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Leaning Towers

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

P.za di Porta Ravegnana, 40126 Bologna BO, Italy

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

EUR 25

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expert
Ambra
Local tour guide
"Make sure to visit the Leaning Towers of Bologna, Asinelli and Garisenda, during the early morning or late afternoon when the crowds are thinner and the light is perfect for photography. Also, check out the nearby historic market, Mercato di Mezzo, for a delicious snack after your tower visit – a favorite local spot that's often missed by tourists."

What is Leaning Towers?

The Leaning Towers, known in Italian as Torri Pendenti, are a pair of structures that form one of the most distinctive landmarks in the historical city of Bologna, Italy. The two towers, named Asinelli and Garisenda, have captured the imaginations of both locals and visitors alike with their prominent tilts, similar to the more famous Leaning Tower of Pisa. The taller Asinelli Tower stands at an impressive 97 meters, despite a noticeable lean, while the smaller Garisenda Tower, with its more pronounced tilt, reaches about 48 meters today.

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History of Leaning Towers

The Asinelli and Garisenda Towers were both constructed in the 12th century, a time when affluent families built such towers as symbols of their wealth and power. They also served a military function as watchtowers and bastions. The Asinelli Tower was erected between 1109 and 1119 by the Asinelli family, while the Garisenda Tower, built around the same time, was named after the Garisenda family. Over the centuries, these towers have seen significant changes due to restoration efforts and have been exposed to varying urban development policies, which have helped to conserve them as iconic reminders of Bologna's medieval past.

Why is Leaning Towers Important?

The Leaning Towers are important for several reasons. Architecturally, they stand out as towering achievements of medieval engineering, displaying the ambition of Bologna's former ruling elite. As part of the city's skyline for nearly a millennium, they're emblematic of Bologna's rich history and heritage. Culturally, the towers have been a source of inspiration, featuring in literature, art, and folklore. They also serve as a tangible link to the city's historical narrative, connecting modern-day Bologna with the intrigues and power dynamics of medieval times.

Things to Do & See at Leaning Towers

When you visit the Leaning Towers, climbing the Asinelli Tower is a must-do for breathtaking views over Bologna and its terracotta rooftops. Be prepared for the 498 steps it takes to get to the top, but rest assured that the effort is well rewarded. Then there is observing the angle of the Garisenda Tower, which has been referenced by Dante in his Divine Comedy. For keen photographers, capturing the tilt of these towers from different angles around the city makes for a fascinating challenge. And for those who appreciate the stories etched in stones, simply standing between the towers and absorbing their silent tales can be quite an experience.

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Frequently asked questions

What are the Leaning Towers of Bologna?

The Leaning Towers of Bologna, known as the Two Towers, are a set of medieval structures in Bologna, Italy, consisting of the Asinelli Tower and the Garisenda Tower. Both towers are notable for their significant lean, caused by the unstable soil they were built upon.

Can you climb the Leaning Towers in Bologna?

Visitors can climb the Asinelli Tower, the taller of the two, to enjoy panoramic views of Bologna. The Garisenda Tower is not open for climbing due to its severe tilt and structural concerns.

How old are the Leaning Towers of Bologna?

The Two Towers were constructed in the early 12th century, making them over 900 years old. They are among the few remaining medieval structures in the city.

Why do the Leaning Towers of Bologna tilt?

The tilt of the towers is due to the foundation being set in soft soil that has compacted over time, with additional factors like slight differences in design and construction methods also contributing to the tilt.

What is the historical significance of the Leaning Towers in Bologna?

The Leaning Towers are a symbol of Bologna and represent the wealth and power of the city during the Middle Ages. They were once part of a complex of nearly 200 towers and served as symbols of status for the noble families who built them.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

P.za di Porta Ravegnana, 40126 Bologna BO, Italy

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

EUR 25

Find it on google maps