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PERUGIA Art and tourist attractions - Palazzo Capitano del Popolo

Piazza Matteotti
Piazza Matteotti
Piazza Matteotti, originally known as Piazza del Sopramuro, was built in the seconf half of the 13th century over a very steep area just outside the old Etruscan walls.

The square is supported by walls built against the cliffside, from which its original name derived. Sopramuro in fact translates as "above the wall".

The works were directed by Fra Bevignate, also responsible for supervising the works on Piazza Grande and its fountain.

Used as a market place, the square had an open view over the valley below until the Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo and the adjacent Universitą Vecchia closed it in during the 15th century and gave it its current appearance.

The Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo is a rare combination of Medieval and Renaissance architecture.

Erected between 1472 and 1481 by the Lombard architects Gasparino di Antonio and Leone di Matteo, the Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo has a doorway similar in style to that of Palazzo dei Priori, while its twin-windows are trimmed with Renaissance wreaths.

The half moon above the doorway contains a statue representing Justice, almost as if the architects were already aware that the building would come to be used as the city's court house.

After a serious earthquake in 1741 the third floor had to be demolished and was replaced by a mezzanine.

Palazzo Capitano del Popolo [ Universitą Vecchia]
Palazzo Capitano del Popolo [ Universitą Vecchia]
The ground floor, with its gothic arches, of the adjacent Universitą Vecchia was begun in 1453. In 1483 Sixtus IV decided to make it the seat of the Studium Perusinum, or university, which had existed since 1320 under the name of Santa Sofia, founded by Cardinal Nicola Capocci. Between 1490 and 1514 two more storeys were added, allegedly to designs by Fiorenzo di Lorenzo.

On the left side of the Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo two Gothic archways lead to the Loggia dei Lanari (wool-merchants), used occasionally today for art or handicraft exhibitions, and to the 1932 covered market with its underground car park, elevators, and a large terrace with a splendid view over the southern part of town and on the valley below.

Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo
Piazza Matteotti [old town centre]
Perugia, 06122

APM (Public municipal bus transport authority): stopped bus - Piazza Italia [only 100 meters away]
Linea 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13s, 13d, 15, 81, 82, 83, 87, bis28, bis31, bis34, bis39, bis41, bis44, bis50

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