Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Due Torri in Bologna

Due Torri means Two Towers. Built in the 12 and 13th centuries as status symbols by rich Bolognese merchant families, the city originally had over 100 of these towers but these, built by the Garisenda family, are the tallest of the few which remain.
You can climb the Torre Asinelli with its 1.3m lean, the taller of the two at 97.6m, which has great views over the red roofs of the city and the hills beyond. The shorter Torre Garisenda, which had its top removed in the 1300s to stop it falling over, is closed to visitors as it has a more extreme lean of about 3.2m.
Many towers have fallen throughout the years. Others had their tops removed when the owners lost their wealth. Because towers were status symbols, other powerful people did not want merchants who had lost their wealth to keep this symbol of power and money.
The last picture is looking down onto Piazza di Porta Ravegnana below. Definitely worth the three euros and the climb of 498 steps to a breath taking panorama of the city below.

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