Torre Prendiparte


In his book called “Storia delle Torri” (“History of the Towers”), published in 1875, Gozzadini very precisely describes the positions and number of the small cells, also transcribing some of the inscriptions left on the walls by prisoners in the past. Following a painstaking restoration and having cleaned the walls carefully, it is now possible to read a large number of inscriptions, writings, wailings and drawings which have survived despite two and a half centuries of carelessness. You can now very easily see some drawings of landscapes, churches and houses, as well as people. These drawings are reddish, since they were made using flakes of bricks or a paste made of brick dust and organic liquid. At the bottom of the staircase which leads to the fourth floor, you can still see the remains of a large cavity in a terracotta tile, which is due to the removal of material for this purpose.

Thanks to accurate research carried out at the Diocesan Administration, it has been possible to reconstruct the events involving some prisoners, like François Vial (Francesco Viali, French), Angelo Rizzoli, Luigi Rossi and Luigi Bernardi. These strictly male bishop cells were the place where they imprisoned and punished those who had committed crimes against religion or, in any case, had offended the Christian ethics. Among those punished, we could list people who stole sacred fittings from churches, had made nuns pregnant, fought a duel inside a convent, etc. They were fed with bread and water, hygiene was practically non-existent and the risk in case of rebellion was to end up being chained in a Papal galley, which were even less desirable than being imprisoned here.

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