Long time ago, Garisenda and Asinelli were the names of two families from Bologna. But today are the nemas of the two medieval towers that give a very peculiar profile to the skyline of the city.
It is said that long ago, around XIIIº century, dozens of towers like these could be seen all over the city. Today, there’s only two of them left. Although we must acknowledge they are very representative ones! Not only because they are slightly leaning towards each other, what gives them a real authenticity, but also because one of them is mentioned by Dante in the canto XXXI of Inferno (Divine Comedy).
Garisenda and Asinelli are the only survivals of that brick forest that Bologna used to be. They stand out, leaning over the sea of red-tiled roofs that covers the old town. Garisenda has just 46 meters tall because its construction has to be interrupted due to the leaning. Its mate, Asinelli, also leaned but not that much, so its construction could be finished at 96 meters tall. Climbing the stairs up to Asinelli’s roof is an unforgettable experience. The vertigo caused by the wooden steps, leaning on the inner side of its leaning brick-walls is far compensated by the overwhelming overview of the city: beneath the towers, the city unfolds its most beautiful view of red roofs only interrupted by the Cathedral and Piazza di Neptuno.