The legend of the Torre degli Asinelli in Bologna

Here is the legend of the construction of one of the symbols of Bologna

There are many legends that have been told for centuries and still widespread today. One of these is the one telling the legend of the construction of the famous Torre degli Asinelli in Bologna. Italian Traditions leads you on the discovery of what to visit in Bologna by telling you this story that celebrates the love between two young people. Here we also explain where it is and how to get to the city.


The two towers

The city of Bologna is known throughout the world for being the city of the towers. In the past there were certainly more but for various reasons such as bombing and earthquakes, many have been destroyed. The two main ones are still present today in the city center exactly at the entry point to the inhabited area for those coming from via Emilia. These are the Asinelli tower and the Garisenda tower and in the past they played an important military role.

The first was built by the homonymous family in 1109 and passed to the municipality in the following century. Its height is 97.20 meters and has an internal staircase of 948 steps that was finished in 1684. Its base is surrounded by a fortress built in 1488 to accommodate the soldiers on guard. The other one is of the same period and is different in particular for its height. It measures only 47 meters. In fact, in the XIV century it had to be lowered.


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The romantic tale about the torre degli Asinelli

The first is known in particular for a famous legend that tells about its construction. This story is commonly called the legend of the Asinelli tower. It tells of a farmer who dedicates his life to working in an attempt to expand his possessions. He is helped in the fields every day by two donkeys.

One day they suddenly start digging into the ground. When the man arrives he discovers that under the earth there is a trunk full of gold coins and precious stones. In honor of the two animals he calls it the donkey’s treasure. He does not reveal anything to anyone even to his family. With the passing of time his family life continues to improve but gradually as the farmer does not want to bring attention to himself and be discovered.

His beloved son grew up and one day walking through the streets of Bologna he falls in love with a young noblewoman. Love is reciprocated by the girl but the father of the girl opposes love and tells the boy that he will give his daughter’s hand in marriage only if he builds the tallest tower in Bologna. Back home, the young man tells everything to the farmer who decides that the time has finally come to unveil the secret to his son and give him the treasure.

In short, the construction of the tower begins and is called in this way in honor of the two animals that found the treasure. The tower was finished in ten years and at this point the nobleman is forced to surrender his beloved daughter to the young man. So the two lovers finally crown their dream.


How to reach it

The city of Bologna can easily be reached from all the main cities of the peninsula in three ways:

  • car
  • train
  • airplane.

By car via the A1 motorway you can reach it easily. The Bologna station is one of the most important Italian railways and is connected to the most important cities.

The city’s airport is Guglielmo Marconi. From here it is possible to reach the center by bus in a few minutes.

Just think, the ancient legends that have been handed down to us can help us understand the reasons that led to a striking gesture. In this case, precisely the construction of the tallest tower in the city. There is always a bit of truth in all legends. If you want to learn about other stories I recommend reading this article too. Now that you know the legend of the Asinelli tower you just have to visit this magnificent city.

Main Image source: La COOLtura
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