The palace takes its name from some shops that practiced currency exchange during the 15th and 16th centuries.
Palazzo dei Banchi was the last building erected in Piazza Maggiore, starting with 1412. The palace consists of several buildings joined behind the same facade.
The facade of the palace and the portico, known as Pavaglione, were built after a project by the architect Jacopo Barozzi da Vignola, and were completed between 1565 and 1568.
Behind the palace, there is the Mercato di Mezzo, a series of alleys where, since the Middle Ages, a market of typical products and crafts was established. Also located behind Palazzo dei Banchi is the city’s archaeological museum (Museo Civico Archeologico) and the Church of Santa Maria della Vita.
Palazzo dei Banchi has a Renaissance-style facade, with a long portico on the ground floor (Pavaglione). The asymmetric facade of the palace has 15 rounded arches, two of which are larger and lead to the alleys mentioned above, while the others are lower. All the arches are flanked by monumental Corinthian pilasters.
Each floor has its own rhythm of window placement in Mannerist style, unifying the complex into what appears to be a single long gallery.
HOW TO GET THERE
Palazzo dei Banchi is located about 1.6 kilometers away from the Bologna Centrale railway station. The closest bus stop is located in Piazza Maggiore, a few meters away, on the bus Lines 29, A, C and T2.