Another Leaning Tower…?

May 21, 2013 / Places
Vernazzano, Umbria
vernazzano-torre-pendente8Maybe it was a fad. After all, the torre pendente (leaning tower) of Vernazzano is just across the border from Tuscany, and was also built way back when. Granted, not as glorious or beautiful as its more famous counterpart in Pisa, but leaning nonetheless. Truth is, while the architects did of course know what a plumb line was, here too they forgot to call in the geologists.

Vernazzano was an important defensive unit along the ancient road that led from Perugia to Cortona and was inhabited from the 13th to the 16th centuries. It was fortunately already abandoned by the 18th century when the rocky outcrop upon which the tower and its nucleus of buildings stood sagged after a strong earthquake.

vernazzano-torre-pendente6While exploring this area around Tuoro, where Hannibal soundly trounced Roman legions during the Second Punic War, you’ll notice references to Vernazzano and its tower on the info maps at the various sites. Drive up to new Vernazzano, park, and then walk.. well… towards the obviously leaning tower, along a small wooded path.

You’ll end up at a (quite crooked) landing where the small old town once sat. And sure enough, there be a leaning tower if there ever was one, defying gravity thanks only to very recent steel-girders and an enormous, buried, cement block/counter-weight.

You’d be wise not to picnic under its leaning side, but it’s well worth the walk… and the view is nothing to be scoffed at either.





by GB Bernardini

Editor, Italian Notebook

8 Responses to “Another Leaning Tower…?”

    • If you are referring to the Torre Garisenda, the shorter of Bologna’s two logo towers, it was not unfinished. Rather, it was once much taller but was reduced in height in the 14th century due to the developing lean. The two towers were once joined by a wooden bridge about 30 meters above ground level.

  1. GB,You never cease to impress me with your fine articles and incredible photos. You certainly have your fingers on the pulse of everyday life in Italy and your heart is most definitely on everything that is Italian. Keep the articles coming…

  2. Lynn Michaels

    What a delightful bit of info. I’d like to be walking along that wooded path right now. Thanks,GB,for another page for my “notes for future reference” file!

  3. Love the story, GB. Great that we can still be surprised by old “new” trovate! Thank you! I will definitely try and visit this interesting place.

  4. Francesca

    My mother was born right there !! I’m going to organize a trip this weekend. Thanks


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