The Leaning Tower of Pisa remains one of Italy's most iconic tourist attractions, but it's not the only off-kilter building in the Stivale. Bologna's Garisenda Tower similarly leans to one side, and Italian authorities are becoming so concerned with its structural integrity that they've shut down the tower and the surrounding area until further notice.
The tower isn't in danger of falling over, at least not any time soon. Bologna mayor Matteo Lepore explained that turning the area into a pedestrian zone isn't about immediate safety concerns, but rather so professionals can research the problem using specialized instruments to measure and gather precise data. This includes installing acoustic sensors around the tower to listen for any stress noise of cracks or creaks in the building and a pendulum to track any movement.
The move comes after Lepore met with scientists and other officials and concluded it was the right thing to do. The researchers have been monitoring the area since 2018, and the precautionary measure represents a logical next step to "conduct further monitoring... to have definitive information about the state of health of the Garisenda."
The Garisenda stands alongside the Asinelli tower; together, the twin towers form an instantly recognizable part of Bologna's skyline. For centuries, the Garisenda has been an inspiration to locals as well as world-renowned authors like Dante Alighieri and Charles Dickens. It stands at 158 feet tall and was built in the 12th century when Bologna had dozens of towers sticking up into the sky. It leans at an angle of four degrees, only a little less than the Leaning Tower of Pisa, which sits five degrees lopsided. By the time Dante wrote about the Garisenda in the 14th century, it was already leaning to one side.
Why take a picture with one iconic Italian leaning tower when you can have two?