This Elevator Moves Both Horizontally and Vertically

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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Is a horizontally moving elevator an elevator anymore?