Getting to visit a historic site may not be enough for some. How about sleeping there for a night or two. La Torre Prediparte is an imposing tower that overlooks the beautiful city of Bologna, Italy. Turned into a museum during the day, the 61 meter structure is used as a rustic bed & breakfast for those willing to sleep on the top floor. The tower has a long and fascinating history. It was owned by the Prendiparte family. A noble and prominent clan that built the tower in the 12th century to protect itself from enemy attacks. The Prendiparte were so powerful that they owned most of the city of Bologna in the height of their power and wealth. Also known as “coronata” for its crown shaped top, the tower is one of the oldest surviving buildings in this beautiful and extraordinary city. For approximately $550 a night, this is a stay to remember.The second largest tower in the city comes with 12 floors. Those interesting in spending a couple nights here have to remember there are no elevators to get to their room which is on the top floor.
Matteo Giovanardi inherited the tower from his father, Clemente Giovanardi, in 1972. The patriarch purchased the tower with the goal of maintaining the historical building intact.
Giovanardi believes the tower is more than just a place for tourists to spend the night. “Living in such a place allows you to completely isolate yourself from the outside world, to really be alone with yourself. It amplifies your senses. Protected by the thick ancient walls, your emotions are more easily released,” explains Giovanardi.
The family’s name may come from the fact that the Prendiparte clan sided with the Pope during the 12th century. Bologna at this time, was divided on letting the Catholic church rule the city or stay out of it.
In the 18th century, the church turned the tower into a prison. Today visitors can still see some of the writings etched into the walls.
For years the Prendiparte tower exchanged hands. It was used as a warehouse, renting out its rooms and floors, until it was finally restored to its natural, elegant beauty by Giovanardi.
“You touch the wall and think of the laborer who, perched on a wood scaffolding, lay those bricks in the Middle Ages,” says Giovanardi about the tower.
Despite Bologna being a busy and joyful city, once guests enter the tower they are invited to a complete serene and quiet experience. It’s like walking into a dimension into the past.