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torre degli asinelli ~ Bologna

Torre degli Asinelli ~ Reason #2 why I love Bologna.

Anyone who knows me well knows that I love climbing towers. Bologna is not only known for its food, but it is also known for its towers. At one point in history, many have said that there were up to 180 towers in Bologna although more recent studies now suggest that the number is closer to 80 to 100 towers. Click here to see a panoramic picture of Bologna in the 11th century. It must have been amazing living in Bologna with all of these towers! I wonder how many could be climbed. I am guessing many of them, although probably not by the public. If you look carefully, you will notice that one of the towers in the photo looks like it is falling over.

Today, less than 20 towers remain in Bologna. The two most famous two towers are the Tower of the Asinelli (Torre degli Asinelli) or Asinelli Tower and the Tower of the Garisenda (Torre degli Garisenda) or Garisenda Tower. Both of these towers are leaning towers. The Garisenda Tower is shorter, leans more, is not available for climbing. The Asinelli Tower is the taller of the two towers and is the tower I climbed two years ago.

I was thrilled when I finally was going to climb this tower. It was one of the towers on my list to climb since 2000 when I first spent a few hours in Bologna. The Asinelli Tower is a very a challenging tower to climb. I believe there are 498 steps to the top although I can't confirm this as I lost count on the way up. I plan to write a post probably in March sometime about all of the towers I have climbed. I will talk more about how this tower compares to others in my future tower post.

If you want to learn more about these towers, Wikipedia has a nice article called "Towers of Bologna" and the New York Times has a Frommer's Review article called "Tower of the Asinelli (Torre degli Asinelli) & Tower of the Garisenda (Torre degli Garisenda)". You may need to subscribe to the New York Times for the second link to work.

After narrowing down my photos of the two towers and my climb to the top, I realized that there were still too many photos to post. I decided a slideshow (album) might work better. Some of the photos are from two years ago and some are from last year.

Torre degli Asinelli

Comments (7)

Wow, girasoli! beautiful photos. I love Bologna already from your photos and descriptions. I also love towers and climbing them. That must have been a hike climbing up Torre degli Asinelli.

Barb Cabot:

Wow, that slide show is incredible. Personally the climb is killer but the view makes it all worthwhile. Great pics.


Thanks for the slide show, those are amazing photos!!! And wow, that photo of 11th century Bologna is too cool - I can't believe how many towers there were. I too love climbing towers. Ok, that does it...I have to start planning a trip to Bologna! (And Ferrara...and Perugia...and back to Rome...and...)

(and thanks for signing my "petition" - yay, I'm not a friendless loser! haha)

Kathy (Trekcapri):

Hi Girasoli, great post! I love your photos. It makes me want to see Bolgona! 428 steps is an awesome climb. Looks like you were rewarded by the fantastic views you captured.

Thank you so much for writing this great post and sharing your photos! Have a great day!

I was going to ask you how many you have climbed so I was glad to read that you plan to do an "All My Towers" post. It's kind of weird to me that there are all those many towers in Venice but only three are open to the public; I guess it's because they are old and maybe not too stable.

That old panaramic photo is incredible!


Wonderful photos, Girasoli! I can't wait to climb to the top of the Asinelli tower and see all of this for myself -- the views are fantastic!

The 11th century view is staggering -- that's an incredible number of towers! I can see a smaller one of the right tilting dangerously. Very cool.

Thanks so much for all of these Bologna postings -- they're fantastic.

candi, didn't know you liked towers also. It was a long way up but reaching the top was worth all the work.

Barb, didn't know you did this climb. I agree, definitely worth it. I want to go back again now that I know Bologna a little better to look at this city from the top of the tower.

Anne, wasn't that photo amazing? Glad you enjoyed my photos.

Kathy, thanks so much. The view at the top was a wonderful reward.

Annie, I have been planning to write one for a while now...a request from Maria. I haven't figured out just how to write it yet though. I will probably write it during my March vacation when I have more time. I was disappointed that 2 of the 3 towers only have lifts as the way up (no climbing option). I can say I have been to the top of all 3 though.

sandra, I can't wait to hear about your climb.
I wonder how long that tower was left leaning that way.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 18, 2009 7:20 PM.

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