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Piazza and Palazzo del Popolo

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Not far from the Torre del Moro is Piazza del Popolo, a square that has been important since ancient times because of the city market held there and because it was the fulcrum of the social, civil and even the political life of the city. The Palazzo del Popolo still stands in this square and was built in the 13th century, probably commissioned by the Neri della Greca family, refashioning a previous papal building. The building had the very important role of being the seat of the Capitano del Popolo, a leading figure in the medieval period who represented the Populace and who played a fundamental political role alongside Consuls and ‘Podestà’ (a magistrate or high official).

For some time, the building was also used as the seat of the Podestà and in the 16th century, even a theatre was set up on the first floor of the building.

Architecturally, its forms are elegant and refined, with round arches framing the elegant triple-lancet windows of the first floor which guaranteed lighting for the building’s main hall.

The current appearance of the building is due to restoration and redevelopment work carried out in the 19th century by Paolo Zampi. Then, in 1989, three large conference rooms were built inside the Palazzo: the Sala dei Quattrocento, the Sala Expo and the Sala Etrusca, which host important city events. As the building is now the city’s Congress Centre, it is not accessible to tourists.

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