I have so many wonderful things I want to share with you from my recent stay in Bologna and thousands of photographs that it was hard to know where to start. So let’s start from the top! The top of the tallest tower in Bologna, the Asinelli Tower – that’s 318 feet or 97.2 metres high. Just one catch, I’m scared of heights…. and stairs!
This wasn’t something I was initially planning to do as I get terrible vertigo. Going up a step-ladder I get dizzy. What’s more I have a fear of stairs! I know! Nuts!! I actually have nightmares about stairs, sections being missing, with gaping chasms beneath me and having to do gymnastic maneuvers to get to where I want to go and I assure you, I’m no gymnast.
In the late 12th Century there were over one hundred towers in Bologna but today only twenty have survived the ravages of fire, warfare and lightning. Together the Asinelli Tower with its neighbouring, smaller 47 metre high, Garisenda Tower, make the two towers symbol of the town, also known as the kissing towers as they lean towards each other.
The Asinelli Tower has 498 steps, however, despite my fear of heights and stairs, I also like a challenge and as I wondered around Bologna over a couple of days the tower was calling me. I felt it literally pulling me towards it and a longing to climb it came over me, just to see if I could.
The entrance to the tower isn’t very inviting and it is just as well I don’t suffer from claustrophobia.
Oh my! How are these stairs held up? How long have they been here? What if there was a fire?
This tower was actually built in 1109 but the inner staircase wasn’t added until 1684.
Strangely enough it was only when I was half way I up I remembered the nightmares.
Going up was one thing but what about coming down again?
Above, the view from the only window I noticed on the way up.
Below, the view from the top!
I climbed the tower in the afternoon so the above shot was taken shooting into the sun. I would suggest climbing in the morning as this is possibly the best view across Piazza Maggiore, Basilica di San Petronio and, in the distance, the Sanctuary of the Madonna of San Luca perched on the hill.
It was a lovely surprise when I reached the top to find one of my fellow #Blogville bloggers already there, Rachelle from The Travel Bite.
When it was time to go down again, I was rather nervous. I’m ashamed to say quite a few expletives left my lips as I hurried down the stairs at a rate of knots, longing for it to be over.
When I reached the ground my legs wouldn’t stop shaking . We felt a little reward was in order. My first, but not my last, Spritz of the week – a popular aperitif in Emilia-Romagna made of Aperol, sparkling white wine and soda.
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I’ve been going to Bologna for years but I’ve never climbed up the Asinelli tower – must do so! Have you climbed all the stairs up to San Luca?
No! We’ll both have to go back. Such a lovely town.
I love places were you can over look a city. Cool vantage point and photography!
Thanks Justin. The climb was worth it!
I’ve never been on top of the tower in Bologna but the view looks amazing, especially because you can see the hills all around Bologna, “i colli”!
It was really lovely once you were up there. Well worth it.
Haha Kat, you must have loved the Harry Potter scenes with the moving staircases! Perhaps you’ve seen too many EM Escher prints! I’d say the climb was well worth it – the views are spectacular. I especially love the photo of the towers shading the adobe coloured rooftops! Just gorgeous! Can’t wait to read more!
Thanks Deirde. Sorry for delayed response!
Being stuck in an Escher print in a never ending circle of stairs – what a scary thought!
I’m visiting Harry Potter world at the weekend – I wonder if they have any moving stairs there (shudder).
I climbed the tower and I thought I would never get to the top. I was rewarded by wordpress by being Freshly Pressed for the post I did on it.
Well worth it then! I’ll look that up.
I’m not a fan of heights (or confined spaces – see:http://www.hiddenspain.info/wordpress/?p=1507) – but I’m sure, like me, you considered the climb worth it for the views. If I’m ever over that way I’ll certainly climb the tower. Great shots!
Thanks Sue – love fig jam by the way!
Just looked up FigJam!
I so wanted to climb this last year and was really disappointed to find it closed. However, this year I made up for it and climbed it twice! Lovely shots of those amazing views – it was worth the climb wasn’t it?!
It was but going up really wasn’t the problem! Looking forward to your photos too, especially of your second climb in the morning.