In Inferno, canto XXXIII, Dante tells the sad story of count Ugolino Della Gherardesca, accused of treachery and together with his sons Gaddo and Uguccione, and his grand-sons Nino and Anselmuccio were detained in the tower called Muda (Torre della Muda). On orders of the Archbishop, the keys were thrown into the Arno river and the prisoners left to starve.
“Poscia che fummo al quarto dì venuti
Gaddo mi si gettò disteso a’ piedi,
e disse: “Padre mio, ché non m’aiuti?”.
Quivi morì; e come tu mi vedi,
vid’io cascar li tre ad uno ad uno
tra il quinto dì e ‘l sesto; ond’io mi diedi,
già cieco, a brancolar sovra ciascuno,
e due dì li chiamai, poi che fur morti
Poscia, più che il dolor, poté il digiuno.”
(Inferno XXXIII, 67-75)
“But after we had reached the fourth day, Gaddo,
throwing himself, outstretched, down at my feet,
implored me: ‘Father, why do you not help me?’
And there he died; and just as you see me,
I saw the other three fall one by one,
between the fifth day and the sixth; at which,
now blind, I started groping over each;
and after they were dead, I called them for
two days; then fasting had more force than grief.”
After that the tower was called Torre della fame (‘Tower of hanger’) or Della Gherardesca.
The tower is now part of Palazzo dell’Orologio (right part), in Piazza dei Cavalieri, Pisa
and part of the Library of the Scuola Normale Superiore.
I used to study up there, in company of the ghost of the poor count and his kids.
(See also “I miss biblioteche 1” https://misshome.wordpress.com/2013/11/23/125-i-miss-biblioteche-1/ )