Two Towers of Bologna–Asinelli and Garisenda. You’ve seen the pictures, maybe even climbed all those stairs, and sure, they’re iconic. But let’s be real, if you’re jetting into Bologna and only ticking off those leaning beauties, you’re missing out. Big time.
Because Bologna, Italy’s scholarly and culinary heart, boasts a skyline that was once peppered with towers. We’re talking about a medieval Manhattan, people! Most have vanished into history, but a select few still stand, basking in the shadows of their more famous siblings, yet equally awe-inspiring.
No kidding–these ‘other towers’ are not just old bricks reaching for the sky; they’re timeworn stories of rivalry, wealth, and a dash of medieval swagger that literally stand tall amidst a cityscape that has so much to offer. So, don your most comfortable walking shoes and let’s go beyond the guidebook to discover Bologna’s tower game that is so much richer than just a pair of leaning towers.
You might’ve heard about Bologna’s famous Two Towers, but there’s another tower worth checking out: the Prendiparte Tower. This 12-story gem was built back in the 12th century by the Prendiparte family. It’s also known as Torre Corona and it served as a military post for defense and attack.
Standing 61 meters tall, the Torre dei Prendiparte is one of Bologna’s few surviving towers. You’ll notice that it leans slightly, much like the more famous Asinelli and Garisenda towers. At the top, you’ll find a crown-like crenulation pattern in the brick, which is why it’s sometimes called “The Crowned.”
If you’re into history, you’ll want to make Torre Prendiparte part of your Bologna itinerary. The tower’s name, meaning “take sides,” refers to the powerful Bolognese family’s allegiance with the Pope, during a time when locals were divided between those who craved independence from the Catholic Church and others who didn’t.
Azzoguidi Tower, also known as Torre Altabella, is one of Bologna’s hidden gems you shouldn’t miss. Located on Altabella Street, right next to the Bologna Cathedral (Cattedrale di San Pietro), this tower boasts a perfect verticality, height, and elegance that’ll catch your eye.
Constructed with a square-shaped base, Azzoguidi Tower showcases ten rows of plaster parallelepipeds. On the ground floor, you’ll find an ancient pointed arch door. And just around the corner, in Via Caduti di Cefalonia, there’s a small opening leading to a nearby flat. This room was once utilized as a little chapel with frescoes painted by a 15th-century artist.
In Bologna, the Towers stand as symbols of the city’s rich history. During the 12th and 13th centuries, the city was home to numerous tall, defensive stone towers. Visiting Azzoguidi Tower offers you a window into the medieval times that others might miss out on.
Next, make sure to check out the Scappi Tower. Nestled amongst the historical gems of the city, this lesser-known tower still holds its charm and unique architectural value.
Constructed in the medieval period, Scappi Tower will surely catch your eye with its impressive height and sturdy construction. You’ll find it in the heart of Bologna, a testament to the city’s rich history. Though not as tall as the Asinelli Tower, this hidden gem is worth a visit, and you’ll get a different perspective of the city that not everyone experiences.
As you explore the surrounding area, take notice of the architectural details, especially the nearby historical buildings. You’ll feel a tangible connection to the past. It’s an excellent spot for taking amazing photos, so don’t forget to bring your camera along.
When strolling through Bologna, admiring its picturesque streets and stunning architecture, you might come across the Uguzzoni Tower. It’s not as tall as Asinelli, standing at 32 meters (105 feet), but it’s still a remarkable medieval structure that certainly deserves your attention.
In the heart of Bologna, this tower is part of the city’s rich history of tower-building during the 12th and 13th centuries. It’s believed the tower was constructed around 1250 by the powerful Uguzzoni family. And guess what? It’s still standing as a testament to Bologna’s architectural prowess!
As you walk around the area, you’ll notice that Uguzzoni Tower has a unique shape, with its peculiar, slightly inclined base. This feature, along with its well-preserved structure, make it a must-see for architecture enthusiasts and history buffs.
While you can’t climb Uguzzoni Tower, it is still a great addition to your Bologna itinerary. Take some time to appreciate its beauty and imagine how it has stood the test of time.
Like Uguzzoni Tower, Guidozagni Tower might not be as tall as the Asinelli or Garisenda towers, but don’t let that fool you. It’s a unique structure that offers a glimpse into Bologna’s tower-rich past. As you walk around and observe the tower, take the time to appreciate the architectural details and history it brings to the city’s landscape.
While some details regarding the tower’s history might be scarce, don’t let that hold you back from diving into your curiosity. Chat up some locals and ask them about their thoughts on the Guidozagni Tower. You never know, you might learn some interesting tidbits or stories from Bologna’s past.
Now, onto the Galluzzi Tower, definitely one worth checking out in Bologna. It’s not as famously recognized as the Two Towers, but it’s nonetheless a fascinating piece of history that you should explore.
The Galluzzi Tower’s history is steeped in drama and romance. Back in the day, around 1258, the tale of Virginia Galluzzi and Alberto Carbonesi, two young lovers similar to Romeo and Juliet, unfolded right here. These lovebirds, from rival families, dared to defy their feuding clans and secretly tied the knot. Sadly, Alberto was later murdered by a member of the Galluzzi family, just like in the Shakespearean play.
While the Galluzzi Tower may have been initially built for defense against Ghibelline faction attacks, it now stands as a tribute to that classic tragic romance and the volatile times in Bologna history. When you visit this architectural marvel, take a moment to soak in its rich past and consider the passionate love story that once unfolded within its walls.
Also known as the Clock Tower, this medieval gem is located in the heart of Piazza Maggiore. A symbol of prestige, the house and tower originally belonged to Accursio, a bright law student who moved from Florence to Bologna to study. Once he became an important jurist, he decided to have his own massive house built.
The awesome building included a school with a portico facing the square and a corner tower. It’s now famously known as the Accursi Tower or dell’Orologio. You’ll spot it easily, as it’s got a beautiful clock added to it in the 15th century. It’s right in the hustle and bustle of the city center.
The Accursi Tower may not be as famous as Bologna’s Two Towers (Asinelli and Garisenda), but it’s definitely worth your time.
Agresti Tower measures a staggering 52 meters high, adding a unique touch to Bologna’s skyline.
This tower was built in the 13th century and despite the passage of time, it still stands tall, exuding historical charm. It’s a perfect spot if you want to experience a lesser-known gem in the city.
The Agresti Tower is situated at Via de’ Falegnami 27, and it’s worth taking a stroll to see it up close. As you stand beneath the tower, you’ll surely feel the rich history and imagine the medieval stories that once played in its shadow.
Not as prominent as the Two Towers (Asinelli and Garisenda), Arengo Tower still has its own charm. Situated in the heart of the city, this bell tower holds its ground among the other surviving towers of Bologna. When exploring the city, you’ll definitely want to take a moment to appreciate its architecture and history.
Here’s something interesting for you: the Arengo Tower, along with the San Pietro bell tower, is one of the two surviving bell towers in Bologna. These towers have seen the passage of time and are standing testimony to the city’s rich past. Make sure to snap some photos while you’re there, because it’s a unique piece of history that’s sure to impress your friends back home.
Torre Carrari, nestled in Bologna, Italy, offers a unique view of medieval architecture. Standing 22 meters high, this tower boasts a thin and basic structure that sets it apart from the more prominent Two Towers of Bologna. Despite its lesser-known status, Torre Carrari is worth a visit during your trip to the city.
Originally built by the Carrari family between the 12th and 13th centuries, this historical gem served as a Tower House. This blend of wooden and stone elements perfectly captured the medieval style popular at the time. You’ll notice that Torre Carrari has a charming, antique vibe that transports you back to medieval Bologna.
Torre Catalani might not be as famous as the Two Towers in Bologna, but it’s definitely worth your attention. This medieval tower offers a glimpse into Bologna’s rich history of tower-building. Although it may not be as tall as the Asinelli Tower or as leaning as the Garisenda Tower, the Torre Catalani has its own unique charm that shouldn’t be overlooked.
You’ll find Torre Catalani situated in the heart of Bologna’s historical center. It is named after the Catalani family, who were influential in the city’s medieval period. As you explore the area around the tower, you’ll notice that there are many remnants of the past, with narrow alleys and beautiful old buildings offering a step back in time.
Climbing the Torre Catalani is an adventure you won’t want to miss. As you make your way up the tower, take your time to appreciate the architectural details that have stood the test of time. The stairs might be a bit of a challenge, but the views from the top are well worth the effort. Once you reach the summit, you’ll be rewarded with a stunning vista of Bologna’s red rooftops and terracotta streets.
Torre Galluzzi is tucked away in Piazza Galvani and happens to be part of Bologna’s medieval skyscraper trio. Sharing the spotlight with Torre Prendiparte and Torre Azzoguidi, these three towers are scattered in various parts of the city center. Interestingly, all of them were once owned by a Guelph family, which were supporters of the Pope.
Though Torre Galluzzi may not be as renowned as the Two Towers (Asinelli and Garisenda), it has its own historical significance. Surrounded by narrow alleys, you’ll find that a stroll around the area reveals a rich medieval atmosphere that’ll transport you back to the Middle Ages. Plus, the panoramic views from the top offer a unique perspective of Bologna’s rooftops and skyline.
As you explore this tower, it’s important to note that visiting hours and accessibility might vary. To make the most of your trip, keep an eye on the local announcements, and plan your itinerary accordingly. While you’re in the area, don’t forget to check out nearby attractions, such as the Basilica di San Petronio and the Palazzo della Mercanzia.
If you’re looking for another cool tower to check out in Bologna, the Torre Lambertini should definitely be on your list. It’s not as famous as the Two Towers, but it’s still pretty impressive in its own right.
This medieval tower is located close to Piazza Maggiore, which is the heart of the city. It’s actually part of a complex that includes the Palazzo Lambertini, a historic building that dates back to the same period. The tower itself is about 31 meters (102 feet) tall and has a square base, giving it a solid, imposing appearance.
One interesting thing about Torre Lambertini is that it actually has an internal staircase, which is pretty unusual for medieval towers in Bologna. Most of them have external wooden staircases, so this feature really sets it apart from the rest. Climbing the steps might be a bit of a workout, but trust me, the views from the top are totally worth it.
From up there, you’ll get a great vantage point to see some of the other lesser-known towers in the city, as well as some iconic landmarks like the Basilica di San Petronio and the famous Two Towers themselves.
Though it might not be as famous as the Two Towers, Torre Lapi definitely deserves a spot on your list of must-see attractions in Bologna.
This tower is part of Bologna’s rich medieval past, just like the renowned Asinelli and Garisenda Towers. Part of Torre Lapi’s unique looks is its cool crenelated top, which sets it apart from other towers you’ll spot around town.
So next time you’re in Bologna, don’t limit yourself to just the Two Towers. Embark on a thrilling adventure to these other towers, where history, architectural marvels, and one-of-a-kind experiences come together to create an unforgettable memory.