The Piazza di Corte is the main square in the historical center of Ariccia. It is flanked by the most important buildings of the city, the Santa Maria Assunta Church and the Palazzo Chigi. Several famous architects cooperated on its construction. The Via Appia runs straight through the square.
Piazza di Corte Ariccia
Address: Piazza di Corte – Ariccia. Opening times: Alaways open. Ticket price: Free.
History and description
Construction of the Piazza di Corte started in 1661. The main architects of the square and of most of the surrounding buildings were Gian Lorenzo Bernin and Carlo Fontana.
In other to build the square, several existing buildings needed to be destroyed.
The two fountains adorning the square were also designed by Bernini. The mountains and star crowning the fountains are symbols of the Chigi.
The people behind the construction of the square were the influential Chigi family. The most important member of this family was Pope Alexander VII. Three nephews of the Pope had bought the fiefdom of Ariccia from Cardinal Savelli. Thus was the beginning of a period of great prosperity for the city.
In those days Gian Lorenzo Bernini was more or less the house architect of the Pope. He was therefore given the job of designing the square, the fountains, the Palazzo Chigi and the Santa Maria Assunta Church. He got several other well-known architects to help him.
The enormous bridge close to the Piazza di Corte was not designed by Bernini, however.
After Bernini had designed the fountains for the Piazza di Corte, he made a similar one for the main square of Rocca di Papa. This is now called Piazza Garibaldi, but at the time had another name.