I am a big lover of those panoramic views you get of cities when you make the effort to climb up to the highest points. I’ve climbed the tower countless times in Bologna, the Duomo and Bell Tower in Florence and hiked up to various piazzas in Verona, Florence, Ancona, yet had the Ghirlandina (the tower in Modena) on my doorstep for six entire months and never managed to get to the top.
Well last week that changed! Walking past the Ghirlandina at the end of my street for six whole months I vowed not to leave Italy without having climbed it at least once. We picked a super sunny day and paid our 3 euros (a lot more reasonable than the 10 you pay in Florence!) for the privilege of reaching the top. Here came the first problem – the top was shut. Fantastic. We made it about half way up before we realised you couldn’t get any further for “construction reasons”, pretty disappointing but we still got some gorgeous views of the beautiful city of Modena. And I thought six months in Modena and not climbing the tower was pretty shameful, but with me came my friend who has lived and breathed Modena for the best part of 26 years and yet never been up!!