Italy’s ‘other’ leaning tower risks collapse

Leaning tower of Bologna Photo: Shutterstock

One of Bologna’s ‘twin towers’, an iconic landmark that has stood for nearly 1,000 years, could be on the verge of collapse.

The Garisenda tower, one of the few remaining towers of ancient Bologna, has been leaning since the 12th century but now faces an imminent threat according to a report by the city’s scientific committee. This report has led to the implementation of a Civil Protection plan to deal with a sudden and unexpected collapse.

In response to the alert, the municipality of Bologna has announced the installation of a metal protection cordon. This cordon, anchored to the ground, aims to contain possible debris, reduce the vulnerability of nearby buildings and block access to the danger zone.

The scientific committee has classified the situation as ‘high alert’, citing accelerated compression at the base of the tower and significant deterioration of the stone covering its base.

While clarifying that the tower is not on the verge of immediate collapse, precautions remain on ‘yellow’ alert. The Mayor, Matteo Lepore, indicated that they are proceeding with caution, but the timeline for a possible collapse is uncertain.

The city faces a financial challenge, with the protection cordon costing €4.4 million and stabilisation work projected to cost “millions and millions”. An online fundraising effort has already raised €800,000 in a week. Debates continue over whether to dismantle and rebuild it or simply to knock it down, as was done in medieval times.

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Written by

Kevin Fraser Park

Kevin was born in Scotland and worked in marketing, running his own businesses in UK, Italy and, for the last 8 years, here in Spain. He moved to the Costa del Sol in 2016 working initially in real estate. He has a passion for literature and particularly the English language which is how he got into writing.

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