The Leaning Tower of…Venice?
Much like an older sibling that seems to get all of the praise, the Leaning Tower of Pisa floats into our stream of conciousness as one of the most famous and recognizable structures in all of Italy, probably even in the world. But did you know it’s not the only radically leaning building in Italy??
Enter Burano, a lesser known island sharing its lagoon with beautiful Venice. Another little sibling to its big brother, famed glass making Murano island, Burano continues to charm visitors with its characteristic colorful houses and fine works of lace. But, on my most recent trip to this peaceful reserve, I noticed something peculiar.
Something didn’t seem right. Is that bell tower…leaning? I had to get a better look. After some shmoozing and curious questioning, I discovered that yes, this is indeed the ‘famous’ Campanile Storto di Burano, and it has been slightly off for a couple hundred years now.
Due to the marshy conditions of the lagoon, the tower and its’ connecting church of San Martino Vescovo have undergone a number of restorations, most notably between 1703-1714. It’s lean should solely be attributed to this, but of course, the locals have their own twist on the story. They say the municipal government, in an effort to make the building stand higher and thus compel the island’s prominence, didn’t do their weight calculations correctly, forgetting to add in the additional heft of the large iron cross on the top of the tower. This mistake cost the building enough margin of error that it started to tip during its make-over, halting construction and giving it its signature tilt.
So there you have it, the tale of just one of Italy’s reposers, the Leaning Tower of Burano, and further proof that we all need to take ourselves less seriously and relax. Sometimes our imperfections are what makes us the most memorable part of the story.