Beautiful church bell towers kept catching my eye as I drove to a doctor’s appointment recently. It was a lovely drive over the mountain here in Italy. I went past my local town of Paciano, on past Panicale high up on the mountain above and down the valley into Tavernelle. I thought I would share with you the beauty of seven examples of bell towers near to where I live.
Beautiful Church Bell Towers
I live in Umbria, Italy and the countryside is a mixture of farmland and olive trees with the most quaint towns and villages. Most of the towns have at least one church and the churches have bell towers reaching up to the sky. When you see a town in the distance, the first thing that catches your eye is the bell tower or towers!
Bell towers also known as belfries, are towers that are usually attached to a church and contain one or more bells. In Italy they are known as campanile. Where we live we often here them ringing, particularly in summer when all our windows are open.
Seven Examples Of Beautiful Church Bell Towers
Castiglione Del Lago
This is a view below the bell tower in Castiglione del Lago in Umbria, Italy. The buildings in this shot are a wonderful collection of crooked walls, windows, balconies and colors. To the far left of the image is the Roman front, of the old church of St Maria Magdalena. A magnificent portico supported by columns. People are wandering along the street looking in the shops and trying to avoid being tempted to try the samples offered by the people running the delicatessens that line the square. Above all the activity is the beautiful bell tower of the church that looks out over the town.
Citta della Pieve
Looking up from below the main center of Citta della Pieve in Umbria, Italy you can see the locally well known skyline. At 38 metres high the Torre del Pubblico dominates the view. In competition with it, the ornate bell tower appears to be higher than the tower but this is an optical illusion caused by distance. For miles around you can see the distinctive two towers of this old medieval town skyline.
My local town here in Umbria, Italy is called Paciano. It dates back to ancient times, boasting Roman and Etruscan origins. Rebuilt in the 14th century it is a beautifully preserved walled village. It has been designated one of the most beautiful villages in Italy I Borghi piu Belli d’Italia. It sits in the shadow of Mount Petravella and is surrounded by beautiful unspoiled countryside, dominated by olive groves.
Paciano has historic Medieval castle gates, and wonderful old narrow streets. Just outside the historic centre and the gates of Porta Fiorentina, is the Chiesa di San Salvatore. Built before the 10th century, it has the most beautiful bell tower as shown in this image. The church is said to be on the site of an ancient pagan temple dedicated to Ceres. The church sits on the edge of the village with panoramic views of the valley below, hence the title of this piece ‘Bell Tower With A View’.
A very different bell tower here with the Chiesa di San Luigi Gonzaga in Tavernelle. As well as being able to see the bells in the belfry, I like the metal rungs sunk into the wall that can be climbed for maintenance. Also in this image, the diagonal metal supports on the wall that act as earthquake proofing the building.
Over half way through the seven examples of beautiful church bell towers, we reach the village of Villastrada that I can see high up on the hill opposite from my side window. Villastrada boasts this impressive church and ornate bell tower that dominates the main street.
The town next to mine, (take a right in the middle of Paciano and keep driving up the mountain!), Panicale is a beautiful medieval walled town. Set high up on a mountain, the views are spectacular of the countryside below, but so too are the views of the Panicale rooftops and spires. This is another town that dominates the countryside below, with spectacular views from the valley up towards the town. This picture shows a wonderful collection of stone-built houses and churches, terracotta roofs and church bell towers. Taken in winter, the view of the architecture is more clear as the trees are without leaf.
Last, but not least, is the bell tower of the Chiesa San Donato just a short walk from my house. This is a beautiful view of the bell tower taken in early December. It shows the vague outline of the church but a clear view of the bell tower through the olive groves.
That concludes my brief introduction to seven examples of beautiful church bell towers that I get to enjoy every day. A part of the culture and community, churches are also wonderful examples of architecture and history.
Before you go
My name is Dorothy Berry-Lound an artist and writer. You can find out more about my art and writing at https://dorothyberryloundart.com.
Thank you for reading!