Willy Wonka’s glass elevator is real! Well, sort of.

In Italy, there’s an elevator that can switch directions and move both horizontally and vertically. Plus, there’s a glass lookout so you can see where you’re going. Tom Scott visited the Ascensore Castello d’Albertis-Montegalletto in Genoa to figure out how the elevator works, and how it manages to be safe to ride.


The elevator travels nearly a thousand feet horizontally before it starts going up to a castle at the top of the hill. The way it works is pretty smart: it’s two completely different systems. The elevator that people get into can only move horizontally. To move up and down, the elevator actually goes inside a bigger elevator. You never change cars, so you’d never know the difference.

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