The Tuff in History
The tuff, a pyroclastic rock of volcanic origin, began to be used as a building material since the 7th century BC, from the early Romans and the most advanced Etruscan civilization.
The works created with this material and nowadays are innumerable and illustrious, for example just think of the Colosseum, built by Emperor Vespasiano and completed by his son Titus in 80 AD.The building was intended for fighting and games among the gladiators (munera) and hunting simulations of wild and exotic animals (venationes) and its construction was made with blocks of tufa.
Another famous example is the Servian Walls, known as the "cinta serviana", which make up the oldest urban city wall in Rome. According to tradition, these walls were built by the sixth king of Rome, Servio Tullio, in the middle of the sixth century. B.C. In reality the surviving remains of them, in blocks of tufa, are more recent and date back roughly to the first half of the fourth century. B.C.
Also in Rome we find Castel Sant'Angelo, wanted and probably designed by the same emperor Hadrian in 123 AD. as a family mausoleum, which consisted of a huge cylinder, about 65 meters in diameter, made of tufa and travertine.
A more recent example located in our area is Forte Sangallo, built by Pope Alexander VI Borgia in Civita Castellana.
The project was entrusted to Antonio da Sangallo the Elder in 1494, but completed by his nephew Antonio da Sangallo the Younger, under the pontificate of Pope Julius II, thus becoming for the record of history "Forte Sangallo".
The examples that we could cite are many and this helps us to understand and better understand the historical importance that has had over the centuries this material always used in the construction of majestic buildings, churches, city walls and structures that still retain their charm.