Torre di Oriolo
In the enchanted tranquillity of the Faenza countryside, the Tower of Oriolo stands out, traditionally attributed - although without certified documents - to Giuliano da Maiano, a trusted architect of the Manfredi family.Oriolo dei Fichi is a small village located on the first spurs of the Romagna Apennines, about ten kilometres south-east of Faenza at an altitude of 141 metres above sea level. Here to be seen is, in fact, the Tower with a breathtaking panoramic terrace accessed by a spiral staircase: the structure of the keep is a particular example of a hexagonal, double-strut keep, significant in its kind.
The tower is, in fact, a construction with a plan obtained from a square to which two corners have been cut so as to obtain a hexagon. This particular planimetric shape is called double strut: two right-angled points with the remaining obtuse angles; so that, as we walk around the tower, it appears square or octagonal depending on the point of view.The sides are about 8-9 metres long; the building is 17 metres high above ground, plus another 11 underground.The masonry is brick with sacking in stones and lime mortar: the average thickness is 2.80 metres.
Inside we find the five floors. The
first two are underground and semi-basement; the other three are connected by a wonderful sandstone spiral staircase, still perfectly preserved.
The Oriolo Tower has benefited from recent restoration work that has highlighted the beauty of the 15th-century wall face.
The basement floor is a rectangular room with a niche on the back wall where the bread oven and a waste hole are located. From this floor begins the spiral staircase, which has as its pivot the well from which the water for the cistern was drawn.The Sala delle Guardie corresponds to the entrance and is characterised by two shooting positions and a latrine.
The Sala del Castellano - where there is a large hearth with a latrine and storeroom on either side - gave access via two drawbridges, which have now disappeared, to the patrol walkways.On the fifth level, located near a pentagonal corridor with four arrow slits for arquebus shooting, is the covered powder magazine with an interesting brick ribbed vault arranged in a herringbone pattern.