Italy’s other leaning tower closes amid collapse concern

The leaning tower named Garisenda in Italy is causing concern.

The leaning tower named Garisenda in Italy is causing concern. Photo: Getty

Italy’s lesser-known ‘leaning tower’ has been closed due to fears it might collapse.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is well known, but Italy has another tilting tower in Bologna, which will be closed for a few years after a recent decision.

The Garisenda stands 48 metres high and sits right next to the much taller Asinelli and together, they are known as the two towers in Bologna’s Piazza di Porta Ravegnana.

The mayor of Bologna announced Piazza di Porta Ravegnana would be closed so Garisenda could undergo the necessary restorations to keep it upright.

The Garisenda is the symbol of our city together with the Torre degli Asinelli,” Matteo Lepore wrote on Telegram.

“Since Saturday we have been carrying out new monitoring on the tower, in order to best calibrate all future interventions.”

The area was closed earlier in October and this time the surrounding area will be closed for a few years.

Additionally, Asinelli will remain closed to the public.

“We’re not intervening because we think it could collapse at any moment. We’re intervening because we want to make it safe and restore it,” Lepore said according to The Guardian.

He also tweeted he wanted both towers to attain UNESCO status.

He also apologised for any inconvenience but said the work needed to restore Garisenda needed to be done with “love and dedication”.

Going forward, all options to help keep Garisenda upright will be considered, even the possibility of not allowing buses to pass under the towers, Il Resto del Carlino reported.

How bad is the lean?

The Garisenda has a lean of four degrees, whereas the Leaning Tower of Pisa, which had a lean of 3.99 degrees, was declared “stable” earlier this year, following intervention in the 1990s.

In 1990, the Leaning Tower of Pisa was closed to the public due to safety concerns, and British engineering expert John Burland was brought in to help stabilise the tower.

The issue at the time was due to the foundations not being strong enough to hold the weight of the tower in Pisa, which weighs 14.453 tonnes.

But this year it celebrated 850 years since its completion, and its new-found strength was celebrated.

Although Garisenda isn’t as well known as Pisa, Charles Dickens did write about the tower in his book Pictures from Italy and it has also been referenced in the work of poet Dante.

Topics: Italy
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