Audio File length: 2.29
English / USA Language: English / USA

Hi, my name’s Rick, and I’m your personal guide. Along with MyWoWo, I’d like to welcome you to one of the Wonders of the World: Piazza del Comune in Assisi.

You’ll immediately notice that Piazza del Comune has an unusual shape: long and narrow, it looks more like a continuation of the road that runs between Santa Chiara and San Francesco than the heart of political and public life of Assisi.

In medieval towns and cities in Italy, the most important buildings looked onto the square. Those you can see here indeed date back to the Middle Ages; they’re the same ones you saw, or will see later, in the fresco by Giotto entitled “The Homage of a Simple Man” in the Basilica of San Francesco!

The building to the left of the Tower is Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo. The “Captain of the People”, elected by the local citizens, was entrusted with maintaining an armed guard, providing weapons to the people and keeping order during the political battles between the various factions. The building dates to the end of the 13th century, to Giotto’s times, but its current appearance differs in a number of ways from the one shown in the fresco: the beautiful, slender columns that adorned the windows are now gone, while the merlons you can see on the top are the result of slightly excessive restoration work carried out in the 20th century in an attempt to give the building a more medieval appearance. Next to it is the 48-meter-tall Torre del Popolo, and beside it is the Temple of Minerva, which I’ll be telling you about shortly.

On the opposite side, a striking series of arches supports the compact fourteenth-century Palazzo dei Priori, the seat of the local government, also significantly altered by restorations which once again added merlons to the top. Sometimes, restoration work makes over-enthusiastic changes to ancient buildings, treating them as if they were part of a movie set!


An interesting fact: built into the base of the Torre del Popolo is an inscription with a number of red roof tiles and bricks. These were the official measurements of length and thickness that everyone had to refer to when making or selling them. Next to them, you can see three iron bars, the units of measurement for cloths of wool, silk and linen. The local government regulated the sale of goods also according to smells and sounds!

Scarica MyWoWo! La Travel App che ti racconta le meraviglie del mondo!

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