This bronze bell was found in Canino (Viterbo) and is distinguished by its small size and "ovoid" shape, typical of the most ancient exemplars, of which this is traditionally indicated as the first ever know (possibly from the eighth century). Two triangular holes, beneath which there are crosses with scrolled ends, serve to improve the acoustics, according to medieval treatises. Along the base there is then the text of an inscription, partially preserved, that according to a recent interpretation may be the signature of the craftsman:
"Vivenzio [---] in honor of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and of St. Michael the Archangel [---]"
The Christian liturgical use of bells to call the faithful to religious services is attested by sixth century sources, with particular reference to monastic contexts: the spread of this practice soon transformed the bell into one of the symbols of Western Christianity.