The Torre degli Azzoguidi is one of the city centre’s surviving towers. It is also called Altabella (The Tall Beauty) for its height, perfect verticality, and elegance. Altabella is also the name of the street on which it is found, alongside the Bologna Cathedral (cattedrale di San Pietro).
Built in the 12th century, it is 61 metres tall, second only to the Torre degli Asinelli. However, once it was even taller. The tower was owned by the Azzoguidi family. Although Guelf, they were not involved in the medieval city's struggle between the different factions.
Among the family members were ambassadors and leaders, as well as men of science like Baldassarre Azzoguidi, the first printer in Bologna. During the 19th century, the base of the tower was used as a shop. When the door was enlarged and the thickness of the walls reduced to create more space, the stability of the building was seriously compromised. Today the tower has been restored and it home to a small watch shop.
The Azzoguidi family also owned another tower which no longer exists though its remains have been discovered in Via Oberdan.