Leaning tower of Pisa at night

Italy’s Other Leaning Towers

Culture News

Italy is home to more towers with a tilt than just the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Italy News Online looks at Italy’s other leaning towers.

There are leaning towers in many Italian towns and cities. Two more are in Pisa: the Campanile of San Nicola and the Campanile of San Michele degli Scalzi. The region of Veneto, home to Venice, is not surprisingly also home to several leaning towers. Others can be found in Bologna, Caorle, Burano and Rome.

The Towers of Asinelli and Garisenda – Bologna

Asinelli tower staircase
Inside of Asinelli tower

The Asinelli and Garisenda towers of Bologna are at the intersection of the roads that lead to the five gates of the old ring wall (mura dei torresotti).

The tower with the greatest lean is the Garisenda, while the taller one is Asinelli. It is believed their names derive from the families who commissioned them. They were constructed between 1109 and 1119.

Initially, the two towers were approximately the same height, but the Asinelli tower was later raised to the current 97.2m. In the 14th century, the Garisenda tower was lowered when its structure became unstable.

The Campanile of San Martino – Burano, Venice

San Martino - Burano, Venice

The Campanile is the work of Andrea Tirali and was built in 1703-1704. The height of Burano’s tower is 53 meters. It is tilting due to land subsidence at 1.83 metres in respect to its axis.

Initially topped with an angel, which fell during a storm in 1867, there is now a cross of iron atop the tower.

Related article: Leaning Tower of Pisa construction starts

The Campanile of the Duomo di Santo Stefano – Caorle

Santo Stefano – Caorle

Completed in 1070 AD, the 42m high bell tower is the oldest surviving example of a cylinder-shaped bell tower with a conic cusp in the world.

The bell tower began leaning sometime after 1920. Today it is leaning by 1.4 degrees in east/south-east direction. Its base is made of Istria stone, while the shaft of the tower is made of brick-faced rubble core masonry.

The Campanile of San Michele degli Scalzi – Pisa

San Michele degli Scalzi – Pisa

San Michele degli Scalzi bell tower stands on the Viale delle Piagge side of the church. Scalzi refers to the barefoot monks linked to the church. Whilst the name of the neighborhood ” Piagge ” stems from the Latin plagae, meaning “low plains, highly prone to flooding”.

The leaning tower is sloping by 5% due to unstable soil.

The Campanile of San Giorgio dei Greci – Venice

dei Greci campanile leaning tower in Venice

The San Giorgio dei Greci bell tower was built by Bernardo Ongarin between 1587 and 1592. It  started tilting from the start of construction. To catch the best view of its lean, head to the rio dei Greci, close to the Bridge of Sighs.

Towers of Rovigo – Rovigo

Rovigo towers

Rovigo was a small town in a territory often contested by the numerous local powers in northeastern Italy, most notably Venice and Ferrara. A castle was built in Rovigo between the 12th and 14th-centuries by the Este family of Ferrara.

All that remains of the castle are these two towers and small portions of the walls. Both towers have a considerable tilt. The terrain was marshy and not suited to supporting the structure, which led to the collapse of Torre Grimani. The other tower (Doná) stands at 51 metres.

Torre delle Milizie – Rome

Military Tower Rome - leaning tower

The Torre delle Milizie (Tower of the Militia) is a medieval tower that stands near Trajan’s Market and the Imperial Forum. Built around 1200 by the Aretino family, the original tower was taller than you see today.

The Campanile of Santo Stefano – Venice

Santo Stefano leaning tower Venice

The leaning tower of Santo Stefano (1544) is in the sestiere San Marco, not far from the Ponte dell’Accademia. Its inclination is similar to Tower of Pisa. It is also one of the highest bell towers of Venice, with a height of 66m.

Campanile of the Basilica di San Pietro di Castello – Venice

San Pietro di Castello – Venice

From 1451 to 1807, it was the city’s cathedral church, though hardly playing the usual dominant role of a cathedral, as it was overshadowed by the “state church” of San Marco, and inconveniently located. The bell tower is the most precarious in Venice.

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