Concerns Rise as Italy’s Leaning Towers Get Checked Every 15 Minutes

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Leaning towers aren’t just limited to the famous one in Pisa; Italy has its own set of leaning structures, like the Twin Towers in Bologna, which are causing increased worry due to their noticeable tilt.

As per a CNN report on Thursday (7/12), the Garisenda and Asinelli Towers in Bologna now present a different sight. Garisenda Tower, initially leaning at a slight 4 degrees, has been closed off with a 5-meter-high wooden beam as its tilt has become more pronounced.

This issue began surfacing in October when experts raised alarms about the worsening condition of the 47-meter-high tower. To bolster the tower’s stability, a filler material injection was deemed necessary.

In response, the city council stated, “A metal protective line will be installed to contain any debris that may cause a collapse. To minimize the building’s vulnerability and protect residents, access to the restricted area will be blocked.”

Similar to many other medieval towers in Bologna, Garisenda Tower was constructed on a base of terracotta brick mortar ring-shaped and river stones. It seems this fundamental material is contributing to the tower’s noticeable tilt.

To counteract potential falling debris, protective beams will be installed from within the ground, featuring a specially designed mesh. Additionally, metal protectors will be anchored to the ground.

Inspection results have shown erosion in some foundational materials over nine centuries, linked to factors like noise, oscillations, vibrations, and abnormal movements within the tower.

Garisenda and Asinelli Towers were erected between 1109 and 1119, predating the city’s rapid growth. The potential collapse of either tower would undoubtedly impact tourism in Bologna.

Considering the cultural significance of Garisenda Tower, its loss would be a blow to the city’s tourism and its historical legacy, stated a spokesperson.

Currently, Garisenda Tower’s tilt has reached a high alert level. Ongoing monitoring of the site has revealed the destruction of the tower’s base, with a gradual disintegration of the stones covering it and visible cracks in the bricks.

According to a spokesperson, while an immediate collapse is not imminent, it could happen within three months, 10 years, or even 20 years.

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