Torre degli Asinelli

Tower in Bologna

Image by Susan Wright Lonely Planet

Bologna's two leaning towers are the city's main symbol. The taller of the two, the 97.2m-high Torre degli Asinelli, is open to the public, though it’s not advisable for the weak-kneed (there are 498 newly re-stabilised steps) or for superstitious students (local lore says if you climb it you’ll never graduate). Built by the Asinelli family between 1109 and 1119, it today leans 2.2m off vertical.

Its shorter twin, the 47m-high Torre Garisenda is sensibly out of bounds given its drunken 3.2m tilt. Tickets must be purchased in advance in 45-minute increments from the official website or at Bologna Welcome (no tickets are sold on-site).