All Palaces in Bologna

In Italy, a residence of a nobleman, usually larger than a regular house, is called palazzo, a term translated into English as palace. In the past, besides residences, the palazzi also functioned as warehouses and office spaces. Many cities in Italy have a Palazzo Ducale, the seat of the local lord. Probably, the city with the most palaces is Venice, mostly located on the banks of the Grand Canal.

Maybe the most important palaces in Italy are Palazzo Pitti and Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, Palazzo Reale in Caserta, Doge’s Palace in Venice, Palazzo Reale in Milan, Palazzo del Quirinale in Rome, Palazzo Reale in Naples, Palazzo della Ragione in Padua and Palazzo dei Priori in Perugia. With so many palaces, it is hard to decide which are the most beautiful and worth visiting, and that is why we suggest that you visit them all.

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    Palazzo dei Banchi

    Palazzo dei Banchi (Palace of the Banks) is a 15th-century palace in Bologna, located in Piazza Maggiore, next to the Basilica of San Petronio and Palazzo del Podesta. The palace takes its name from some shops that practiced currency exchange during the 15th and 16th centuries.   SHORT HISTORY 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.   ARCHITECTURE 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 Read more [...]

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    Palazzo dei Notai

    Palazzo dei Notai (Palace of the Notaries) is a medieval palace in Bologna, located in Piazza Maggiore, between the Basilica of San Petronio and Palazzo d’Accursio.   SHORT HISTORY The palace was built starting with 1381 as the seat of the Notaries Guild. Its construction had two stages: the part facing the Basilica of San Petronio dates back to 1381, but the one facing Palazzo d’Accursio was rebuilt by Bartolomeo Fioravanti in 1437. In 1422, a loggia was added to the building, and the current door was opened in Via dei Pignattari, next to the Basilica of San Petronio. In 1792, when the vault of the great hall was transformed and raised according to a design by Giuseppe Tubertini, many battlements were damaged, and the palace partially lost its characteristic medieval appearance. In 1908, Palazzo dei Notai was completely restored by Alfonso Rubbiani, who mainly intervened on the facade and demolished the great hall of Tubertini.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE Palazzo dei Notai is a rectangular structure made of bricks, crenellated on top, with Gothic mullioned windows. Inside the palace, in the Salone dei Notai (Hall of Notaries), you can admire the 15th-century frescoes representing the Incredulity of Saint Thomas, Read more [...]

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    Palazzo d’Accursio

    Palazzo d’Accursio, also known as Palazzo Comunale, houses the Town Hall of Bologna. The palace is located in Piazza Maggiore, flanked by Palazzo del Podesta and Palazzo dei Notai.   SHORT HISTORY Palazzo d’Accursio is actually a collection of buildings joined over the centuries, hidden by the same facade. The original nucleus, purchased by the Municipality at the end of the 13th century, was the home of Accursio, a jurist and teacher of law in Bologna. Only in 1336, the palace became the residence of the Anziani (Senior Citizens), the highest magistracy of the Municipality of Bologna and, therefore, the seat of the city government. In the 15th century, the palace was renovated by Fioravante Fioravanti and an astronomical clock was added on the Torre d’Accursio, with a carousel of automata that paraded at each hour change. Other architectural renovations date back to the early 16th century, after the fall of the Bentivoglio family. At the end of the 16th century, the double flight of stairs that gives access to the interior, attributed to Donato Bramante, was completed. In recent history, the palace became famous for the massacre that bears its name. On November 21, 1920, while the newly elected Read more [...]

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    Palazzo del Podesta

    Palazzo del Podesta is a beautiful palace in Bologna, located in Piazza Maggiore, adjacent to Palazzo Re Enzo, opposite the Basilica of San Petronio.   SHORT HISTORY At the beginning of the 13th century, the Municipality of Bologna expropriated several buildings to create the wonderful Piazza Maggiore, and erected the first complex of palaces destined for public administration, starting with Palazzo del Podesta. Proving insufficient for the needs of the city’s government, between 1244 and 1246, Palazzo Re Enzo was built as an extension of Palazzo del Podesta. In 1453, Aristotile Fioravanti renovated the Romanesque facade of the palace in a Renaissance style, at the behest of Giovanni II Bentivoglio, although he never finished the work due to the expulsion of the Bentivoglio family from the city. The great Hall of the Podesta (Salone del Podesta), located on the upper floor, once a courtroom, was used from 1581 to 1767 as a public theater, and, later, as a playing field for ball games. The hall was completely frescoed by Adolfo De Carolis at the beginning of the 20th century, with The Glories of the City of Bologna. Today, Palazzo del Podesta is a prestigious venue for exhibitions and events.   Read more [...]