Thursday, 24 July 2014

Travel | Torri degli Asinelli e Garisenda | Bologna, Italy

If you think the Leaning Tower of Pisa is the tallest leaning tower in Italy, then you would be mistaken. That honour goes to Bologna's towers - the Asinelli and Garisenda Towers in Piazza di Porta Ravegnana which is where this week's Throwback Thursday takes us back to.
Also known as the "kissing towers", these two towers gain their name as they lean inwardly towards each other and the pair of them is, along with the red rooftops and the famous local dish of spaghetti bolognese, a traditional symbol of Bologna. As of May 2014, TripAdvisor ranks this attraction as #8 of 129 attractions in Bologna based on 903 reviews - link here and it definitely comes in the Top 10 of things to in Bologna if you are out here.

Constructed in the 12th century, and incredibly still standing, it is a bit of a climb to the top. While there are two towers, visitors are only permitted to climb one - the Asinelli tower - which luckily enough, is the taller of the two coming in at 97.2m vs its little sister, Garisenda coming in at 48m. Many people compare the former to Italy's more famous tower in Pisa but let's put it this way: we already explained that Asinelli is a little over 97.2m - the leaning tower of Pisa is just under 60m in height. Pisa will also set you back €17 if you want to climb it whereas Bologna's towers are €3. Hard choice, right?

While the main group of people who venture inside are tourists, the one exception to the visitor numbers are students, as kindly informed by my friend who is native to Bologna - does that means she's called a Bolognese? Bologna is a university town and as such, normally brimming with students throughout the year. Tradition dictates that if you climb the tower, you will not graduate. Superstition I know, but my said friend was only two months away from graduating and point blank absolutely refused to enter firmly and instead deciding on finding a local cafe. Must be true then?!

At some point, just under 200 towers proudly stood in this Italian city but fast forward to the 21st Century, and only less than 20 have survived lightning and warfare, and ultimately the test of time. Towers were built by the rich as a wealth status, to show off their wealth but also came in useful as look out towers while defending the city. Nowadays, while it's no longer needed as such, for the small price of €3, you can climb the 97 metres and 498 small, wooden, narrow steps to the top of Asinelli tower to enjoy the marvellous views of the city.

AddressPiazza di Porta Ravegnana, 40126 Bologna, Italy
Contact Number: +39 051 647 2113


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