This is how the Garisenda Tower will be secured, Source: City of Bologna

Italy has another leaning tower, this time in Bologna

Italy has another leaning tower, this time in Bologna

The medieval Torre Garisenda, however, might easily collapse, which has sparked an urgency to act and save it

Pisa is not the only Italian city to have an iconic tower. Bologna’s historic core skyline has been marked for nine centuries by the imposing silhouettes of two very prominent towers: Garisenda and Asinelli. The first one, the shorter of the two, has recently acquired the nickname of “Italy’s other leaning tower” following measurements that showed that it has a 4-degree inclination.

In October 2023, traffic around the towers was stopped and the area around the tall structures was sealed off with fears that it could suddenly and unexpectedly topple down. The local government has rushed to find a solution and now it has been announced that the same methods used to preserve the Tower of Pisa would also be used on Garisenda.

There is a security concern among the local authorities and residents since the 48-meter tower is smack in the middle of a densely packed historic centre, unlike the one in Pisa. If it were to collapse, this would not only lead to the loss of ancient and protected architectural heritage but could also lead to a lot of destruction and even potential injuries or loss of life.

Borrowing Pisa’s tower-saving technology

Bologna’s mayor, Matteo Lepore, explained on Wednesday, quoted by CNN, that pylons and cables previously used to save the tower in Pisa would be deployed along with adapted steel scaffolding to help prevent it from breaking apart. These can be seen in the picture.

It should take about six months to adapt the equipment to the Garisenda and the entire operation would cost some 19 million euros. The entire project will be implemented in three phases.

For comparison, the Tower of Pisa reached a lean of 4.5 degrees in the early 1990s, which necessitated the intervention with the equipment to save it.



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