The Piazza del Capitano del Popolo is one of the most beautiful squares in Orvieto. It is here that a market is held every Thursday and Saturday morning, and it is also here that important events such as the Umbria Jazz Festival and the Corpus Domini are held. There are several buildings along this square, the most notable of which being the Palazzo del Popolo. During the week, Piazza del Popolo, as it is usually called, serves as a parking lot.
Piazza del Capitano del Popolo Orvieto
History and description.
The square was built to house the new seat of the people’s envoy, the Capitano del Popolo. This office had existed since 1250, and in 1281 construction began on what would become the Piazza del Capitano del Popolo. The construction would take three years and involve the destruction of some already existing buildings.
What to see in the Piazza del Popolo Orvieto
The Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo is the most notable building in the square, but there are other interesting palaces and churches.
The San Bernardo Church was built in 1315, but its facade was reconstructed in the 17th century to make it similar to that of the neighboring San Carlo Church.
Opposite the loggia of the Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo is the Palazzo Bracci. This neo-classical building was designed by Virginio Vespignani toward the end of the 19th century.
The back of the Palazzo dei Sette and the Torre del Moro also opens onto the square.
The San Rocco Church was built in 1526, but was deconsecrated many years ago. Today it often hosts exhibitions. The facade was renovated in the early 20th century, but inside one can still admire an oratory painted with frescoes.
The palace taking up the south side is the Palazzo Simoncelli. Toward the end of the 16th century, this family had an already existing building refurbished by Giannotto. In the process, the existing medieval structure received a more modern facelift. Giannotto and his son Tiberio managed to have their names inscribed into the architraves of some of the windows. The balcony was designed by Ippolito Scalza.
The statue near the steps of the Palazzo del Popolo depicts local sculptor, archaeologist and engineer Adolfo Cozza, who has no fewer than 35 patents to his name. He also designed Orvieto’s funicolare, which was put into operation in 1888.