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Getting high in Bologna

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My week in Bologna in June flew by -- a week sounds like a good chunk of time, but there is a lot to see and do (and eat and drink) in Bologna!

I had a fabulous walking tour a few days after I arrived, which I arranged through the local tourism office. The rate was a mere 13 euro for two hours, and my guide Emilia was so knowledgeable and enthusiastic that we walked for far longer than that. Emilia really helped me appreciate Bologna!

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High on my to-do list when I arrived was to climb the Asinelli tower, which fellow blogger Girasoli has raved about -- with good cause. Girasoli has just arrived back in Bologna and I'm confident that before too long, she'll be climbing up the Asinelli tower again herself!

During our tour, Emilia explained Bologna's long history and development, including its famous towers that in medieval times numbered close to 200 and were quite a status symbol as well as offering protection in uncertain times. However, city fathers finally put an end to the tower-building craze and forced the demolition of most.

Today, numerous smaller towers still dot Bologna, but the two main towers in the historic centre remain crucial as symbols of the city. The taller is the Asinelli while the smaller tower (which is leaning at quite an alarming angle and is therefore inaccessible) is called the Garisenda.

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The climb wasn't too difficult, 500 steps up a creaking wooden staircase that followed the inside of the tower walls all the way up. But from the top, the views over nearby domes and chapels as well as more distant vistas were fantastic!

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Comments (16)

Wonderful photos!

Love the title of this post! Those are some wonderful photos. The green of that dome is just beautiful next to those red Italian roof tiles.

This is just breathtaking - mahalo for sharing your thoughts, photos and journey. Between you and Girsoli, Bologna's history and scenery is something I would love to see on my next visit to Italy.

sandrac:

Thanks Leslie!

Annie, thanks very much.BTW, I'm itching to post about my day in Venice, but I can't find my notes to identify my few little shrine photos. Maybe I can turn it into a quiz instead!!

Hi menehune, Girasoli sold me on Bologna and it certainly is an interesting city. I hope you get to visit it, too!

Wow, Sandra! I love your photos(and your post title)!The colors and angles of the photos are breathtaking!

Kathy (Trekcapri):

Hi Sandra, great photos. Bologna looks and sounds like a really interesting town. The views from the top of the tower is beautiful.

Thanks so much for sharing your photos and experiences from your trip Sandra.

I'd love a shrine quiz!!!

Glen:

That last picture made my knees weak! Were you leaning out to take that one?

sandrac:

Hi Candi, thanks -- that's high praise, coming from a wonderful photographer like you!

Kathy, I'm beginning to really appreciate Girasoli's love of towers. You really can see some amazing things from such a vantage point!

Annie, I think we'll have to have a shrine quiz! I have a pretty good idea where I took my photos, but I can't find my notes (typical) so maybe I'll post them and see what answers come back.

Glen, I made my camera take all the risks -- I stuck my arms way, way out and just snapped away. (Good thing I have long arms!)

nancyhol:

Great photos, Sandra!

I've never climbed a tower like that. Is it a claustrophobic feeling as you are climbing?

Dorit:

I am hoping that your newest posting, after some time of not, means that you too are feeling better, tooth-wise? I hope so.

That said, I loved the photos and your descriptions. Bologna is a place that I still have not been, along with the entire northern Piemonte side. I hope to get there eventually and your photos and reports are definitely going to come with me. Thanks !!!

sandrac:

Hi Nancy -- I know what you mean about feeling claustrophobic, because I felt that way climbing the dome in St. Peter's in Vatican City last year, particularly when the ramp begins to really slant!

But this tower didn't feel bad at all. It's square and probably 20 feet across, so there's a decent sense of space.

Hi Dorit, I think I'm almost through the entire dental adventure, thankfully! The tooth infection was remarkably painful -- I feel like a bit of a baby saying that, but between the pain and side effects of the antibiotics, I was not at my best for several days.

But I'm now, finally, getting my trip photos and notes, etc., in some order so I can blog more. (Especially about my visit to Umbria, and back to Bevagna, which I know is also a favourite of yours!)

I hope you're able to visit Bologna some day. It lacks the charm of Umbria but it's interesting nonetheless.

Amazing shots! You get such a different perspective when you climb about the roof tops.

Kim:

That first shot left me with a bit of vertigo!

sandrac:

Jerry, it's so true -- and I love all of those red roofs!

Hi Kim, for me it's the fourth photo (with the unusual glass-topped tower) that makes my head spin.

I smiled when I saw this post while in Bologna. I passed on climbing the tower last year (since I climbed it the previous year) but did indeed climb it again this year. Now that I know Bologna so much better, it was so exciting to recognize so many areas from the top. The views are spectacular up there. I wasn't even huffing and puffing this year (as I was during my first climb) although going back down still freaked me out a little with the tiny stairs. I love your photos!

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