The Palazzo dei Capitani del Popolo is a historic building facing the main square Piazza del Popolo in Ascoli Pisceno. It is the seat of the city’s historical archive and library.
Palazzo dei Capitani del Popolo Ascoli Piceno
Address: Palazzo dei Capitani del Popolo Ascoli Piceno. Phone: +39 0736 298775. Opening times: . Ticket price: .
History and description
The Palazzo dei Capitani del Popolo is probably a 13th century amalgamation of three pre-existing buildings, and a tower converted into a bell tower. Ascoli Piceno had become independent in those years and had even written a kind of constitution. At the head of the city was the Capitano del Popolo who, of course, had to have his own palace.
Over the years, constantly changing rulers (the Podestà, the Anziani and the Papal Leaders) continued to reside in the building.
Important renovations took place in the second half of the 15th century (the mezzanine between the 1st and 2nd floors and a enlargement on the south side) and in 1520 (the one at the back) and after a fire in 1535 (including the courtyard).
From 1779 to 1981 the Palazzo was the seat of the Museo Civico Archeologico. Today it houses the city’s historical archive and library.
What to see
The Mannerist façade at the back was designed by Cola d’Amatrice in 1520.
The courtyard designed by Camillo Merli is characterized by three rows of loggias.
The entrance door dates from 1549. Its upper part is a monument to Pope Paul III Farnese.
The Hall of Reason is the former seat of the “Council of the Hundred”. Its ceiling panels were frescoed between the 18th and 19th centuries.
There is a fresco attributed to Pietro Alemanno, a late 15th century painter who was born in Austria as Pietro Grill da Göttweih.
The Hall of the Coats of Arms (Sala dei Stemmi) is named for the frescoes decorating its walls.
Visitable only on request, or during special exhibitions, is the ground floor, where ancient buildings have been discovered during excavations.