Asinelli Tower Bologna

Bologna turned out to be a gem, with a cohesive central area and kilometre after kilometre of arcades providing traffic free, all weather walks. The Asinelli Tower Bologna is one of two ancient skyscrapers

The Two Towers of Bologna-Garisenda and Asinelli Tower Bologna
The Two Towers of Bologna-Garisenda and Asinelli Towers

built in the 11th C that dominate the entire skyline of Bologna. They are a small sample of what may have been an astounding 180 individual towers many of which were linked by aerial walkways.

Interior of Asinelli Tower Bologna
Interior of Asinelli Tower

The tower rises almost 100meters and the ascent is via an awful, creaky & rickety open, wooden ladder set in a mosaic of stone bricks. All in all this tower would put Minas Morgul and Orthanc of Lord of the Rings to shame.

Sanctuary of Santa Maria della Vita and Piazza Maggiore from Asinelli Tower.
Sanctuary of Santa Maria della Vita and Piazza Maggiore from Asinelli Tower.

Non-the-less on a cloudy day, with fewer visitors, we made the ascent to the top. Two steps below 500 and a half hour ascent (I ensured I had a tight grip on the hand-rail at each step so at least I would dangle rather than plummit if the steps fell away below me!) the entire city of Bologna was spread out below.

Pasta Bolognese
Pasta Bolognese

Triumphantly exiting the tower, we sat down to a celebratory dinner – I chose Bolognese pasta!