Casisano

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Località Casisano, 52
53024 Montalcino SI

The Palazzo del Podestà is an austere stone construction built in the 13th and 14th centuries, and in the 16th-century, a loggia was added along with a statue of the  Grand Duke Cosimo I de ‘Medici. It served as the Palace of Justice (with prisons) and then the Communal Palace until the 19th-century. It then became the court where the head of justice, the judge, the notary, and the grand-ducal vicar deliberated their sentences.

Numerous noble coats of arms and inscriptions of those who held office are visible on the facade and the clock tower. The bells still ring from the tower’s top, keeping the time and the life of a city where it has always played a central role.

Many speculate that its appearance reflects the antagonism between the Ghibelline Siena and the Guelph Florence, which characterized the long centuries of wars and sieges in the history of a Montalcino disputed for its strategic position and its proud autonomy.

The Palazzo is unique in the panorama of medieval municipal buildings and does not seem to fit Montalcino’s penchant for copying Siena on a smaller scale. In his travels, the Grand Duke of Tuscany Pietro Leopoldo d’Asburgo Lorena observed, “one of Montalcino’s great passions is to have all things in small as in Siena.” The building is more reminiscent of a Florentine style, typical of the architect and sculptor Arnolfo di Cambio, suggesting that its construction corresponded to a period when the city was in the graces of Florence.

This aspect changed between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, but not the city’s symbol, which today houses the municipal offices and the City Council.

The bell tower casts its shadow over the main square, home to the outdoor market and the palaces symbolizing the power of the Gonfaloniere, the Priori and the Municipal Chancellery, the noble houses, the Chapel of the Piazza, and the Logge (which once had large windows with a view of the Val d’Orcia). Today, this is the “sitting room” of Montalcino, the heart of life and tourism in the Brunello area, with its cafes and shops.

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