(From Prendiparte website)

12th Century Bologna

  After the Year 1000 the civil society slowly started to reorganise itself and the feudatories, heirs of the ancient power through the centuries, moved into town building towers that had the same purposes as castles, that of defence and offence. In the medieval Bologna, that at the time of the construction of the first towers was still included in the small selenite circle, these constructions forcibly had a vertical development. In those times, in fact, an endless civil war added deaths upon deaths in an unceasing spiral of hatred and revenge which culminated at the end of 1200 with what was defined as “the extreme ruin of Bologna”, when the winning guelph part threw out of the city a quarter of its citizens, those hated ghibellines (”l’è bon fato chi mòrano!”).
    The towers that we see today are simple volumes of bricks, but to understand their fascination we must think of them as alive. The construction which is full of life that we see today is in fact the core around which galleries and wooden constructions clutch. The openings in the towers, which look like windows are in fact doors which show evident wear and tear due to the continuous stepping. The towers were in fact joint ownerships, where different parts of a family made up cabal; each part had its own house at the feet of the tower and a passage to the higher levels of the house. In such sense, in case of danger, they could all rapidly reach the tower thus becoming a sure refuge or a dangerous fortalice. Read more....

La Torre vista dall'alto