Everything you need to know when climbing the Asinelli Tower – Bologna

Hello fellow budget hunters,

Today’s post is about my other favourite Italian city – Bologna. I loved Bologna when I was there and one of the coolest things we did was to climb the Asinelli tower in the centre of Bologna.

I realised that while we were in Bologna, I barely wrote any posts, other than about food. So I think it is time I update my blog to include the red city.

I have decided to write a post telling you everything you need to know before climbing the Asinelli tower.

History of the towers

Originally at one point there was over 90 of these towers, all built as a romantic gesture for future brides. They were built around the 12th century and adorned the city.

This what the towers would have looked like over Bologna


Currently only a handful remain, the tallest of which is the Asinelli tower. This tower was only 60 metres tall when originally built, but now stands at 97 metres.

I was often used as a lookout point in modern history, including the Second World war and was even hit by lightning once!


The Asinelli Tower or Torre degli Asinellli


The tower has recently undergone some restoration, to strengthen the staircases and the roof terrace – It is now ready for business again.

To find the tower (apart from the obvious – look up) but it is located in Piazza di Porta Ravegnana. To get to the terrace at 97 metres up – you need to climb 498 steps. Everyone told me this wouldn’t be difficult…

But after 2 weeks of pizza and being very dramatic, I felt like fainting when I got to the top! I actually didn’t enjoy the view much as I felt very unwell, but after a gelato… I was suddenly fine again.

Thankfully there is platforms every 4 or so flights of stairs where you can stop and get out of peoples way!



You can’t just buy your ticket at the door of the tower. You can buy them from the Bologna Tourist Office or online. We bought ours then had lunch and came back to the queue. In fact we were the first people in the queue and missed out on the previous walk up, so had to wait for 45 minutes to go up. It was 5 euros for adults and 3 euros for students/children/OAPs etc 


The stairs aren’t very wide so the groups are sent up every 45 minutes and then counted back down due to the numbers allowed up at any one time and the safety.

ALSO … The views from the top are INSANE!!

Especially if you enjoy them properly unlike me being a dramatic idiot!

No prizes for guessing who built this road!


Garisenda (The sister tower)


The sister tower you cannot climb up, but you can have your photo taken by the ‘more leaning tower’ than the leaning tower of Pisa. This is a fact that everyone in Bologna will tell you, their tower leans more.

Also the Asinelli leans too – it has an inclination 2.23m which is 1.3 degrees. Apparently this gives it the title of ‘The Highest leaning medieval tower in the World’ .

The degrees of leaning


I hope this guide helps you if you are ever in Bologna,

Until next time,

The Great Ambini!

X x x

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14 Replies to “Everything you need to know when climbing the Asinelli Tower – Bologna”

  1. Wow, I did not know that Bologna used to have so many towers. Almost feels bad that there are only a few left! As a view-lover, this is absolutely a must do for me when I get there! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Girl, after 498 steps, you 100% deserve gelato!! Those views do look very much worth, it though. But can you imagine what the view would be like if there were still 90 of those towers in the city? Wow! I really need to get myself to this part of Italy!

  3. Wow I would totally find myself climbing one of these! however I dont think my partner would be interested from those heights haha! Interesting read 🙂

  4. I looove going up to high places, so this is the kind of site I’d love to visit (although it’s rubbish that you had to wait in the queue for 45 minutes!!) Those views from the top are brilliant!
    Plus, at least you can feel okay to eat more yummy food and gelato once you make it back down those stairs!!

    p.s. I totally never noticed that big ben is leaning! How did I miss that!?

  5. Wow those historic towers look so fabulous. I am sure Bologna would have been much more popular had all of those towers still standing. Interesting post as i had not heard about this before.

  6. I love great views of cities! I definitely would do this if I was in Bologna. Love the graphic of all leaning towers! I never knew there were so many haha

  7. What a great guide! This kind of activity is really exciting. Hope I could experience this! Looks like a fun thing!

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