The Two Towers: Garisenda and Degli Asinelli

Tower in Bologna

The Two Tower Garisenda And Degli Asinelli
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Clo5919

The iconic twin towers in Bologna are widely recognized as emblematic symbols of the city, situated at the point where the ancient Via Emilia, also known as the Aemilian Way, enters the city center.

Among the two towers, the Asinelli Tower is the only one accessible to the public. Prior online booking or a visit to the Bologna Welcome Information Office is required to gain entry.

These towers were constructed during the Middle Ages and served both military functions, such as signalling and defence, and as expressions of social prestige for the families who commissioned their construction. They are the best-known of the 20 towers that remain of the more than 100 that formed Bologna’s 12th-century skyline.

Asinelli Tower

Built between 1109 and 1119 by the family after which it is named, the tower was eventually handed over to the Municipality in the subsequent century. Climbing its 498 internal steps rewards visitors with breath-taking panoramic views of the city from a height of 97.02 meters and is characterized by a slope of 1.3 degrees, which makes it  the tallest leaning tower in Italy!

In 1488, the lower “rocchetta” or fortress was built to allow soldiers to walk around and patrol the area.

Garisenda Tower

The Garisenda Tower, erected simultaneously with its counterpart, distinguishes itself with a shorter stature of 47 meters. Notably, it is renowned for its pronounced lean caused by land subsidence and foundation issues. This distinct characteristic even finds mention in Canto XXXI of Dante’s Inferno. During the 14th century, the tower was partially lowered to mitigate the risk of collapse. Presently, restoration efforts are underway to preserve its structure.


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Visiting The Two Towers: Garisenda and Degli Asinelli

Hours:

In the winter months open only on Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 5pm; from March opening hours 9-18.

Tickets must be purchased at the Bologna Welcome Centre in Piazza Maggiore.


Price:

Adults: € 5

Address: Two Towers, Piazza di Porta Ravegnana, Bologna, Metropolitan City of Bologna, Italy
Duration: 20 minutes

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