Two Towers (Asinelli and Garisenda), Bologna

Two Towers (Asinelli and Garisenda), Bologna (must see)

The Two Towers of Bologna are ancient leaning structures. The towers are named after the families who built them. The taller tower is known as Asinelli, and the smaller tower, which has a greater lean, is known as Garisenda. The legend states that the towers were built between 1109 and 1119 as a competition between the two families to show which family was more powerful.

The Asinelli Tower was originally about 70 meters tall and was later raised to its current 97 meters. It has a 1.3-degree slope and is the tallest leaning tower in Italy.

In the 14th century, the Asinelli Tower was used as a prison. In 1824 a lightning rod was installed to prevent fires and damage caused by frequent lightning strikes.

The Asinelli Tower was used by 17th and 18th-century scientists to study the earth's rotation. During WWII, the tower was used as a lookout post to direct rescue operations.

The Garisenda Tower is currently 48 meters tall. It was originally 60 meters tall but was lowered in the 14th century when its slant became dangerous. The Garisenda Tower was cited in Dante's Divine Comedy and The Rime. Dickens featured the towers in his book Pictures from Italy.

The Asinelli Tower is open to visitors. You can climb 496 wooden steps to reach the top and admire the views.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Bologna. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for IOS   Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for Android

Two Towers (Asinelli and Garisenda) on Map

Sight Name: Two Towers (Asinelli and Garisenda)
Sight Location: Bologna, Italy (See walking tours in Bologna)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Bologna, Italy

Create Your Own Walk in Bologna

Create Your Own Walk in Bologna

Creating your own self-guided walk in Bologna is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Bologna's Shopping Areas

Bologna's Shopping Areas

When it comes to shopping, Bologna walks tall amid grands like Milan or Rome, with a harmonious mix of international chains, exclusive boutiques, luxury stores and open-air markets lining the streets in the city center, offering a wealth of international fashion, designer brands and top quality local delicacies in rich supply.

Shopping here is particularly pleasant on weekends when Zone...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.8 Km or 0.5 Miles
Bologna Palaces

Bologna Palaces

Bologna is famous for a huge number of ancient buildings and unique historic sites, closely associated with a huge number of mysteries and legends. There are numerous incredibly beautiful palaces in the city, richly adorned with art by great masters, intricately decorated interiors and luxurious old furniture. Each palace is fit to leave an unforgettable impression upon visitors, firmly imprinted...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.4 Km or 0.9 Miles
Bologna Introduction Walking Tour

Bologna Introduction Walking Tour

Bologna is the Emilia-Romagna region's capital. This large northern city is the seventh most populous city in Italy and has been a vital cultural center for millennia.

Archeological discoveries indicate the area has been settled since the third millennium BC. First, the Etruscans settled the area, then the Celts, and then the Romans. During the Middle Ages, Bologna was a free municipality...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 Km or 1.4 Miles
Historical Churches

Historical Churches

The historic city of Bologna is one of the most sumptuous medieval places in Italy, as well as one of the country's most visited destinations. There are churches everywhere in the city, many of which are well-preserved and well worth a visit. Magnificent and centuries-old, each of them has its own specialty and history carved into, replete with great historic artifacts associated with world...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 Km or 1.4 Miles