P.za di Porta Ravegnana, 40126 Bologna BO, Italy
|⏰ Opening Hours
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
|💸 Entrance Fee
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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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