Ever since the Middle Ages, a great number of tall stone towers have defined the skyline of Bologna. Two of these impressive structures immediately catch the eye: the 97-metre-high Tower of Asinelli and its little brother, Garisenda, at only 47 metres. These ‘Due Torri’ are leaning dangerously towards one another and are a famous landmark in Bologna.
These towers were once the status symbol of rich families: the higher the tower, the more money was spent building it. In the Middle Ages, the city boasted more than 100 towers, a spectacular sight to be sure. Today, only 21 of these towers still stand, having survived the elements, wars, earthquakes and fires of the past few centuries. A climb to the top of the Tower of Asinelli is highly recommended, but the 498 steps are not for the faint-hearted. Once at the top, the effort is rewarded with the most spectacular views across the red roofs of Bologna.
“A rich nobleman will only give his daughter’s hand to the young man if he builds the tallest tower in Bologna”