Not many people know the existence of the Brunelleschi’s clock in the tower of the Palazzo dei Vicari in Scarperia. This was made by the great Filippo Brunelleschi, who received 20 gold florins in return. It was built in 1445, the year before the death of the great Renaissance architect.
FILIPPO BRUNELLESCHI: FATHER OF THE CLOCK OF SCARPERIA
Historical sources gave birth to Filippo Brunelleschi’s interest in watchmaking several times. On 29 May 1446 the illegitimate son of the artist and sole heir, Andrea di Lazzaro Cavalcanti from Borgo a Buggiano, called “Il Buggiano”, asked to settle the account for the supply of the clock. The Scarperia clock, represents today the only reliable confirmation.
Furthermore, the authorship of this watch was documented by a research carried out by Professor Mario Fondelli.
Brunelleschi’s clock has even been on show in Cremona, and even recently there has been a conference (in the Palazzo dei Vicari) of experts in the field of watchmaking. Therefore, those who know of its existence are the “expert” people. It is difficult for a common mortal or even an inhabitant of Scarperia to know where he is.
Precisely for this reason, the Pro Loco and the Research and Documentation Center on the craft of cutting tools in collaboration with the Chino Chini Institute, are assuming a realization of a model of the clock to be put into operation as a time. However, everything is yet to be defined.
THE CLOCK HALL (called Oriolo)
Today the clock is located in one of the noble rooms of the Palazzo dei Vicari called “the room of the Oriolo” until the eighteenth century. At the center of the stana, inside a glass case, Brunelleschi’s clock.
The clock was removed after the earthquake of 1919. It was first placed on the ground floor and then married in the Sala dell’Oriolo. Some parts of the mechanism were lost (such as the dial on the outside of the tower).
Following the earthquake of 1919, the mechanism was removed from the tower and placed on the ground floor and subsequently placed in this room, some of its parts were lost before restoration, including the quadrant placed in the outer part of the tower.
From this room you can climb to the bell tower (42 meters high) along 102 steps, whose visit allows you to enjoy a beautiful view of Scarperia and the Mugello countryside.
Furthermore, even today it is possible to see where Filippo Brunelleschi’s clock was originally placed.
The Brunelleschi’s Clock is visible during the opening hours of the Palazzo dei Vicari. With a single ticket you can see both the external part of the loggia and the frescoed atrium, both the interiors of the rooms, the Brunelleschi clock. It is possible to climb the tower.