One of the first places that comes to mind when Via Rizolli is mentioned are the two towers known as Two Towers. This magnificent structure competes with the Leaning Tower of Pisa with its inclination and beauty. As for why the two towers are not ‘twin towers’, the reason is very simple; If one of these towers is tall, the other is short. The taller tower is called Asinelli, while the smaller but more sloping tower is named Garisenda.
The construction of the towers is also based on an interesting story. In Bologna, two noble families of the period built these towers to show who was bigger. As a matter of fact, the towers got their names from these families. The inadequacy of documents and facilities in the period does not show us which family was stronger at that time. The name of the Asinelli family was first documented only in 1185, almost 70 years after the tower to which they are attributed was built.
The Asinelli Tower, built in the 1100s, was built with the Renaissance architecture. This tower, which was transferred to the municipality in the 1200s, was built in 1684 with an interior staircase consisting of 498 steps. At the base of the tower, you will come across an interesting castle. This castle was built in 1488 to house the soldiers of the period. The castle, which was said to be 70 meters in the beginning, was damaged by fires and lightning strikes and has now been shortened to 67 meters.
It is also claimed that the Asinelli Tower, which was also used as a prison for a period, was used by the Duke of Milan, Giovanni Visconti, to suppress possible rebellions.
Although a lightning rod was installed on the tower in 1824 to prevent damage from lightning strikes, Asinelli was severely damaged by two documented fires. The first of these fires occurred in 1185 due to arson, and the second occurred in 1398 for an unknown reason.
Of course, the Asinelli tower has not only come to the fore with political events or disasters. The tower was also used by scientists Giovanni Battista Riccioli (in 1640) and Giovanni Battista Guglielmini (in the next century) for experiments examining the motion of heavy bodies and the rotation of the earth. II. Years later, a RAI television relay was installed on the tower, which was used as a viewing area during World War II, between 1943 and 1945. In the 1960s, architect Minoru Yamasaki is thought to have been inspired by the Towers when designing the World Trade Center.
Garisenda Tower, which has been the subject of the works of many poets and writers, has a height of 48 m today. The reason the tower, which was 60 meters high at the beginning, got so short is different from that of the Asinelli Tower. Due to its curve and not being built on solid ground, the tower was restored in the 14th century and its height was reduced to 48 meters. The transfer of the tower to the municipality was not as quick as Asinelli. The previous owner of the tower, which was included in municipal property at the end of the 19th century, was Arte dei Drappieri.
- Visiting Information: Weekdays and Saturdays/ 09:30 – 17:45. Entrance fees are 5 Euros in full, 3 Euros with a discount.
- Address: Via Gobetti 52/3 centro direzionale DUEMILAUNO, 40129 Bologna BO, Italy
Directions: For transportation by bus, you should choose buses numbered 19, 33 and 38. Those arriving by train can use lines R, RV, S2 A and S2 B.
- Nearby Places: La Macchina del Tempo, Chiesa di San Bartolomeo