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Palazzo dei Podesta, also known as the Palace of the City Government, is located in the central part of Bologna, on Piazza Maggiore.
The palace was built in the 13th century, when the city authorities decided to equip the main square of the city. It was decided to build a building on the square intended for the government of Bologna. Artisans and merchants were housed under the arches of the palace portico, and the first floor was occupied by notaries until they moved to their own palace.
The Arengo tower rises above the palace, the bell that previously summoned people to a meeting or informed about important events. The tower was originally wooden, but later in 1259 it was rebuilt according to the plan of the architect Alberto di San Pietro. The four corner pilasters of the bell tower supported the cruciform vault. In 1525, sculptures of the patrons of the city were installed in the portico – Saints Proculus, Francis, Petronius and Dominic. The sculptures were created by Alfonso Lombardi. In 1453, the tower was redesigned by the architect Aristotle Fioravanti.
At the end of the 15th century, the palace underwent extensive renovations at the behest of Giovanni II, during which the old Romanesque facade acquired the Renaissance style. However, the work was never completed, since Giovanni II was expelled from the city. In the middle of the 19th century, the palace portico and facade were restored.
The palace facade consists of two tiers. The lower tier is decorated with semicircular arches of the portico, decorated in rustic style. Their finishing was never completed. The semicircular windows of the second tier are separated from the portico by a small balustrade.
From the 14th century to the 18th century, a public theater was located in the mezzanine of the palace, later the premises were used for a ball game. In the 20th century, the hall was decorated with frescoes by Adolfo de Carolis and his students.
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Topic: Palazzo dei Podesta in Italy, Bologna resort.