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Torre degli Asinelli, Bologna

Piazza di Porta Ravegnana
Italy 40126's insider take:

More than 200 towers, built by the aristocracy as symbols of wealth and power, once pierced Bologna's skyline. Thirty remain today, many incorporated into later palazzi. Two of them—skewed,157-foot Garisenda and its more upright companion, 321-foot Asinelli—are the city's iconic towers. You can climb Asinelli's worn wooden staircase for a panoramic view of the city; the 498 steps are a lung-busting workout. But there's a payoff: One of Bologna's best photo ops awaits up top.

Open daily 9 am to 6 pm, April through October, and 9 am to 5 pm, November through March.

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