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The Leaning Towers of Bologna

- William

Hi, I’m William. I am fourteen and I live in Germany. I was born in Alaska, but I also lived in Florida for nearly a year before moving here. I have three younger siblings and we’ve traveled with our parents to many places. I’m excited to start blogging for Teen Travel Talk and I hope my blogs will be helpful to travelers who read on this site!

We entered through the narrow wooden doors and walked up a steep, spiral staircase. The occasional window let light shine into the otherwise dark and somewhat gloomy atmosphere. The stonework lining the sides of the passage was rough, and looked as though it had seen a lot of wear. After a short time we reached the ticket office, which consisted of a desk and a chair crammed into a small nook in the side of the passage. After paying the attendant, we continued up the passage. From there, things really took off. Long, straight staircases went steadily upwards, meeting at small platforms on the corners of the walls.

We were climbing one of the few remaining Leaning Towers of Bologna. Bologna during the middle ages had dozens of towers, which began to lean over the years. Some of the towers collapsed, and some were used for building materials. The best two are the Towers Garisenda and Asinelli. These two towers are built quite close to each other. The Garisenda tower is the shorter of the two, and leans heavily to the south. Much of the top was removed to prevent it from collapsing, and it is off limits to visitors. The tower Asinelli consists of a steep climb of nearly five hundred steps, all the way up to the top of the tower.

We continued our trek upwards. It was really amazing looking up or down because downwards, you could see the staircases lining the walls leading downwards towards the large entry platform, and looking up one could see the staircases going upwards, shrouded in misty light. Every so often you would walk through a small opening in the ceiling after reaching the end of the staircase, only to find that there were more stairs going up to yet another ceiling.

After a half-hour climb, we finally reached the top.

Looking out, you could see the entire city of Bologna stretching out below. Pretty much everything was roofed with red tile. The coolest sight, though, was looking down at the Tower Garisenda. The southward lean of the Asinelli, which we were standing on, combined with the Garisenda’s lean, made the Garisenda appear to be tilting at a crazy angle. It was an awesome trip through one of the last Leaning Towers of Bologna.

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