Italy Has More Than Just One Leaning Tower. Roads Closed Around Garisenda To ‘Save’ The Structure
The square surrounding Bologna’s medieval Garisenda tower is to be sealed off for “a few years” amid concerns the structure is tilting too far.
The 48-metre-high Garisenda, which sits alongside the twice-as-high Asinelli tower, slants at 4 degrees, compared with 3.9 degrees for Italy’s more famous Leaning Tower of Pisa.
While the slant is believed to be due to ground subsidence during the 14th century, sensors have detected some unusual and “worrying” movement lately.
Square Closed Around Garisenda To “Save” It
According to Mayor Matteo Lepore, the closure of Piazza di Porta Ravegnana was necessary in order to “save” the historic Garisenda tower, which has become a topic of much discussion.
“We are not intervening because we think it could collapse at any moment. We are intervening because we want to make it safe and restore it.”
The tower’s foundations will be shored up with new materials to make it more secure. The square’s closure will also affect the Asinelli tower, which visitors are allowed to climb.
Special Committee To Oversee Restoration
“I will seek the best possible professionalism … we will look for anyone who can help us,” Lepore said. Bologna council is establishing a special committee to oversee the work.
The Garisenda tower has been under close observation for months because of increasing movement. Italy’s government has criticised the local council for not taking proper care.
The medieval structure was originally 60 metres tall but had to be lowered after it began to lean. It left English novelist and social critic Charles Dickens spellbound during a visit to Bologna.
Garisenda “Will Overcome This Misadventure Too”
While Lepore has struck a reassuring tone, others from the northern Italian city fear the tower could collapse. Carlo Lucarelli, an author and screenwriter, said it was part of Bologna’s “soul”.
Pier Ferdinando Casini, a senator, was more optimistic. “The Garisenda has passed the test over hundreds of years and will overcome this misadventure too.”
The Garisenda and Asinelli are named after the rival families who built them, believed to be as a way to compete over power and wealth. They are looking at what was the entrance to the city.