongs.

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