12 December 2006

Ascoli Piceno - Piazza dei Popolo

Piazza dei Popolo, or the “People’s Square”, is the second of the large piazza here in Ascoli Piceno, only a couple streets west of Piazza Arringo. Piazza dei Popolo has had a rectangular shape with a travertine pavement since the 1500’s. On the north side of the piazza is the Chiesa di San Francesco with its double bell towers. The other main feature of this piazza is the political seat of power called the Palazzo dei Capitani or “Captains Palace” with its bell tower, clock and grand steps. The famous Caffe Meletti with its art-deco styling is next to the Palazzo dei Capitani and is a favorite meeting place for locals and tourists.

The sides of the piazza are lined with shops and during the Renaissance period the city leaders decided they were unsightly and to correct this they had a columned portico built around the piazza enclosing the shop fronts in a uniform appearance. The resulting appearance of the piazza is suitable as a stage for the people of Ascoli Piceno. Piazza dei Popolo is a regular gathering place during the day at the several bars under the portico as well as numerous events and concerts in the summer. If there is no activity in Piazza Arringo you are sure to find some in Piazza dei Popolo.

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