Palazzo del Podestà
Palazzo del Podestà
4.5
Points of Interest & Landmarks • Architectural Buildings • Government Buildings
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

4.5
243 reviews
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24
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Asiyah Noemi K
Pula, Croatia4,902 contributions
Dec 2019
On the beautiful Piazza Maggiore next to Basilica di San Petronio and the beautiful Palazzo d'Accursio (or Palazzo Comunale) is the charming Palazzo del Podestà, makes a wonderful atmosphere throughout the square. The Palazzo del Podestà was erected in 1200 as a public building and a seat of power, the seat of the local podestà, the various functionaries of the commune. It is an architecturally impressive complex which includes two corridors that cross under the Voltone del Podestà. Overhead rises the Torre dell'Arengo with its bell that was used to summon the population in extraordinary moments. In 1453 Aristotile Fioravanti replaced the bell and reconstructed the original Gothic façade in the Renaissance style by order of Giovanni II Bentivoglio. Voltone del Podestà is decorated with terracotta statues set in 1500 with the figures of the city's protective saints: San Petronio, San Procolo, San Domenico, and San Francesco. The interesting thing is that under the Voltone del Podestà there is an extraordinary acoustic effect where you can stand under the opposite corners of the arch and hear each other clearly at a whisper. In the 16th-18th centuries the Palazzo was used as theatre. The Palazzo del Podestà proved too small to accommodate the large numbers of townspeople who turned out to participate in the city governance. As a result, a mere 40 years after its construction, the Palazzo Re Enzo was built alongside it. The Palazzo del Podestà is a long building, with a large hall on the upper floor. In the 20th century it was frescoed by Adolfo de Carolis. The lower floor is a double open arcade, through which today pass two lanes of shops.
Written March 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Flying Dutchman
Somme-Leuze, Belgium955 contributions
Nov 2018 • Couples
Palazzo del Podesta has one of the most entertaining surprises of Bologna. While you are walking under the arch of the palace, you may see people turned their faces to the pillars of the wall and laughing. This is the place of whispering walls. You and you friend go to the opposite sides of the arches, turn your faces to the pillars and whisper into the wall, and even though it is a crowded area with so much hustle, your friend will hear you clearly. It is said that the place was a confessing point for the lepers. The palace has also a remarkable exterior design....
Written January 5, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jo_and_Tom
Anna, OH1,596 contributions
Mar 2020
We walked through the Portico of this building. If I remember correctly one of the stores in it is a Gelato place. Per our guide, the machine to produce Gelato was made by the owners of the shop.
Written March 29, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Mairwen1
United Kingdom8,241 contributions
May 2019
This is one of several big, heavy, red brick palazzos surrounding the Piazza Maggiore. It's the oldest one on the piazza (dating from 1200s) and stands directly opposite the Basilica.
The Piazza Maggiore is the best starting point to explore Bologna. Once here, I’d recommend stopping at the Palazzo del Podesta first because the Tourist Information Centre is located on the left hand side on the ground floor. They are particularly helpful here and have a large number of maps and brochures. They also offer a large range of tours and are happy to spend some time advising you if you need help.
There are a number of cafes under the portico where you can grab a coffee and look out across the huge piazza. Even better, if you can return later in the day for aperitivo - I can highly recommend sitting in one of these cafes with an Aperol at the end of the day and enjoying looking directly across at the basilica.

Points of Interest:
• If you look above the present-day cafes, you can see the balcony area where medieval authorities stood to announce government decisions and criminal sentences.
• The Palazzo arches were the site of hangings in the 1500s and some hangings were by defenestration and wrongdoers were thrown by rope from the Palazzo windows.
• The Palazzo Re Enzo and tower were added in 1245. In its heyday, the tower’s bell would ring out to call citizens to meet in the piazza in times of danger.
• The huge room on the top level was for the tribunal and later for the conclave of cardinals who elected the anti-pope Giovanni XXIII. Nowadays exhibitions are sometimes held here but I don't think you can enter otherwise.
• Most interesting is the story of King Enzo of Sardinia. Captured in battle, he was locked up in the tower for 23 years until he died in 1272. For the most part he was allowed a lot of freedom and luxuries but at night, security was ramped up and he was locked in a cage and suspended from the ceiling. This was probably prompted by numerous escape attempts, including one where he hid in a big wooden wine basket but unfortunately his thick, blond hair stuck out the top and he was spotted
• If you have kids with you, a fun thing to do is to try out the ‘whispering gallery’. This is a special spot where the two passages on the ground floor intersect. We forgot to try this but apparently if you stand diagonally opposite someone and whisper, they will hear you, loud and clear. Worth a try if you remember.
• It’s also interesting to note the rosettes carved on the portico pillars – there are 3000+ of them and not one is the same.
Written December 1, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

JeanChippenham
Bath, UK185 contributions
Apr 2018 • Couples
Whilst this building still houses civic adminstration for Bologna some rooms are open to the public at no charge, there is also the civic art collection which does incur a charge. We only visited the public rooms and were lucky to see the Red Room as just as we were leaving a wedding party arrived. The council chamber was also very interesting to see in terms of ancient building and modern technology.
Written May 15, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

tarty
Prestatyn, UK684 contributions
Sep 2017
Bologna is a lovely place full of culture and beautiful places to visit we would recommend the city bus tours so much it take in
Written October 14, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

tdhat
Flower Mound, TX809 contributions
Feb 2020
At night the building is well light and the piazza is crowded makes for some great pictures. Nice Architecture
Written March 9, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Angelo S
Hilliard, OH3,417 contributions
Sep 2019
Many different places housed within this building next to Palazzo Enzo houses a few larger coffee shops and is home to Bologna Welcome. There is a pass-through to the back of the building where a restaurant and gelateria can be found. Wonderful architecture and a few little nooks to explore.
Written October 29, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

frenchi700
Derbyshire550 contributions
Sep 2019
Palazzo del Podesta is a civic building built around 1200. It face the Basilica of San Petronio.
The lower floor is a double open arcade, the so-called Voltone del Podestà, through which pass two lanes of shops. There are lots of bars, cafes and shops in the arcade which are pricey but the views and atmosphere are fantastic.
Written October 24, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Sarah_j_c_3
London, UK240 contributions
Aug 2018 • Solo
Located in Piazza Maggiore it is well worth a visit to see the interesting architecture. Plenty of places nearby to grab a coffee, drink or a bite to eat.
Written August 19, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Palazzo del Podestà, Bologna

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