The construction of the Tower of Oriolo, as we can admire it today, dates back to 1474-1476, the year the fortress was renovated by the Manfredi family, lords of Faenza. It is traditionally attributed - but without certified documents - to Giuliano da Maiano, Manfredi's trusted architect and present in Faenza at the time.
It was 4 January 1474, when Archbishop Bartolomeo Roverella ceded the dominion of Oriolo to Charles II Manfredi, lord of Faenza, for the sum of 2,500 florins.
The old castle was radically restructured and transformed into a fortress for strictly military use: the tower was rebuilt with a mighty hexagonal keep that can still be visited today and the entrance
was fortified with two thick walls with upper walkways.
In 1500, the fortress was besieged by Captain Vitellozzo Vitelli in the pay of Cesare Borgia, who sacked it. After the brief rule of Borgia, Oriolo followed the fate of the rest of Romagna, passing under the Republic of Venice. During these years, the Tower of Oriolo benefited from modernisation and restoration.With the return of the region under direct papal possession, the Oriolo fortress and its territory were definitively assigned to Faenza and, as strategic needs changed, the military importance of the fortress slowly faded.Its abandonment meant that the inhabitants recovered bricks and other useful materials, so that only the Tower and a few scattered ruins remained of the fortification.
Following the depopulation of the locality in 1600, the Papal Legate ordered the suppression of the Commune of Oriolo, which was reduced to a simple Scola: a sort of district district district with very limited means and powers. From the second half of the 1700s, the property of the Tower was ceded to private individuals: it was used mostly as a dwelling for sharecroppers who worked the surrounding vineyards. For a long time, the Tower remained the property of the Caldesi family. During the
Second World War, in the autumn of 1944, the Tower served as a refuge for about eighty civilians who had fled Faenza for fear of frequent bombings, but it was also home to a German garrison that used the Tower as a lookout point. This made the ancient fortification the target of numerous grenade launches. It managed to resist, however, thanks to its thick perimeter walls.
Abandoned again after the end of the conflict, it was only in 1965 that it was the subject of a tenacious campaign for its restoration and opening to the public. For twenty consecutive years, the inhabitants of Oriolo organised the 'Spring Festival to save a monument' for this purpose. Thus began the negotiations with the Caldesi family, and in 1984 the Tower was donated to the city. Restoration work began on the roof and external walls. In 2003 the Municipality of Faenza, with the support of a grant from the Emilia-Romagna Region, took care of the restoration of the interior, and finally the Tower was reopened to the public in 2004.