The Palazzo del PodestÃ was erected in 1200 as a public building and a seat of power. Today it looks very different, partly because the Palazzo di Re Enzo was built next door.
It is an architecturally impressive complex which includes two roads that cross under the Voltone del PodestÃ . Overhead rises the Torre dell'Arengo with its bell that was used to summon the population in extraordinary moments.
The Voltone del PodestÃ is decorated with terracotta statues placed there in 1500 of the protective saints of the city: San Petronio, San Procolo, San Domenico, and San Francesco. Under the Voltone del PodestÃ there is an extraordinary acoustical effect where you can stand under opposite corners of the arch and hear each other clearly at a whisper. The lower part of the building is decorated with floral motif tiles, each one unique.
The Palazzo del PodestÃ 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.