The Day the Campanile Collapsed

Piazza San Marco without its campanile

I love rummaging about in second-hand book shops and the other day I made a real find in the form of an old postcard which depicts the Piazza San Marco without its bell tower. 

A few minutes before 10 o'clock, on the morning of July 14th 1902, the campanile in the Piazza San Marco came crashing to the ground. The ancient and venerable bell tower, which had dominated the piazza for more than a thousand years, was suddenly no more than a huge pile of rubble.

The decision was immediately taken to rebuild the campanile dov'era e com'era (where it was and how it was). However, there were a few dissenting voices who suggested doing nothing at all; the piazza, they thought, looked better without its bell-tower!

Collapse of the Campanile di San Marco, July 14th 1902, Venice